Table of Contents
- About Consumer Behavior
- Consumer Behavior in India
- About Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture
- About Individualism and Collectivism
- Is India Individualistic or Collectivistic?
- Interdependence of the Two Factors
- Literature Review
It’s the era of globalization; no one can deny the fact that in order to survive in the market, one has to expand. And this brings a number of challenges in front of the business. They have to identify the viability of the market by scanning the environment. Understanding the culture is one of the key tasks that can determine the success or failure of the business in the particular market. The culture helps the business in designing the HR policies in order to provide an ideal workplace environment, to design the product in order to sell only the things that fit into the cultural norm and in order to plan the marketing techniques to persuade the consumers to buy their product. By determining consumer behavior through culture, they are able to assess the demand of products in the market, decide what to launch next and how to advertise the product.
About Consumer Behavior
The marketing techniques and tactics undertaken by a business highly depend on consumer behavior. Consumer behavior, which is defined as decision making by a buyer regards to a company, brand, product or service helps in understanding the response of the customer towards a new product or service which further helps in determination of market success. MNC’s every year spend billions on determining what prompts consumers to make certain buying decisions and what are the influencing factors behind them.
Those consumers can be individuals, groups or organisations. It begins with the feeling of want, desire or need that rises inside a consumer’s mind and ends with making a purchase transaction. It also includes how a consumer reacts to the marketing tactics. Consumer Behavior answers a number of questions such as, does the behavior differ or is it same when in groups than when assessed individually or is the consumer behavioral pattern different for different products and services. To answer these questions, businesses have to dig deeper into the extrinsic and intrinsic motivators of consumers. And by leveraging them, they are able to anticipate the future behavior of their consumers, using it for their own benefit.
Consumer Behavior can largely depend on various factors such as:
- Marketing- Product, Price, Place and Promotion
- Personal- Age, Gender, Literacy, Income level, Standard of living
- Psychological- desires, wants, needs, perception and attitude towards a product
- Social and Cultural- social status, religion, family influence, caste
A consumer may like a product because it has better features than its substitutes, or it is price lowered as compared to other products, or the product was on offer or the packaging was attractive, or it was easily available in the market. That’s why businesses constantly spend billions on marketing and sales in order to encourage consumers to buy their product. When it comes to personal factors, it differs from individual to individual. As an individual grows, he becomes more rational. A kid just might buy a product because it has the photo of its favorite cartoon but a grown person will compare the benefits and features and buy the best one.
Income level and standard of living are one of the most important factors that determine the pricing policy of a product. A rich man might not think much before buying a product or service, if he likes it he won’t think about the price but a poor man will spend his every penny very carefully and buy only his necessities. This helps the businesses in selecting their target market according to their product or service, and then they only market the product or service to their target market. The product or brand image in a consumer’s mind matters a lot, as this is one important factor that can prompt him to buy or not buy the product or service. Society and
Culture are two factors that can determine the success or failure of a product in the entire market, especially n a country like India. If the product or service hurts the religious sentiments or is against the country’s culture, there might be a public outrage and it might lead to mass boycott causing a complete failure. So deeply studying all the dimensions of consumer behavior is necessary.
Consumer Behavior in India
The consumer behavior of a country depends on various factors, and the Indian market scenario is fast changing with increased incomes and smaller families, globalization and liberalization, increasing of trend of consumerism, changing social habits and increased media involvement. Today features and the satisfaction derived have become more important than the price or the brand name. For today’s Indian consumer not only the product, but also aspects such as after-sales service, user friendliness and overall usage experience are of prime importance.
The use of credit card has increased rapidly over the years, people don’t mind borrowing and spending these days. The consumer demands have also shifted from fulfilling basic needs to living luxuriously and maintaining a status in the society. Growing awareness among the consumers regarding different issues such as environment protection and healthy lifestyle has made them go for options which fulfill such needs as well, for example- the trend of organic food has sharply risen with growing health consciousness among people. Internet and social media highly influences the choices of consumers, so the companies are heavily spending on the promotions through the new non-conventional ways.
About Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture
Industrialization has made the world take a path to modernization, and this process has not only influenced the economies of different countries but also their cultures and behavior. Culture is an amalgamation of traditions, practices and ideologies. Dr. Geert Hofstede understood that cultural differences can act as a barrier to communication and hence he developed a six dimensional model based on factors that distinguish countries. His idea was to conduct a research to find out how values in workplace are influenced by culture, and later on this study turned out to be the basis of how different cultures interact.
It also established a link between values and behavior by quantifying cultural differences. He undertook the study on IBM employees in over 56 countries, in order to make International Human Resource Management simpler, but his research later on became an important part of psychological studies and a subject of great interest for marketers. His original research only had four dimensions, power distance, individualism/collectivism, feminine/masculine and uncertainty avoidance, but later with time he added two more dimensions, long term/short term orientation and restraint/indulgence.
In high power distance culture, decisions are made by the people who are in power and are at the highest hierarchical level, for example- heads of the family. And everyone accepts their decision and no one tries to question or oppose it. Whereas in low power distance culture, the power is equally distributed and the decision making is more democratic. Marketers have to advertise their product in such a way in high power distance culture where they showcase that the product benefits the entire family while in low power distance culture they need to showcase the benefits it will provide to different individuals.
Individualism and Collectivism
A collectivistic culture has a strongly knit social framework and talks about inter-dependence while in individualistic culture its more about the independence a person gets. So usually while advertising, marketers in individualistic cultures emphasize on increasing benefits to them through the use of product while in collectivistic cultures they emphasize on showing harmony and how it will benefit the entire community.
Masculinity and Femininity
Masculine cultures have specific gender roles and some desirable qualities for both men and women, while in feminine cultures the gender roles are neutral and overlap a lot. Feminine cultures will give a negative response towards gender-oriented promotion, so the marketers try to keep their approach neutral.
The cultures that score high on uncertainty avoidance index are close minded, do not like changes and try avoiding risk and ambiguity. While countries with a low uncertainty avoidance index score are open to change and ready to take risk showing ambiguity. Things like guarantee and user-friendliness attract customers in high uncertainty avoidance cultures while things like added benefits and features attract ambiguous customers.
Cultures with long term orientation stick to age old traditions and norms as well as make plans keeping in the long term goals in mind, basically they are pragmatic. While the short term orientation cultures embrace change and have short term goals in mind, making them normative. Marketers have to advertise keeping in mind the traditions of the country while advertising in long term orientation nations and for short term orientation nations they need to focus on immediate benefits of the product or service.
Nations with indulgent cultures give more personal space and emphasize on personal freedom and will, while nations with restraint culture expect a person to behave according to societal norms and not provide him with much leisure or private time.
A critical review of all these dimensions shows that they are highly inter-related. If a culture is collectivistic, there are high chance that it has high power distance, is masculine, pragmatic and restraint. All eastern cultures show this behavior while the western cultures are the opposite of it.
About Individualism and Collectivism
Characteristics of Individualistic culture
- The individual makes his own decisions about his private life.
- Self-accomplishment and achievement are the prevalent traits.
- Individual’s need for privacy and freedom is the most important.
- When communicating with a new person, he/she will talk about his personal traits.
- Achievement of personal goals is given more importance.
- People work for acknowledgement for individual work.
- Their behavior is based on a critical calculation of profit and loss.
- They may be subject to loneliness.
- Living separately and away from family is considered a good sign of independence. So nuclear families are more prevalent.
- They give more importance to horizontal relationships rather than vertical relationships.
- Social relationships are detached and distant.
- They are a part of number of in-groups which do not influence their lives.
- The concept of progress is more about material advancement.
- Countries that exhibit individualism- United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, South Africa, Spain, Israel, Belgium, Netherlands.
Characteristics of Collectivistic Culture
- The in-group members have a greater say in an individual’s private life.
- Unity, brotherhood and selflessness are the preached traits.
- Maintenance of societal harmony is the most important.
- When communicating with a new person, he/she will talk about family and relationships.
- Achievement of group goals is given more importance.
- People work for intrinsic awards.
- Their behavior is based on the socially acceptable norms of society.
- They fear rejection the most.
- Living separately, away from the family is considered a bad sign. So joint families are prevalent.
- They consider respect for hierarchy as the virtue of utmost importance.
- Their social relationships are intensive and enduring.
- They are a part of only one in group and they might develop hostility towards members of other out groups.
- The concept of progress is more about spiritual advancement.
- Countries that exhibit collectivism- India, China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark.
They are further bi-furcated into types, horizontal individualism and vertical individualism, and horizontal collectivism and vertical collectivism.
- Horizontal collectivism assesses the extent to which individual are interdependent but do not accept authority. It is defined as “A social setting in which hierarchy and distance are minimal and hence people belonging to a group ideally experience themselves as members in a collective of equals.”
- Vertical collectivism emphasis on its competitiveness with out-groups. It is defined as “The hierarchical structure of the society and more distant relations, characterizing a social setting in which the individuals are primarily parts of the collective and accept social inequalities.”
- Horizontal individualism focuses on how people want a distinct identity without being given a special status. It is defined as “A social situation of low social distance and flat hierarchical relations and tendencies of favoring autonomy combined with the idea of social equality.”
- Vertical individualism focuses on the extent to which they want a special status. It is defined as “An inclination to favor more pronounced social hierarchies and greater social distance, thus characterizing the person and his/her culture setting by autonomy and acceptance of inequality.”
Is India Individualistic or Collectivistic?
On the individuality index, India has a score of 48 out of 100. This automatically implies that India is somewhere in between individualistic and collectivistic culture. In the Indian society, families are deemed to be a very important part of one’s life that’s why the family values and respect for the elderly are kept above all. Joint families have been a part of Indian culture since long. Key decisions such as marriage are taken collectively with everyone’s opinion. The individualism aspect, according to the Hofstede’s research is greatly rooted into the Hindu culture, where karma is considered to be the deciding factor for their new lives after rebirth. And karma depends on what the individual did in his entire life. Another explanation for this is the increasing influence of western countries over Indians, for example number of nuclear families is increasing at a steady pace.
Interdependence of the Two Factors
Consumer Behavior is dependent on three factors, namely psychological, personal and social. Personal and psychological factors play a greater role in individualistic cultures while social factor plays a major role in collectivistic culture. Different cultures embody different thought processes which gives rise to different choices and preferences. Individualistic cultures sees people as independent entities which are autonomous, they are usually strong, self-reliant and assertive. While collectivistic culture focuses on interpersonal relationships and their decisions are based on the decision of the group.
Both of them have contrasting ideas, that’s why it will also have affect on the consumer behavior and hence it is important for companies to study them. Their marketing campaign has to keep in mind all those factors, so that it doesn’t go against the country’s beliefs and causes a backlash for the company. One important thing that all businesses need to keep in mind is that individualist and collectivistic cultural traits not only vary from country to country but also amongst various groups within the country. As India is a fast changing economy, there are many factors that are responsible for certain kind of behavior, such as age, income level, area of residence etc.
India also is wildly culturally diverse, but the root values remain the same across the subcontinent. This research takes into account all these factors to determine how far has the country come from the transition of collectivistic culture to individualistic culture. Because an elderly person might be more towards collectivistic culture and a millennial will be more towards collectivistic culture, people living in the metropolitan cities will be more individualistic but people living in rural areas will still be collectivistic. So, this research is an amalgamation of all these factors which will help the companies in designing their marketing campaigns according to their target market’s behavior.
Bernard Weiner (2000), Attributional Thoughts about Consumer Behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 27(3), 382-387.
