A study of culture as determining factor in influencing consumer choice of product and brand
Culture and consumption have had an unprecedented relationship in modern world (HemaPatil and Bblakkapa, 2012). They further argue that given this relationship and the fact that the world economy is becoming increasingly cross-cultural, an understanding of how culture influences consumer behaviour by marketers will be crucial, more so that culture is a powerful force in regulating human behaviour. Booth and Shepherd in Koutroulou and Tsourgiannis (2011) observed that cultural and economic factors, consumer’s personality, attitudes, values and emotions affect consumers’ decision making process regarding food selection.Similarly, Speiers, Gundala and Singh (2014), noted that consumer behaviour is influenced and motivated by factors such as culture, personality, lifestyle, income, attitudes, motivators, feelings, knowledge, ethnicity, family, values, available resources, opinions, experiences, peer groups a nd other groups. Speaking in the same vein, Sethi and Chawla (2014) added that certain factors- the buyers characteristics, psychological factors as well as social and cultural factors influence the buying process of consumers. Culture, subculture and social class are known to have profound influences on people behaviour because they are powerful drivers in the formation of attitudes, beliefs and values (Blythe, 2008)
Similarly, Kotler and Armstrong (2013) observed that people in a particular society hold certain beliefs and values which tend to resist change. This explains why certain consumption behaviour is hard to change once developed. Pork is regarded as a sacred product in many cultures and religions. Sacred consumption according to Solomon (2011), occurs when certain objects and events are “set apart” from normal activities and treated with respect are consumed. This status of pork impinges on its marketing and consumption. Anyanwu (1993) observes that Muslims community does not eat pork meat on religious ground, adding that any company attempting to change this attitude will fail. He however, advises companies wishing to succeed in this community to bear this in mind and to direct the production and sale of other goods which will appeal to them.
Other factors likely to impact on the marketing and consumption of pork are income, age and stage in life-cycle of the consumer. Kotler and Armstrong (2013) noted that people change the goods and services they buy over their lifetimes, adding that taste in food, clothes, furniture and recreation are often age-related. The implication of this is that as people grow older, their demand and consumption of meat decline.