Within consumer behavior, the study of culture has become increasingly important as consumers are more globally connected than ever before. As firms expand their customer base across the globe, the significance of culture as a variable has dramatically increased. Marketing managers need to understand how their products and marketing strategies would be perceived in a culture different from their own. They are also required to learn skills and tools that could potentially be used to elicit more favorable consumer responses within a culture.
Seventeen years ago, Maheswaran and Shavitt (2000), called for a more focused and systematic approach to consumer research on culture. Since then, a lot of research has been done to further the understanding of how culture affects consumer behavior. A variety of cultural frameworks have been used to understand consumer behavior, such as individualism-collectivism (Triandis 1993), independent-interdependent self-construal (Markus and Kitayama 1991), analytic-holistic thinking (Nisbett, Peng, Choi and Norenzayan 2001), and horizontal-vertical orientation (Singelis, Triandis, Bhawuk, &Gelfand 1995).
Cultural psychology has primarily focused on identifying how cultural differences influence individual behavior. Consumers are culturally embedded.
The perception of brands and other symbolic objects varies across the cultures. Past research has shown that brand personality structure and traits are not constant across cultures (Aaker et al 2001).