University of Tasmania
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Multicultural consumers in multicultural marketplaces

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posted on 2023-05-28, 01:20 authored by Matin, S
Multicultural consumers are those who have been exposed to multiple different cultures and marketplaces and integrated different knowledge, social, cultural, ethical, community, and political values, and ways of life from their multicultural interaction, into their self-concept. As multicultural consumers interact in multicultural marketplaces, they gather knowledge about different global, local, and foreign brands and integrate that knowledge into their multicultural identity. These values and knowledge consequently impact their consumption decisions. The social, cultural, ethical, community, and political values, and ways of life that these consumers integrate from different cultures are often oppositional (e.g., western versus non-western). Thus, the consumers who integrate values from other cultures (e.g., western culture) with their original cultural values (e.g., non-western cultures) will have an integrated identity consisting of multiple oppositional values. To date, limited research has been done on consumers with a multicultural identity. As a result, the impact of a multicultural identity on a consumer's consumption decisions and their brand evaluations, and how this varies in different multicultural consumers, are not adequately understood. Furthermore, understanding the differences among multicultural consumers based on their level of cultural integration and how the varying degree of integration influences multicultural consumers' consumption decisions has not yet been developed. Therefore, this study aims to understand how consumers' multicultural identity influences their consumption choices and evaluation of different brands. A qualitative method was applied to collect data for this research. Twenty individuals who experienced multicultural exposure in their lives were interviewed to understand the formation of their integrated multicultural identity, cultural integration, consumption decision making processes, and brand evaluation for different global, local, and foreign brands. Participants were asked to discuss their cultural identity, how they select different brands for consumption, and what factors they consider in evaluating different global, local, and foreign brands. This research found that multicultural consumers internalise different cultural values, social values, and knowledge on various social issues from their multicultural exposure and gather knowledge about different brands, their market offerings, and policies and regulations from their interaction in different multicultural marketplaces. The research found that the formation of consumers' integrated multicultural identity starts with combining all this knowledge and values within the self-concept. The findings reveal that multicultural consumers vary in their level of cultural integration and that this degree of integration (high versus low) guides how they gather and integrate values and knowledge from their interaction with multiple cultures and the marketplaces within them. This study found, based on their degree of cultural integration and how they use knowledge from multiple cultures and marketplaces, the multicultural consumers can be divided into five different types. The five identified types were: Savvy multicultural consumers, Cause-Driven multicultural consumers, Dissociating multicultural consumers, Distant multicultural consumers, and Altering multicultural consumers. All these different types of multicultural consumers reported they consider both their multicultural knowledge and knowledge gained from different marketplaces in selecting and evaluating different brands. This research contributes to the literature in three different ways. Firstly, it provides an in-depth understanding of consumers' integrated multicultural identity and separates this from the traditional concept of multicultural consumers which simply denotes the multi ethnicity of a market segment. Secondly, this research presents a typology of multicultural consumers based on their degree of cultural integration and how they use their multicultural knowledge. Finally, the research reveals how consumers' integrated multicultural identity impacts their consumption decisions and brand evaluation processes. The findings of this study will help marketers to understand what factors are important to multicultural consumers in selecting brands and making purchase decisions. The inclusion of multiple cultural, social, ethical, and environmental values will help marketers to increase their products' acceptance by these multicultural consumers. Suggestions for future advancements in multicultural consumer research are also provided to develop a further understanding of different types of multicultural consumers in other multicultural marketplaces and their consumption behaviour.


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