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Over the past two decades, the face of the world consumer has truly changed. Goods are more available, information about these goods is more open and accessible, and the ability to buy these goods from any corner of the earth has become possible. As a result, international marketing is more important now than ever before. In this book, Josh Samli explores the challenges facing modern international marketers. He explains what it is to have successful communication with the target market: using social media to share consistent information about products and services, communicating directly with culture-driven consumers who already communicate online amongst themselves and with competitors, and mastering people-to-people communication with both privileged and non-privileged consumers. Any company dealing with international marketing must learn how to handle these new challenges in order to survive in the 21st century.



Chapter 1. Introduction

A historically unprecedented economic force has arisen in the last quarter of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century: globalization, which has been continually accelerating its spread and its impact. Globalization is, basically, integration of the countries and peoples of the world. It has been brought about by the significant reduction of costs of transportation and communication and the elimination or reduction of barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge, technology and people across borders (Stiglitz 2002). Globalization has tremendously formed, modified and conditioned the modern global consumer. However, as such a powerful movement, globalization has also certain negative features. It is critical that we examine and compare the positive aspects of globalization with its negative features so we can benefit from its vast potential without being penalized or getting hurt (Kendo 2000).
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 2. Developing a Competitive Advantage

In the Preface and Introduction, we presented the most challenging conditions for the twenty-first century international marketer and pointed out the post globalization consumers’ behaviors or needs. The essential point here is that in the twenty-first century the international marketer must first understand the need for information about international markets and must be able to use this information skillfully in international marketing strategies. This chapter is based on the Preface and Introduction: it presents a general model that articulates how information should be used to establish and maintain a competitive advantage in international markets.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 3. Culture and Its Powerful Impact

In this chapter an attempt is made to connect culture and consumer behavior. This connection will explain the role of culture in forming the significant differences in consumer behaviors that can be observed in different parts of the world. The association between the culture and consumer behavior is very strong. Therefore, if the international marketer can comprehend the far-reaching characteristics and impact of culture, there will be more profound marketing plans succeeding in the international arena. This is the key theme of this book. Thus, unlike the traditional views on behavior, this chapter proposes that culture is a very significant factor influencing consumer behavior. Lewin’s behavior model is contrasted to Wallace’s theory in order to understand the underlying assumptions of our discussion. Wallace’s theory, still preferred by this author, plays a critical role in many parts of this book. Dealing with consumer behavior in a given country culture is often taken as a given and mostly ignored. However, here we see that when dealing with international consumer behavior, it is extremely important to understand just how culture influences individuals and their behavior.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 4. Culture Driven Values

In this book, I take the position that the basic culture does determine personality. Personality, by definition, dictates certain preferences. Regardless of their nature, these preferences, in many different types, provide order and direction to individual lives. Because of their preferences, individuals prioritize their options of buying and using products and services. In doing so, they emphasize or de-emphasize their efforts and establish and pursue certain lifestyles. By definition, when “like” individuals practice certain “like” behavior patterns and lifestyles, cultures emerge and become rather all encompassing. As a result, various cultures show varying values, and connected to this, varying behavior patterns. These varying behavior patterns indicate and reinforce culture-related consumer behavior, which must be the starting point for international marketers.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 5. Different Classification and Analysis of Cultures

We discuss four key historic efforts to understand and elaborate about specifics of cultures and their implications on consumer behavior. These efforts are by Riesman, Hall, Hofstede, and Brislin. Although these four approaches to analyzing culture are different, as seen below, they do have certain commonalities. They are neither totally isolated nor are they out of touch.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 6. A Model of International Consumer Behavior

For marketers there is no way of overstating the importance of understanding consumer behavior. Consumers do not behave the same way in different world markets.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 7. Social Class Impact Modified with Hierarchy of Needs

Although Chap. 6 emphasized a general model of international consumer behavior, it did not get into two very important forces which form and modify the consumer behavior.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 8. Social Contagion of Global Consumers

Modern consumers experience an impressive connectivity in the form of information-sharing and influence about products and brands. This process is almost similar to the spread of a virus within a population; therefore, recently it has been referred to as social contagion (Van den Bulte 2011). Although social contagion is a very active process, it does not mean there are no other alliances among consumers. In my earlier book (Samli 1995), I discussed, Wa, Inhwa, and Quanxis, factors which are still very much in existence alongside the new activity of social contagion.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 9. Diffusion of Innovation in Different Global Markets

