CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR Higher Diploma Assignment
By: Maha H
Table of Contents
S.no Topic Pg.no
1. Culture and theories of culture 3
2. Cultural changes and examples 3
3. Cultural changes – how it affects the marketer? 4
4. Cultural trends and examples 5
5. Hardware chain marketing strategies 7
6. References 10
It refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings,
hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations; concepts of the universe and material objects
and possessions shared by relatively a large group of people and that are passed along by communication
and imitation from one generation to the next.
Culture was visualized as a collection of traits; the anthropologists studied the spread of these traits from
one society to another. However, the theories fail to explain why certain traits spread and others do not.
Theories of culture
According to the theories that have gained wide acceptance among the anthropologists, the culture
demonstrates the way humans interpret their biology and the environment and accordingly culture
becomes an important part of human existence that is the human environment, and most cultural change
can be attributed to human adaptation to historical events. Furthermore, given that as the culture is seen as
the primary adaptive mechanism of humans and takes place much faster than human biological evolution,
most cultural changes are viewed as culture adapting to itself.
Cultural Change and its examples
Cultural change means any innovation that is new and is found to be useful to a group of people and is
expressed in their behavior but which does not exist as a physical object. Humanity is in a global
"accelerating culture change period", driven by the expansion of international commerce, the mass media
and especially the human population explosion etc.
For example, cultures are internally affected by both forces encouraging change or resisting it. These
forces are related to both social structures and natural events and are involved in the perpetuation of
cultural ideas and practices within current structures, which themselves are subject to change.
Social conflict and the development of technology can produce changes within a society by changing
social dynamics and promoting new cultural models, and enabling generative action.
Cultures are externally affected via contact between societies, which may also produce or inhibit social
shifts and changes in cultural practices. War or competition over resources may impact technological
development or social dynamics. Additionally, cultural ideas may transfer from one society to another,
through diffusion or acculturation. Diffusion is the form of something that moves from one culture to
another and whereas, acculturation refers to the replacement of the traits of one culture with those of
Cultural changes – How would they affect the marketers?
Understanding cultural differences is very important in order to gain success in any market. While
considering the international and the local cultures we should not forget to address political and business
cultures while developing marketing strategies.
Sociologic differences around the world largely outweigh similarities. People of different cultures are
influenced and driven by different things. When responding to advertising, some value freedom, reward
for effort and an entrepreneurial approach, while others avoid individualism like the plague.
Lack of cultural considerations can not only result in a mediocre response to product promotions but can
also impact the company's image. Like, how the company Nike' suffered significant criticism from
Muslims all over the country and the world when shoes with a design on the heel similar to the Arabic
word for God or Allah was launched. While there was nothing wrong with their product, Nike' was at
fault because the company didn't consider the possibility of doing a thorough proper research.
In many national cultures the significant accomplishment in life is taken as a measure of success. There
are some countries where people may fear uncertainty and risk-taking while in others they may not. Some
cultures grimace at the use of terms, symbols or colors, repugnant in their life experiences. Different
colors appeal more in certain countries or religious societies more than in others. For example, red is
considered as lucky color by the Chinese, but it is considered as a warning sign to many other
nationalities. The issue of color selection in marketing may not only apply to print or media ads, but also
to the web sites. While deciding the target market in any country gender is a factor to be considered. Like,
Gender esteem also has significant implications in countries like Japan, Austria and in Arab countries
where males often have a higher decision authority and say over the females.
Political influences past and present can also affect the way people picture what they read or hear. Some
people have never known or have only recently had the freedom to choose for themselves where as others
rely on their governments or whoever they consider to seek advice from about the good or bad. A seal of
government approval in some countries will increase trust in a particular product while in others it could
lead the reader to throw the piece away in disgust.
Family structures in the Asian countries such as China or Japan differ greatly from those of other
countries. Family considerations command respect in all matters, including investments and individual
actions. Collective considerations are often uppermost in the minds of people who have lived under such
conditions all their lives. Whereas in India collective cultures have been a way of life for several years so
the caste system of social standing is paramount in Indian society and presents particular challenges to
avoid causing offence. Also, religious beliefs play an important role in Indian society as the religion
influences every aspect of their lives including their response and reaction to marketing copy.
All in all, with careful research of cultural differences a marketer can craft right words to maximize the
impact of the message in the international market.
Cultural trends – Some of the cultural trends are listed below:
Concern for the environment - It is when the company decides on using products or procedures
that are eco friendly by going green and thus using those that are protecting the natural
environment from destruction or pollution.
