Repository URL:
https://repository.hkbu.edu.hk/hkbu_staff_publication/6360
DOI:
10.1093/jcr/ucw072
Author(s):
Torelli, Carlos J., Ahluwalia, Rohini, Cheng, Shirley Y. Y., Oslon, Nicholas J., Stoner, Jennifer L.
Publisher(s):
Oxford University Press (OUP), Oxford University Press
Tags:
Business, Management and Accounting, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Economics, Econometrics and Finance, culture, brand preferences, cultural symbolism, cultural distinctiveness, in-group bias
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article description
In a world of increasing global mobility, we investigate how feelings of cultural distinctiveness-feelings of being different and separated from the surrounding cultural environment-influence consumers' preferences for brands that symbolize a related cultural group (i.e., a group that is geographically proximal and/or shares sociohistorical and cultural roots with one's own cultural group). Results from seven studies demonstrate that consumers experiencing cultural distinctiveness are likely to evaluate favorably and prefer brands associated with a related cultural group, in a choice set or consumption situation, even if they are not the favored option in the choice set. This pro-in-group bias for culturally related brands is driven by a heightened desire to connect with "home," which prompts consumers to expand their in-group boundaries to include the related cultural group within a broadened definition of home. However, this pro-in-group bias is attenuated when the salience of intergroup rivalries is high, where experiencing cultural distinctiveness can backfire and result in less favorable evaluations of brands associated with a related cultural group. This research is the first to demonstrate that cultural consumption is a dynamic process, and that in-group boundaries can be malleable and expandable, depending upon the motivation of the consumer.

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