It has been established that new products or products in general are not all accepted in the same manner and in the same proportions. There is a pattern which illustrates the acceptance patterns of products by different cultures which is named by Rogers (1983) as the “diffusion of innovation.” Understanding diffusion of innovation is important for international marketers because it explains how new products are diffused throughout the world and how consumers in different cultures behave in this context. However, understanding the diffusion of innovation process has other benefits. Different groups of consumers in the diffusion activity behave clearly very differently but also they are different groups of people. As a result, dealing with them accordingly and attempting to market different products and services to them effectively would call for different marketing practices.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 10. Country of Origin, Country of Production, and Country of Assembly

As is discussed at the beginning of this book, regardless of whether consumers belong to an individualistic society or a collectivistic society, they are influenced by cognitive and affective forces. Furthermore, they receive information about products and services through personal or interpersonal activity. As a result of these influences individuals have certain preferences regarding existing products and services. These preferences are in the form of a series of priorities. These priorities are related to actual products, the brands by which they are identified, the companies that produce them, and the countries where they are actually produced, not necessarily in that order. In Chap. 6, an attempt is made to identify three concepts: country of origin (COO), country of production (COP), and country of assembly (COA). These three concepts play a critical role in influencing consumers’ priority systems throughout the world.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 11. International Market Segmentation Based on Consumer Behavior

In my earlier book (Samli 1995) I paraphrased Spielvogel (1989) saying that global consumer segmentation must cross national lines. That could easily be misconstrued: first, there could be a global segmentation that is not quite realistic and there cannot be national segmentation, let alone a global one. Second, crossing national lines can be interpreted as markets being homogenous domestically and segmented internationally. This also is not correct, because domestic or international markets are simply not homogenous. In fact, as stated in the Introduction, today there are more cultural pockets in markets that may be forming as segments. In other words, neither domestically nor internationally does one size simply fit all.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 12. International Consumer Involvement in Purchase Decisions

In Chap. 9, in addition to cognitive and affective stages, consumer adoptive behavior was shown to be a product of disposition to behave and actual behavior. The end result of actual behavior is purchasing products or services (Exhibit 9.2). In that chapter, other externalities and other internalities are introduced. As discussed in Chap. 9, among other external factors are country of origin and country of production cues. These are important influencers on the behavior of international consumers. Similarly, other internal factors are extremely important. They basically modify the behavior patterns of the international consumer. Two other internal factors are primarily identified in this book. They are involvement and learning. This chapter deals with involvement and the following chapter emphasizes learning. For international marketing practitioners, these concepts are critical in the formulation and implementation of marketing strategies.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 13. International Consumer Learning Is Different in Different Cultures

In Chap. 12, a very strong point was made about consumer involvement. This particular force must be joined with the learning process. After all, if consumers are not learning about the company, the brand, and the product (or series), they are not likely to buy whatever the international company is offering. Both involvement and learning are the key final stages of purchase behavior. The two factors, or forces as I referred to them in my earlier book (Samli 1995), basically form the final phase of purchase behavior. All of the other factors, discussed in this book, i.e., culture screen, need hierarchy, social class, personal and interpersonal influences, diffusion processes, and country-of-origin effects—among a few others—typically make their mark in building the purchase behavior. They are partial builders and partial modifiers. They condition the individual to perform the all-important final purchase act. This purchase act is sealed, however, only when the individual becomes involved and learns. Involvement is already discussed in Chap. 12; the present chapter deals with the final act of total purchasing behavior, which is learning. As is discussed in this chapter, this activity must be carefully explored, since learning is different in different cultures to begin with. However, purchase-leading learning has even more different and important connotations. International marketing cannot be successful without understanding how the consumer is likely to learn about the product or service in question.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 14. Marketing Strategy for Global Luxury Products

Perhaps one of the most important impacts of globalization is the global boom of luxury products during the past three decades or so. Certainly there have been a number of globally well-known and well-respected products for a long time, but they were not sought out, desired, and purchased to the extent that luxury products have been in recent years. In fact, according to some estimates, luxury products have experienced a global sales volume of over one trillion dollars in 2011. Certainly their sales volume is likely to expand globally much further. Three key reasons support this prediction. First, although not in equal proportions, the number and income of the very rich has increased everywhere in the world. Thus, there are currently many more people with much more money all over the world. These people can not only afford to buy luxury products but also in many cases they even demand them.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 15. International Gift Giving

International gift giving is not a new concept; in many cases it was done for political purposes in the Middle Ages (Polanyi 1944). Today, gift giving is a personalized activity flourishing because of globalization.
A. Coskun Samli

Chapter 16. Strategizing International Marketing and a Research Agenda

As I stated in my previous book (Samli 1995), we have to understand international consumer behavior so that consumers all over the world may have their needs and desires taken care of. This orientation in the twenty-first century has become more critical but also more challenging. In our discussions through the Introduction and Chap. 13, the discussion has been in the direction of understanding the learning and involvement of international consumers as conditions prior to the purchase.
A. Coskun Samli


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