Why do consumers choose local brands over global ones?

April 1st, 2009 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 1 (IANS) Consumers prefer local soft drinks rather than global brands like Coca Cola or Pepsi due to their built-in mindsets connected to their desire, a new study said.
“Global-minded consumers prefer global products and local-minded consumers prefer local products (different specifications for consumers from different parts of the world)” the study authors explained.

“Due to rapid globalisation, local products… such as Mecca Cola (France) and Fei-Chang Cola (China) and global products… Pepsi and Coke, routinely compete against each other,” wrote study authors Yinlong Zhang (University of Texas San Antonio-UTSA) and Adwait Khare (Quinnipiac University).

The authors set out to answer the question “why global products fare better than local products in some markets and local products better than global products in other markets?”

The inclination toward global or local mindsets is connected to people’s desire for distinctiveness (local) versus their desire to be similar to others (global).

In three subsequent studies, the authors enhanced the accessibility of participants’ local or global identities to investigate their responses to products.

They then manipulated consumers’ preferences by informing participants of the unsuitability of their global or local inclinations, said an UTSA release.

“A reversal in preference occurs when global-minded consumers’ desire for distinctiveness from others is enhanced and when local-minded consumers’ desire for solidarity with others is enhanced,” the authors wrote.

“The findings reveal how multinational or local firms can solidify consumers’ preferences for global or local products if their consumers’ global or local inclinations are compatible with their products’ positioning,” the authors conclude.

The study was published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

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