Mobile Phones Invade the World


(Answer each question
in 300-350 words)
1. Summarize the key facts of the case. What are the
critical issues being presented here?
2. Why have Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries
taken a strong stance on regulating the use of camera phones? Discuss this case
in the context of sacred and profane consumption.
3. Discuss the Russian culture particularly as it relates to
cell phone consumption. On another note, identify and discuss product
categories that are accepted in Russia, but would be rejected in the USA due to
cultural differences.
4. As a cell phone marketer, how might you boost sales and
usage by influencing cultural rituals and encouraging the development of
cultural rituals? Provide examples.
*NOTE: Please answer
each question with the minimum word count of 300-350 words. Review attachment on
page 568 of the actual file (page 29 of .pdf file) and answer each question
thoroughly.  Place answers underneath
each question so I know how to break it down, total of 4 questions. Use APA
format to include in-text citations and a reference page. Let me know if you
have any questions or comments.

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Mobile Phones Invade the World
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Cultural Influences
on Consumer Behavior
When you finish this chapter you will understand:
Why is a culture like a society’s personality; how does it shape our identities as individuals?
How are myths stories that express a culture’s values, and how in modern times do marketing
messages convey these values?
Why are many of our consumption activities—including holiday observances, grooming, and
Why do we describe products as either sacred or profane, and why do some products move back
and forth between the two categories?
ISBN 1-256-36592-0
#ONSUMER”EHAVIOR “UYING (AVING AND”EING, Ninth Edition, by Michael R. Solomon. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
arin is at her wits’ end. It’s bad
promotion for her gift shop. Now, there’s trouble
on the home front as well: Her son Ken had to go and flunk his driver’s license road exam, and he’s
just about suicidal because he feels he can’t be a “real man” if he doesn’t have a license. To top things
H World with her younger
off, now she’ll have to postpone her much-anticipated vacation to Disney
stepchildren because she just can’t find the time to get away.
When Karin meets up with her buddy Melissa at their local Starbucks
, for their daily “retreat,” her
enough that she has a deadline
looming on that new Christmas
mood starts to brighten. Somehow the calm of the café rubs off as she savors her grande cappuccino.
Melissa consoles her with the ultimate remedy to beat the blues: Go home, take a nice long bath, and
the little things in life can make such a big difference. As she strolls out the door, Karin makes a menE
tal note to get Melissa a really nice Christmas gift this year. She’s earned it.
then consume a quart of Starbucks Espresso Swirl ice cream. Yes, that’s the ticket. It’s amazing how
ISBN 1-256-36592-0
#ONSUMER”EHAVIOR “UYING (AVING AND”EING, Ninth Edition, by Michael R. Solomon. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Consumers and Culture
What Is Culture?
People around the globe mimic Karin’s daily coffee “fix” as
they take a break from the daily grind and affirm their relationships with others. Of course, the products they consume
in the process range from black Turkish coffee to Indian tea,
or from lager beer to hashish. Starbucks turns the coffee
break into a cultural event that for many is almost like a cult.
The average Starbucks customer visits 18 times a month,
and 10 percent of the clientele stops by twice a day.1 Even a simple cup of coffee is
more than a simple cup of coffee.
Culture is a society’s personality. It includes both abstract ideas, such as values and
ethics, and material objects and services, such as the automobiles, clothing, food, art,
and sports a society produces.
W Put another way, it’s the accumulation of shared meanings, rituals, norms, and traditions among the members of an organization or society.
We simply can’t understand consumption unless we consider its cultural context: Culture is the “lens”I through which people view products. Ironically, the effects
of culture on consumer behavior are so powerful and far-reaching that it’s someG
times difficult to grasp their importance. Like a fish immersed in water, we don’t alH until we encounter a different culture. Suddenly, many
ways appreciate this power
of the assumptions we take
T for granted about the clothes we wear, the food we eat,
or the way we address others no longer seem to apply. The effect when we encounter
such differences can be,so great that the term culture shock is not an exaggeration.
We often discover these cultural expectations only when we violate them. For
example, while on tour in New Zealand, the Spice Girls (remember them?) created a
stir among New Zealand’s indigenous Maoris when they performed a war dance that
only men can do. A tribal
Hofficial indignantly stated, “It is not acceptable in our culture, and especially by girlie pop stars from another culture.”2 Americans had a
somewhat similar reaction when Posh Spice came to the United States with her husband David Beckham toRteach us Yanks about the joys of soccer! Sensitivity to cultural issues, whether among
R rock stars or brand managers, can only occur when we
understand these underlying dimensions—and that’s this chapter’s goal.
Y the overall priorities we attach to different activities and
Our culture determines
products, and it also helps to decide whether specific products will make it. A product that provides benefits to members of a culture at any point in time has a much
2 marketplace acceptance. For example, American culture
better chance to achieve
began to emphasize the7concept of a fit, trim body as an ideal of appearance in the
mid-1970s. The premium consumers put on thinness, which stemmed from under9
lying values such as mobility, wealth, and a focus on the self, greatly contributed to
Miller’s success when the
3 brewer launched its Lite beer. However, when Gablinger’s
introduced a similar low-cal beer in the 1960s the product failed. This beverage was
“ahead of its time” because American beer drinkers at that time (who were almost
all men) weren’t worriedUabout cutting down on calories.
The relationship between consumer behavior and culture is a two-way street. On
the one hand, consumers are more likely to embrace products and services that resonate with a culture’s priorities at any given time. On the other hand, it’s worthwhile for
us to understand which products do get accepted because this knowledge provides a
window into the dominant cultural ideals of that period. Consider, for example, some
American products that successfully reflected dominant values during their time:
Why is a culture like a
society’s personality; how
does it shape our
identities as individuals?
The TV dinner reflected changes in family structure and the onset of a new informality in American home life.
Cosmetics made from natural materials without animal testing reflected consumers’ apprehensions about pollution, waste, and animal rights.
Condoms marketed in pastel carrying cases for female buyers signaled changes
in attitudes toward sexual responsibility and openness.
#ONSUMER”EHAVIOR “UYING (AVING AND”EING, Ninth Edition, by Michael R. Solomon. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
ISBN 1-256-36592-0

