A forthcoming article in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research compares the attitudes of American and Singaporean subjects toward well-known brands in order to assess how a consumers self-view influences perception of consumer goods. The researchers found that Westerners, who tend to have a personality-oriented independent self-view, focus on the general qualities of the brand. Easterners, who focus more interdependently on contextual factors and their relationships to others, instead associate a company with its products.
Sharon Ng and Michael Houston (University of Minnesota) collaborated on a study that compares the attitudes of college students from Singapore and the United States towards well-known brands (such as Nike, Sony, and Volkswagen). Participants from both countries were asked to free-associate about brands and to group together brands they thought were similar.
Consistent differences emerged between the Singaporeans and the Americans, "…provid[ing] convincing evidence that self-view affects the way one processes information," write the authors. "[Westerners and Easterners] use the same piece of information differently. Collectively, these studies provide new evidence of the impact of culture and self-view on consumers mental representations of brands."
Suzanne Wu | EurekAlert!
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