Prior research has clearly shown that ethnocentric consumers favor local brands. However, consumers also strongly favor local and global brands which reinforce their desired self-images. The purpose of this paper is to examine how self-image congruence (SIC) mediates the effect of consumer ethnocentrism (CE) on local brand preference (LBP).
This study empirically tested the proposed mediation model across three countries (Taiwan, South Korea and Japan) using ten brands from two very different product categories (beer and personal computers). Research subjects were randomly selected and placed into one of four groups for each of these countries. Subjects in these groups were asked to compare well-known domestic and global brands which were either culturally similar or culturally dissimilar.
CE significantly impacted LBP among Taiwan, South Korea and Japan college-aged consumers but this impact was limited. SIC, however, had a powerful influence on LBP for these consumers. The cultural similarity and relative necessity of brand choices had almost no effect on the results.
Researchers and practitioners need to more fully understand the contingencies Asian consumers use in selecting local brands. Under some scenarios, CE may not be a reliable predictor of local brands preference.
This is one of the first studies to demonstrate the influential role of SIC among consumers from collectivistic cultures.
Shu, S.-T. and Strombeck, S. (2017), "Cometh self-image congruence: a cross-cultural study", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 538-552. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-05-2016-0086
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