This article reviews why a consumer takes up a particular decision and how does he decide whether it is a good or a bad decision, or is he satisfied with it or dissatisfied with it. His main focus in the study is on attribution theory and how it can be used to justify consumer behavior. Attribution theory states a principle which says that the same result can be expected if the result is credited to a steady cause. If disliking towards a product is there due to some temporary reason then the customer may use the product again, for example, a customer is a regular user of a product but due to some reason the product didn’t turn out to be good in his recent experience. As the customer trusts the product as well as the brand, he will most likely go buy the product again. This psychology is of people who have high self esteem and high expectancy of success rate, they attribute bad outcome to bad luck and good outcome to high ability in such cases. Reverse is true for people with low self esteem and low expectancy of success rate, they attribute bad outcome with low ability and good outcome with good luck.
Phillip Nelson (1970), Information and Consumer Behavior, Journal of Political Economy, 78(2), 311-329.
This research paper dealt with the effect of consumer search and experience on the consumer behavior. Search is referred to as examination of all the available options based on quality, price and other factors and then choosing one amongst them, whereas experience is referred to as usage of all the products available and then choosing one out of them based on best experience. According to the author, consumer lacks information about the variation of goods available in the market. This ignorance from consumer’s side also leads to an ineffective marketing and inventory policy. The author made two observations which are as follows: a consumer will prefer the good that he had experienced before rather than searching for a new product to use and recommendations by others is more effective in experience goods rather than search goods.
Eric K Klemons (2008), How Information changes Consumer Behavior and How Consumer Behavior Determines Corporate Strategy, Journal of Management Information System, 25(2), 13-40.
With the increasing consumer awareness, the traditional pattern of suppliers and producers earning profits has changed. As the consumer is more informed about the availability of different kinds of products in the market, firms tend to earn less in the highly competitive markets. Whereas, in a new innovative product market, they tend to earn more than anticipated because of less competition. The meaning of four traditional P’s has also changed overtime; price is decided as per a consumer’s willingness to pay and no longer is discretion of producer. Product has to be continuously improved and innovated. Online presence is an important part of physical distribution. High investments have to be made in promotions. There is more choice than ever in the marketplace and the consumers call it hyper-differentiation. It involves adding options not only by expanding product line but also enhancing the present product; it also can be as simple as varying packaging styling and colors. Marketers have to go for resonance market strategy in order to maintain the profit margins that have been eroded due to constant discounting.
Daniel K Stewart (1974), Advertising and Consumer Behavior, Journal of Advertising, 3(3), 16-20.
According to the author, there are three relations which define the consumer psychology. First is between physical cause and mental effect, second is between mental effect and mental cause, and the third is between mental effect and physical cause. To induce a specific thought in the minds of consumers, a system of explanation is developed through an advertisement or commercial. Success or failure of a product due to advertising can only be determined through general casual relations and not through scientific statistical relations. An advertising campaign is designed keeping in mind the psychographics such as attitudes and beliefs. The rise of consumerism has made it difficult for manufacturers to access consumer behavior because of advertising.
Marieke de Mooije (2010). Mental Processes across Cultures: Implications for Branding and Communication. Communicative Business, 27-49.
This paper reviews the culture bound aspects of consumer behavior and studies its implication on branding and communication. With globalization, countries have become more aware of their local identities and hence the reflection of their culture is seen in their decision making. People tend to be more rational consumers in individualist culture than in collectivist culture. Consumers in individualist cultures focus more on self-actualization needs and hence the companies offer the products that cater to their needs. Standardization, consistency and uniqueness are the traits that consumers in an individualist culture look forward to. In individualist cultures, the image and identity if the product is perceived while in collectivist cultures the corporate image as a whole supports the consumer decision. The buying decision in individualist countries is based on the individual needs and information derived through media, while in collectivist culture it is mostly based on conclusions drawn from interpersonal communication.
C Min Han (2017), Individualism, collectivism, and consumer animosity in emerging Asia: evidence from Korea. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 34(4), 359-370.
