Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Glocal strategy to meet status consumption

02.09.2008
To standardize or to adapt to a local market? That is the question facing many international companies. Business analyst Sofia Ulver-Sneistrup advocates a "glocal" strategy in a new dissertation in which she studied how American, Swedish, and Turkish consumers? Social status is expressed in the style they have chosen for their homes.

Sofia Ulver-Sneistrup visited over 30 households in the US, Sweden, and Turkey, belonging to members of the urban middle class. She interviewed individuals in their homes, and she spent a great deal of time with them in their everyday lives to get a sense of their consumption in terms of status.

Consumers in the different local cultures furnished their homes in various styles in purely material terms, but they all used the same cardinal themes in their way of speaking about what was regarded as lending these styles high or low status. Words like "authenticity," "individuality," and "simplicity" were superordinated and ranked highest in terms of status. In other words, a similar global form of thought and expression was used, but it was given differing material content.

For example, something typically authentic might be represented by a piece of hard-to-get Danish furniture in a Swedish home, while it might be a flea market bargain in dark colonial style in the American house. In both cases, however, what was stressed as its foremost quality was its "authenticity," since it was a departure from the mass commercialism of global brands and therefore also lived up to the need for "individuality" (and therefore brought high status). In Turkey, a home furnished with IKEA items showed that you consume in an individualistic way by daring to break with the older generation?s traditional way of furnishing, since several pieces of furniture that are obligatory items in the classical Turkish home are not available in an IKEA arrangement.

This means that companies should make us of a glocal strategy, a mixture of standardization and local adaptation in their marketing, according to Sofia Ulver-Sneistrup.

Companies should standardize their basic communicative themes behind their concepts, offers, products, and advertising, but they should think of variants to adapt the material content in their pictures and stores. For example, an IKEA arrangement in Philadelphia can be accented by a flea market bargain that cuts across the style, and in Istanbul the lack of the obligatory classics can be made even more apparent by using before-and-after pictures.

Conspicuous status consumption is no longer the same as luxury consumption. Todays large and growing middle class communicates status in myriad subtle ways, and, what´s more, this often happens unconsciously. This makes it more difficult to analyze the consumer market today, compared to 20 years ago when the consumption techniques were not as sophisticated.

- Companies therefore need to be better at analyzing their consumer markets according to how consumers perceive their social status, rather than in terms of demographics or other hard facts such as income, age, and address. The status motive does steer consumption, but it is hard to discern today, when mass producers like IKEA make it possible for "everyone" to purchase design, says Sofia Ulver-Sneistrup.

She maintains that the middle class is struggling with the sense of disarray that comes from the fact that our social status today is not a given but rather something dynamic and malleable. This was shown, for example, in the study in the various ways of consuming style, where those who dramatically moved up and down the status hierarchies were more anxious consumers than those who were stable. The anxious consumers focused more on what was the "right" or "wrong" style by sticking to brand names approved by authorities, while the stable consumers were guided more by political or ideological notions.

These experiences and consumption techniques can also be translated into concept development and marketing in the media and store displays in line with themes that Sofia Ulver-Sneistrup introduces in her dissertation.

Sofia Ulver-Sneistrup will defend her dissertation Status Spotting "A Consumer Cultural Exploration into Ordinary Status Consumption of "Home" and Home Aesthetics" at the School of Economics and Management, Lund University, on September 5.

Contact Sofia Ulver-Sneistrup at:
Cell phone: +46 (0)708666102
E-mail: sofia.ulver-sneistrup@fek.lu.se

Anna Johansson | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

Further reports about: Consumers older generation social status

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

A room with a view - or how cultural differences matter in room size perception

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Warm winds: New insight into what weakens Antarctic ice shelves

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>