Dell Company – as they have started to make the product packages from bamboo as bamboo is
considered to be the most fast growing wood plant in the world, it is strong and durable and above
all, because it is environmentally friendly as it helps to promote a healthy soil and therefore does
not create pollution.
Time saving – It is when several techniques are developed by the firm in order to save time of the
consumers (like, the time of travelling).
Damas jewelers – Other than their retail shops, they have expanded their retail outlets by
allowing their customers to purchase online by providing them free delivery service, thus saving
Technology advancements – The new improved technology is making it easier for the companies
and their customers to interact with each other without wasting much of either of their time or
money. The introduction of new advancements in technology such as computers, robots,
telephones; internet etc is not only allowing the companies to provide their customers with better
quality products but is also allowing them to provide a better service.
Travel – This category has made a drastic difference in the technological advancement of the
global world. The first huge technological advancement (world changing invention) was the
invention of the automobile. While the rail system had allowed continued development of the
country permanent relocation used to be the norm if one needed to be over a few miles away or so.
The automobile as a technological advancement gave a family the means to live away from the
city and still be close enough to go to town for supplies.
Leisure Time – A company tries to keep their customers motivated by making them feel like a
part of the company by keeping them occupied in certain activities or providing those special
services that keeps them coming back.
Debenhams store – It offers free Personal shoppers service providing friendly and professional
advice to ensure you get the most out of your shopping, whether you want to save time and avoid
the crowds, find the perfect outfit for that special occasion, or simply pamper yourself etc.
Self actualization and Self fulfillment – 'What a man can be, he must be', this need we may call
self-actualization and it refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to
become actualized in what he potentially is. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to
become more and more what one is and to become everything that one is capable of becoming.
Two people can be on a similar personal growth path, and yet only one would be self-actualized.
For example, Mary might be expanding her horizons and learning how to increase her daily
happiness in comfort and peace. She is at ease with herself and also appreciates all the lessons life
is offering her. She is growing, yes, but she is in a state of self-actualization.
Whereas, Juliet is also growing, her mind is open to life's lessons and she desperately wants to
increase her happiness. And yet, a sense of comfort eludes her. She is not at ease with her lessons,
but they are raising disturbing questions she needs to answer. She is not in a state of self-
According to the hardware chain, how will the cultural trends listed above have an effect on the
Concern for the environment :
Using recyclable and non polluting materials to make the product's packaging.
Designing eco-aware projects that reduce waste and energy.
Using renewable energy alternatives to conserve energy (eg. Using wind power energy).
Giving grants or other promotional giveaways to encourage customers to do something positive
for the environment.
Do not sell products that contain chemicals or carbon prints that can cause harm to the ozone layer
or the environment.
Time saving :
Opening more retail outlets other than the retail shops, like online shopping websites or allowing
them to order over phone, through catalogues etc.
Providing customers with a door to door delivery service (your chosen product reaches you
Using hierarchical or interactive alerting which allows the customers to define exactly how they
want to be contacted by the business i.e. either to be called on their cell phones or to be sent a text
message etc. Thus, to be sure about a certain activity.
Employing special employees (customer guides) to help the customers find answers to all their
questions and concerns.
The rapid evolution of database technologies are making it possible for businesses to collect
customer information, including preferred contact methods, billing methods and also purchasing
patterns. Therefore, it is helping the companies to create better relationships with its customers.
Due to the advancement of technology the businesses now are able to offer their customers better
The demand of the customers by the firms can now be fulfilled immediately n efficiently as the
manufacturing process does not take too much time like before due to the highly mechanized
The introduction of computers and the internet has globalised the world thus reducing distances
between the companies and its customers. The customers can now buy products (shop) online
over the internet and can ask the online customer representatives for help in real time.
Leisure Time :
Introducing a consumer club for the customers to share their experiences.
Customer guides giving the customers a tour of the store and helping them decide what to buy
according to their needs.
Organizing classes including sessions within the store.
Self Actualization and Self fulfillment:
If the firm produces good quality products the customers would be self actualized, the company
should therefore keep a regular quality control check.
Providing a good after sale service to the customers will lead an organization in having self
actualized and fulfilled customers.
If the customers keep on benefitting from the products bought by a firm then it will lead to self
actualized and self fulfilled customers (like, special discount for old customers).
If the company is taking eco friendly measures then the customers feel self actualized and
motivated to buy that firm's products due its concern for the environment.
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