This study focuses on South Korean consumer and their animosity towards Japanese products. Due to increase in international trade, the economies have become more open to the rest of world. Because of this reason Asian economies which were traditionally collectivist are becoming more individualist with westernization. Animosity towards a product of a particular country is more prevalent in collectivist cultures rather than individualist cultures, because consumers in a collectivist culture want to behave according to the social norms and meet societal expectations. The author found that consumer animosity is positively related to horizontal collectivism and vertical collectivism while it is negatively related to horizontal individualism and vertical individualism. Through regression models the author has concluded that the younger generation is ore individualist and showcases low animosity.
Dr. Rajul Dutt (2013), A cross- cultural comparative study of female consumer behavior with regards to the purchase of cosmetics by females in the United States and India, International Journal of Management Research and Review, 3(3), 2666-2672.
This paper examines the consumer behavior across two contrasting cultures. India is a collectivist nation and United States is an individualist nation. Indian buying behavior is dominated by traditional values and culture, and the western culture has influenced the Indian culture due to globalization. Consumers form an attitude towards a product based on advertisement. It’s very important that the advertisements are designed and made in a culturally accepted manner. In individualist cultures advertisements should showcase people as independent individuals while in collectivist cultures the importance family, society should be highlighted. Needs such as belonging, prestige, affiliation, admiration, status tend to be driving forces of consumer behavior in collectivist culture. In collectivist culture, purchase decision is based on utilitarian features of the product, which do not stray from socially acceptable norms such as pragmatism, collectivism and modesty.
Tao Sun, Marty Horn, Dennis Merritt (2004), Values and Lifestyles of Individualists and Collectivists: a study on Japanese, Chinese, British and US Consumers, The Journal of Consumer Marketing, 21(5), 318-332.
In this study the author has compared two individualist cultures, Britain and US with two collectivist cultures, China and Japan. This study found out that people in individualist cultures are more brand-savy and financially satisfied. Individualist people prefer increasing gains while collectivist people prefer avoiding losses. Individualism and collectivism is one of the major way in which societies differ. Individualist consumers stay satisfied with their current lifestyle while collectivist consumers always strive for more. For collectivist consumers, the in-group opinion matters a lot but they feel that their own opinion doesn’t hold any importance. They were also rated higher on bias gender roles and importance of family. They are risk aversing and prefer security.
Seul Gi Park, Kyungmi Kim, Martin O’Neill (2014), Complaint Behavior intentions and expectation of service recovery in individualist and collectivist culture, International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 8(3), 255-273.
This study tries to study the complaint behavior in individualist and collectivist culture and what kind of service recovery methods will be effective in those cultures. The authors took example of USA which is an individualist culture and South Korea which is a collectivist culture. They collected sample of young generation from fast food chains. In both the cultures the first common complaint behavior is private, then voice and lastly third party. But individualist cultures resort more towards voice complaint behavior and collectivist culture towards private complaint behavior. Companies handling the complaints have to come out with a service recovery method that is compatible for the culture. For example- in collectivist culture, word of mouth is very effective.
The study also found out that people from collectivist culture avoid getting into conflict, that’s why they avoid complaining until the matter is of seriousness. And even if they do, they need more private methods. When dissatisfied, individualist cultures, express it by quitting purchasing the product or service, but they can be satisfied by any response from the company. Any of distributive (monetary compensation), procedural (correction of service failure) or interactional justice (interaction with employees) will help them gain customer satisfaction. As private complaint behavior is prevalent in collectivist culture, companies need to hire employees with good communication skills as they prefer interactional justice.
Mona A Clee, Robert A Wicklund (1980), Consumer Behavior and Psychological Reactance, Consumer Behavior and Psychological Reactance, 6(4), 389-405.