Cultural Influences on Consumer Behavior
This ad for a line of veggie foods borrows the
look of World War II propaganda art to imply
that eating our broccoli is an heroic act.
Source: Courtesy of Fantastic Foods.
ISBN 1-256-36592-0
Culture is not static. It is continually evolving, synthesizing old ideas with new
ones. A cultural system consists of these functional areas:3

Ecology—The way a system adapts to its habitat. The technology a culture uses
to obtain and distribute resources shapes its ecology. The Japanese, for example,
greatly value products that make efficient use of space because of the cramped
conditions in their urban centers.4
Social structure—The way people maintain an orderly social life. This includes the
domestic and political groups that dominate the culture (e.g., the nuclear family
versus the extended family; representative government versus dictatorship).
#ONSUMER”EHAVIOR “UYING (AVING AND”EING, Ninth Edition, by Michael R. Solomon. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Consumers and Culture
Marketing Pitfall
Marketers continue to
push the envelope as
they challenge society’s
norms regarding what
topics are appropriate to discuss in public.
Products that people only used to whisper
about now pop up in ads and billboards;
these include feminine hygiene products, condoms, lubricants, grooming aids, and pregnancy tests. A commercial for a digital homepregnancy test kit even broke a taboo when it
showed urination on TV. As a stream of liquid
flows onto the device, a voice-over says,
“Introducing the most sophisticated piece of
technology . . . you will ever pee on.” Ads for
feminine hygiene products used to barely hint
at their function (typically they depicted a
smiling woman who wore white to subtly signal how well the item worked). Today, Procter
& Gamble’s Always line of menstrual pads advertises with the cheerful theme, “Have a
happy period.”6

