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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Cultural Influences and Consumer Value



Culture is the broadest environmental factor affecting consumer behaviour. Culture is defined as the "complex of values,ideas,attitudes and other meaningful symbols created by man to shape human behaviour and the artifact of that behaviour as they are transmitted from one generation to the next (Engel et. al. 1975)

  Cultural is a complex of symbols and artifacts created by a society and handed from generation to generation as determinants and regulator of human behaviour. The symbols may be intangible(attitudes,beliefs,values,language) or tangible (tools,housing products,work of art) (Stanton et al 1994)

  Culture refers to the norms,beliefs, and custom that are learned from society and lead to common patterns of behaviour. It is reflected in a consumer's value system,for example,in the importance of values such as independence,achievement,and self fulfillment.

 The belief and value components of culture refers to accumulated feelings and priorities that individual have about things. More precisely,belief consist of very large number of mental or verbal statements,which reflect a person's particular knowledge, and assessment of something (eg 9 store or a product). Values are also beliefs but they specifically serve as a guide for culturally appropriate behaviour. Beliefs and value which are mental images affects a wide range of specific attitudes,which in turn influences the way a person is likely to respond in a specific situation. For instance,the criteria a consumer uses in evaluating alternative brands,and his eventual conclusions concerning these brands,are influenced by that  person's specific belief and more general values. (That is,mental image related to quality,workmanship,status,accuracy,design and esthetics).

Customers which are another dimension of culture(like beliefs and values)refers to overt models of behaviour that constitute culturally approved or acceptable ways of behaving in specific situation. For example, it is the custom of Nigeria to present cola nut (or other items which can take the place of cola nut) to visitors. So people endeavour to have cola nuts (or other substitutes) to present to their visitors. Thus, while beliefs and values are guides for behaviours,customs are usual and acceptable ways of behaving. An understanding of beliefs, values,and customs of a society enables marketers to accurately anticipate consumers acceptance of their products. For instance,it will be wrong to market snail in Nigeria to those who do not consume the products,except if the custom is changed.