The author says that today’s consumer has the freedom to choose, but it can be sabotaged by interpersonal, impersonal and external based threats. But these threats can backfire easily, by inducing the person to do the opposite just because he is told not to do something. The author has explained consumer behavior through reactance theory using the concept of freedom. According to the theory, a person will be less interested in activities which are forced upon him and will be more interested in the ones which are out of his reach. For reactance theory to work, there are three important pre-requisites, first is need, second is choice and third is diversity. For a company’s promotional strategy to work advertisements should be designed in a way that persuades and arouses the consumers to buy their product or service without seeming to be influential as it may lead to a boomerang effect. It has also been discovered that people who are fully aware of the product choices and features are more attractive to consumers, and hence the reaction is also positive.
Sharon Shavitt, Hyewon Cho (2015), Culture and Consumer Behavior: The Role of Horizontal and Vertical Cultural Factors, Current Behavior in Psychology
This article reviews consumer response to different brands in the market and service providers in context to horizontal and vertical individualism. According to the author culture plays a very important role in shaping consumer behavior, from their thought process and thinking styles to their response to advertisements and brand images. Culture is also capable of influencing other aspects of psychology such as power distance. For example, it tells how people belonging to vertical individualistic cultures stereotype the brand and brand image. If marketers also consider the horizontal and vertical aspect of culture apart from the individualistic and collectivistic part, the outcome will be more positive, as it influences the brand concepts, advertising appeals, product evaluation and choices.
Kai H Lim, Kwog Leung, Mathew K.O Lee (2004), Effects of Individualism-Collectivism and Uncertainty Avoidance on Internet Shopping, Palgrave Macmillan Journals, 35(6), 545-559.
The concept of individualism and collectivism applies to online shopping to a great extent as it includes taking risk and trusting an unknown entity. People who belong to a culture of high uncertainty avoidance will avoid online shopping despite the fact that they belong to an individualistic culture or a collectivistic culture. But, in the cultures with low uncertainty avoidance, individualistic people show higher interest in online shopping as compared to collectivistic culture people. Online shopping companies need to build trust through advertising, using powerful endorsements and being transparent in the collectivistic countries in order to increase their presence. While in individualistic countries, they need to promote the benefits of doing online shopping, as these cultures focus largely on increasing their gains.
Craig D Parks, Anh D Vu (1994), Social Dilemma Behavior of Individuals from Highly Individualist and Collectivistic Cultures, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 38(4), 708-718.
For the purpose of their study, author has taken two contrasting culture. First is United States of America which is highly individualistic and second Vietnam which is highly collectivistic. They compared the culture on the basis of cooperation in social dilemma, both in public goods and a resource dilemma. As collectivistic cultures emphasize more on group work, in the study it was found that Vietnamese are way more co-operative than Americans, hence keeping the cultural perspective true. Vietnamese were also found to be less susceptible than Americans to strategic choices employed. This study was conducted amongst the people who belonged to the same cultural background, that’s why the results were similar to as anticipated.
Ana Soares, Aviv Shoham (2007), Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture in International Marketing Studies, Journal of Business Research, 277-284
As culture is a vast subject, the study used a three way approach to assess consumer behavior, which is regional affiliation, indirect values and direct value inference. The research studied individual perception about the group behavior to understand how deeply the individual is rooted into their traditional culture based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. They took two opposite cultures, Britain which scores high on masculinity, individualism, short term orientation, low power distance and low uncertainty avoidance and compared it with the Portuguese culture which is complete opposite. They found out that individualism-collectivism influences innovativeness, service performance and advertising appeals, power distance and uncertainty avoidance influence information exchange behavior, innovativeness and advertising appeals, long term orientation only influences innovativeness while masculinity impacts portrayal of different sex roles.
Abdel Fattah E Darwish, Gunter L Huber (2003), Individualism vs Collectivism in Different Cultures: a cross cultural study, Intercultural Education, 14(1), 47-55.
The study was conducted in Egypt, which is a collectivistic culture and Germany, which is an individualistic culture. The study concluded that not only people’s social behavior but also their psychological process differs based on which culture they belong to. Individualism and collectivism also affect attributes such as learning, reinforcement and perception. Collectivistic cultures emphasize on common feelings, usefulness and acceptance of authority while Individualistic cultures emphasize on competitiveness, self-confidence and freedom. The Hofstede’s concept of individualism and collectivism can be applied in multiple areas such as religion, social systems, values and morality, economic development and even politics. In individualistic cultures, an individual belonging to an out group is perceived as a separate individual with distinct qualities. But this is very different in the case of collectivistic cultures, where they consider an individual’s quality as the part of the group they belong to and perceive the group as a whole.
