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Values and lifestyles of individualists and collectivists: a study on Chinese, Japanese, British and US consumers

Tao Sun (Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing Communication, Emerson College, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Marty Horn (Senior Vice‐president, Group Director of Strategic Planning and Research, at DDB Needham Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Dennis Merritt (Senior Consultant, at DDB Needham Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 1 August 2004

Abstract

Based on a multi‐national lifestyle survey, this study investigated consumer lifestyle differences between individualist cultures (Britain and the USA) and collectivist cultures (China and Japan). Congruent with previous findings on values and lifestyles differences between idiocentrics (individualists) and allocentrics (collectivists) at the emic level (USA), this etic‐level (cross‐cultural) study found that consumers in the individualist cultures, compared with those in the collectivist cultures, were more brand‐savvy, travel‐oriented, satisfied with their lives, financially satisfied and optimistic. They were also more likely to consider themselves better managers of finances. Findings that were incongruent with those at the emic level were also discussed (e.g. dressing behavior, opinion leadership and impulsive buying). Additional findings were provided as well (e.g. family orientation, gender roles, safety/security). The findings carry practical implications for international marketers whose products/services cut across both individualist and collectivist cultures.

Keywords

Citation

Sun, T., Horn, M. and Merritt, D. (2004), "Values and lifestyles of individualists and collectivists: a study on Chinese, Japanese, British and US consumers", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 318-331. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363760410549140

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited