Status consumption model
Instead of discussing the methodology and scale equivalence and such other statistical issues, I will now focus on the status consumption tendencies among the British and Indian consumers. If you wish to read more about it, you can surely visit the source provided below or get in touch with me for further details.
It was observed that British consumers utilized status consumption to achieve social gains, indicate esteem and ostentation behaviour. However, in the Indian context consumers engaged in status consumption with mostly ostentation in mind. This demonstrates the differences between Western and Eastern consumers and the impact of culture and markets in their consumption practices. The British consumers, who belong to individualistic culture, focus on their actual self-concept (how the consumer views him/herself). However, in comparison with the Indian consumers, from a collectivist culture, focus on others self-concept (how a consumer thinks others see him/her) as they wish to signal ostentatious behaviour via status consumption.
With regard to Brand antecedents, it was observed that both, management controlled and market controlled brand features have a significant impact on status consumption. However, British consumers were significantly affected by brand antecedents than the Indian consumers. This can be attributed to the nature of the market and competition. The UK is a highly developed and mature luxury market wherein the masses have been exposed to the status (luxury) goods for longer in comparison to India which opened its economy in the late 1980s. The longer exposure and higher availability to global brands as well as the higher competition makes the consumer in the UK increasingly aware of the brands and their symbolic association. Impact of these contextual factors make the British consumers use strong brand cues in building social presence.
The findings also suggest that status consumption among Indian consumers is highly dependent on occasions. The result demonstrates the significant differences among collectivist and individualistic consumers and their status consumption practices. Prior research has highlighted that spending money on status consumption in festivities and occasions of importance brings many tangible and intangible rewards in the Indian market include elevated social status for the consumers. However, no such social advantages of occasions exist in the British marketplace. Therefore, in a collectivist society like India, consuming ostentatious products at special occasions can elevate an individual’s intra-group and inter-group social identity and overall presence.
In the next post, I shall focus on the managerial implications of the study findings.
Source: Shukla, Paurav (2010), “Status Consumption in Cross-national Context: Socio-psychological, Brand and Situational Antecedents”, International Marketing Review, 27 (1), forthcoming.