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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Young Consumers, Volume 12, Issue 3
Dr Brian YoungEditor
Welcome to the third issue of 2011. An international set of papers awaits you. The first is concerned with new technology and young people. Smartphones that function as mobile communication devices as well as communication tools are growing rapidly in the youth market especially in SE Asia and the Far East. Ding Hooi Ting, Suet Fong Lim, Tanusina Siuly Patanmacia, Ca Gie Low and Gay Chuan Ker in Malaysia have surveyed young consumers and their results indicated that university students’ dependency on smartphones is influenced by convenience, social needs and social influences and dependency is positively related with future purchase behaviour. These results provide insights for marketers who are interested in this market and contribute to the debate about the future of these mobile devices.
Two papers in the popular area of food and diet are next. JoAnne Labrecque, Jean-Claude Dufour and Sylvain Charlebois from Canada looked at gender differences in consumption frequency, perception of health value and enjoyment associated snacks and ready meals and side dishes among university students (18-25 years) in French and English Canada, the USA and France. They found across all regions combined, men attributed a less negative health value to snacks and ready meals and side dishes than women do, and derive more enjoyment than women from ready meals and side dishes, whereas women enjoy snacks more than men do. This piece of work is a valuable international contribution to the growing area of food preferences and diet in children and youth. Kara Chan in Hong Kong together with Gerard Prendergast, Alice Grønhøj and Tino Bech-Larsen in Denmark have produced an interesting and valuable study on young consumers’ perceptions of healthy eating and the contexts where healthy or unhealthy eating are practiced, together with their evaluation of the different regulatory measures in these countries. They found that balance and moderation as a key to health was common to both cultures and that unhealthy eating was common when people “let their hair down” at parties and festivals.
Amjad Hadjikhani, Aswo Safari and Peter Thilenius in Sweden looked at the country-of-origin effect for web sites, assessing attitudes using a qualitative method and comparing results from teenagers with adults of over 25 years of age. Much buying and selling of course is done using web sites on an international stage and several interesting differences were picked up using focus groups. The relevance for marketers cannot be underestimated and one hope future research with different methodologies will uncover more.
Joyce Nga, Lisa Yong and Rathakrishnan Sellappan from Malaysia were interested in credit card usage among young consumers and how debt and excessive spending might function in this population. They surveyed students and found that materialism is a partial mediator in the relationship between image consciousness and compulsive spending. Although compulsive spending was not a mediator in the relationship between materialism and credit card usage intentions, it did exert a sizable influence. Here is a paper that contributes to our understanding of the multifactorial determinants of materialism across cultures as well as pointing to some issues concerning youth in developing countries.
We are all aware of the importance of impression management in service encounters and how the image of the brand relies on front-line personnel. Dwane Dean from Maryland in the USA was interested in how tattoos affect young consumers’ perceptions. Tattoos are more common these days and can be displayed as a fashion statement by youth. Using a student sample Dwane found that even with this sample perceptions were negative even when the service encounter had a favourable outcome.
Shelagh Ferguson in New Zealand gives us an answer to that slippery concept called “cool”. Using qualitative techniques she explored the shared identification, meaning and knowledge of one specific consumption practice, commercial bungy jumping. But there is no simple global answer to the meaning of cool for Generation Y and future research in other cultures needs to be done.
Finally we have out regular column brought to you by GALA, the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance, where regulations and codes of practice across the world are described. This quarter we look at Singapore
I hope you enjoy reading all of these valuable papers and many thanks to all our reviewers and contributors without whom these regular issues would not be possible.