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Cometh self-image congruence: a cross-cultural study

Shih-Tung Shu (National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
Stephen Strombeck (William Jessup University, Rocklin, California, USA)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

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).

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to demonstrate the influential role of SIC among consumers from collectivistic cultures.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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