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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Young Consumers, Volume 15, Issue 2
Welcome to the second issue of Young Consumers for 2014. As I write, I am preparing to go to Edinburgh, Scotland, where we are having Child and Teen Consumption 2014 conference for this year. The previous one was held in Milan in Italy in 2012, and the last couple of issues of Young Consumers have been devoted to some of the output from that conference. These conferences are international in outlook and held every two years, and some of you must have attended, presented and renewed old acquaintances and made new friends there.
In this quarter, we have a variety of top-quality papers for you to read. I have chosen the paper written by Tania Veludo-de-Oliveira and her colleagues at the Marketing Department of the Escola de Administração de Empresas in São Paulo, Brazil, as the lead paper. They tackle a hot topic – compulsive buying and credit card usage in young consumers. Brazil is an emerging economy and has a growing consumer boom, and so this paper is doubly interesting. Although it is tempting to attribute ease of credit card use a pivotal role in compulsive buying, the reality is not that simple, and this paper does justice to the complexity of mediating variables that play out here.
There are several papers that engage with issues of social responsibility. Teresa Davis from the University of Sydney and Julie Francis from the University of Wollongong in Australia are interested in children’s socialisation for sustainability and their attitudes towards that important feature of consumption. In an exploratory study, they selected children at two different stages of development and explored all three aspects with them: environmental, self and societal. This fascinating paper shows that we still have some way to go until sustainability becomes a familiar and an easily articulated aspect of consumption for children, and that marketers have an important role to play here. Essential reading for the responsible marketer.
Lukas Parker and his colleagues at RMIT University in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and in Australia have surveyed the attitudes towards the environment and the pro-environmental behaviours of young adults in Vietnam. They conclude that self-expression is more important than the environment, and that these young consumers are still vulnerable to perceived social pressure when it comes to expressing themselves.
The last paper of this group is from Jennifer Ogle and her colleagues at Colorado State University in the USA. They are interested in teenage girls’ choices in clothes. Teens chose on the basis of attributes, as they often do, but here materialistic values and beliefs about social responsibility were included, and a cluster analysis of the data showed that distinctiveness between clusters emerged not only in fashion involvement but also in social cause involvement and materialism. There are obvious practical marketing implications of this finding.
Coralie Damay and her colleagues from the University of Paris in France looked at young consumers’ knowledge of everyday product prices. Using a large sample of primary school children, they found that although the child’s recall of the price was relatively poor, children became familiar with the order of magnitude of prices and classified products according to their price level. This important result suggests that marketers and managers could incorporate the expectations of children into their pricing strategies as well as considering parents in the family market.
Jyoti Vohra and Pavleen Soni of Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, India, have explored a well-researched field – the content of food advertising to children. However, theirs is different, as it is the TV channels from India that are sampled, so we have an up-to-date picture of what Indian children are exposed to. One small but important contribution to an essential field. The enquiring student will also find an extensive literature review which is also bang up-to-date.
Smartphones are no longer just communication devices. They are significant entertainment sources for young consumers, and Huang Tseng-Lung and Chen Yi-Mu from Yuan Ze University and I-Shou University, respectively, in Taiwan have looked at this function and how consumers’ viewing experiences can be enhanced and optimised. This sophisticated paper uses flow theory and dual-coding concepts with experimental techniques and statistical analyses to provide us with a description of smartphone information processing.
Papers from Brazil, Australia, Vietnam, the USA, France, India and Taiwan constitute a truly international offering or cocktail for you to savour. I hope you enjoy each and every one of them. Finally, many thanks to all our reviewers and contributors without whom these regular issues would not be possible.