V Kokila (2018), A Cross Cultural Study on Individualism and Collectivism among Indian People, Journal of Management, 5(4), 191-202.
It studies the aspect of individualism and collectivism in Indian culture based on differences in various regions and states. On the analysis based on gender, state, age (11-50 years) and employment type (studying, business, working) the author has concluded that most of the people come under individualistic dimension as everyone has given importance to the importance of privacy. This study was conducted in the big cities, where solitude and seclusion is desired more than being in groups. This study is a proof of how dynamically the culture of India is changing and how the change is of a fast pace in metropolitan cities.
Sapna Irene Ram (2010), Exposure to Western Culture in Relation to Individualism, Collectivism and Subjective Well-Being in India.
This study tries to study the effect of western culture on the individualism or collectivism trend in India. The age factor determined that the youth is more influenced by the western culture as they are more technology competent and hence are more bent towards individualism while the aged people still remain to be collectivistic as their believes and values are deep seated. The change in lifestyle over the years makes the younger generation open to change and the older population more conservative and close minded. This has given rise to integrational differences between the two generations. This also has an effect on their well being, as the people who are individualistic have a low score in well being while people who are collectivistic have a high score on well being.
Dr. Anamika Kumari (2015), Consumer Behavior in India, Anusandhanika, 7(1), 151-156.
India’s middle class behavior is fast-changing due to increase in per capita income. They have shifted from spending on basic needs and saving the rest to spending on all the luxury and comfort items. Emergence of rural market has also changed the buying behavior scenario of the Indian market, with different kinds of products differing in packaging and features being introduced at differential price for the rural market. The Indian consumer has become more logical, it selects products based on the features, brand value, price and quality. The increase in the income of families and decrease in the number of family members has give rise to the trend of consumerism in India. Introduction of e-commerce has changed the way the traditional consumer used to buy, now with more options, lower prices and convenience new ways of shopping has emerged.
Shaun Saunders, Don Munro (2001), An Exploratory Look at Fromm’s Marketing Character and Individualism/Collectivism, Social Behavior and Personality, 29(2), 153-158.
The study focuses on Fromm’s theory of an individual’s need for freedom and belonging which is closely related to Hofstede’s individualistic and collectivistic theory. The marketing theory of Fromm is highly dependent on changing economic conditions and manufacturing processes. Purchasing power determines the personal identity in individualistic cultures while status in collectivistic cultures. Fromm’s marketing character was positively correlated with both individualism and collectivism. More than the horizontal aspect of both the cultures, the vertical one was more positively correlated. The study suggests that the countries with high collectivism aspect also have high power distance, and the marketing values will have a wide acceptance if they come from a high authority.
Kritika Kongsompong, Robert T Green & Paul G Patterson (2009), Collectivism and Social Influence in the Buying Decision: A Four Country Study of Inter and Intra National Differences, Australasian Marketing Journal, 142-149.
This study examines the relationship between collectivism and buying behavior between and within four countries based on the hypothesis that there will be a high social influence in collectivistic cultures. So, high priority should be given to such forces by marketers while designing products and communication strategies in collectivistic countries than in individualistic countries. Two Eastern countries, Thailand and Singapore and two Western countries, USA and Australia were taken for the study. This study proved that the economic conditions do not influence the collectivism or individualism in a country, for example Singapore being a first world country is collectivistic in nature like Thailand which isn’t that economically prosperous. The amount of social influence on buying decision did not differ much in Australia and Singapore despite the fact that the two belong to two contrary cultures but the social influence in Thailand and USA were on two opposite sides. This may imply that the purchasing power might be inversely related to the social influence.