Ideology—The mental characteristics of a people and the way they relate to their
environment and social groups. This relates to the idea of a common worldview
(we discussed this in Chapter 12). Members of a culture tend to share ideas about
principles of order and fairness. They also share an ethos, or a set of moral and
aesthetic principles. A theme park in Bombay called Water Kingdom that caters
to India’s emerging middle class illustrates how distinctive a culture’s worldview
can be. Many consumers there are unfamiliar with mixed-sex swimming in public, so the park rents swimsuits to women who have never worn them before. No
thongs here, though: The suits cover the women from wrists to ankles.5
Although every culture is different, four dimensions account for much of this
1 Power distance—The way members perceive differences in power when they
form interpersonal relationships. Some cultures emphasize strict, vertical relaR whereas others, such as the United States, stress a greater
tionships (e.g., Japan),
degree of equality and
I informality.
2 Uncertainty avoidance—The degree to which people feel threatened by amG have beliefs and institutions that help them to avoid this
biguous situations and
uncertainty (e.g., organized
3 Masculinity/femininity—The degree to which a culture clearly defines sex roles
(see Chapter 5). Traditional
societies are more likely to possess very explicit
rules about the acceptable
behaviors of men and women, such as who is re,
sponsible for certain tasks within the family unit.
4 Individualism—The extent to which the culture values the welfare of the individual versus that ofSthe group (see Chapter 10). In collectivist cultures, people
subordinate their personal goals to those of a stable in-group. In contrast, conH
sumers in individualist cultures attach more importance to personal goals, and
E to change memberships when the demands of the group
people are more likely
(e.g., workplace, church,
R etc.) become too costly. Whereas a collectivist society
will stress values (see Chapter 4), such as self-discipline and accepting one’s poRin individualist cultures emphasize personal enjoyment,
sition in life, people
excitement, equality,
Yand freedom. Some strongly individualist cultures include
the United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Venezuela, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Greece, and Portugal are examples of strongly collectivist
As we saw in Chapter 4, values are very general ideas about good and bad goals.
From these flow norms,9
or rules that dictate what is right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable. We explicitly3decide on enacted norms, such as the rule that a green traffic light means “go” and a red one means “stop.” Many norms, however, are much
Bthese crescive norms as we interact with others. These are
more subtle. We discover
all types of crescive norms:

#ONSUMER”EHAVIOR “UYING (AVING AND”EING, Ninth Edition, by Michael R. Solomon. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
ISBN 1-256-36592-0

A custom is a norm that controls basic behaviors, such as division of labor in a
household or how we practice particular ceremonies.
A more (“mor-ay”) is a custom with a strong moral overtone. It often involves a
taboo, or forbidden behavior, such as incest or cannibalism. Violation of a more
often meets with strong sanctions. In Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia,
people consider it sacrilege to display underwear on store mannequins or to feature a woman’s body in advertising, so retailers have to tread lightly—one lingerie store designed special headless and legless mannequins with only the
slightest hint of curves to display its products.10
Conventions are norms that regulate how we conduct our everyday lives. These
rules often deal with the subtleties of consumer behavior, including the “correct”
way to furnish one’s house, wear one’s clothes, or host a dinner party. The Chinese
Cultural Influences on Consumer Behavior
government tried to change citizens’ conventions when the country geared up for
the 2008 Olympics in Beijing: Local habits are at odds with what planners knew
that foreign visitors expect to encounter. For one, it’s common to spit on the sidewalk—the sinus-clearing, phlegmy pre-spit hawking sound is so common that
one foreigner dubbed it “the national anthem of China.” In addition to the extensive cleanup the government conducted (it even restricted city traffic to reduce
smog levels), it imposed a hefty fine for public spitting to get people accustomed
to holding in their saliva before hordes of fans descended on the city.11
All three types of crescive norms at times operate to completely define a culturally appropriate behavior. For example, a more may tell us what kind of food it’s okay
to eat. These norms vary across cultures, so a meal of dog is taboo in the United
States, Hindus shun steak, and Muslims avoid pork products. A custom dictates the
appropriate hour at which we should serve the meal. Conventions tell us how to eat
the meal, including such details as the utensils we use, table etiquette, and even the
Rthese conventions for
appropriate apparel to wear at dinnertime. We often take
granted. We just assume they are the “right” things to do (again,
until we travel to a
foreign country!). Much of what we know about these norms we learn vicariously
G commercials, sit(see Chapter 3) as we observe the behaviors of actors in television
coms, print ads, and other media—that reminds us why the
H marketing system is
such an important element of culture.
T For example, a Big Boy
Cultural differences show up in all kinds of daily activities.
restaurant in Thailand was having trouble attracting customers.
After interviewing
hundreds of people, the company found out why. Some said the restaurant’s“room energy” was bad and that the food was unfamiliar. Others said the Big Boy statue (like the
S One of the restauone Dr. Evil rode in the Austin Powers movies) made them nervous.
rant’s executives commented, “It suddenly dawned on me that, here I was, trying to get
a 3,500-year-old culture to eat 64-year-old food.” Once the company put some Thai
items on the menu, business picked up.12 No word yet on theEfate of the statue.
ISBN 1-256-36592-0
Cultural Stories and Ceremonies
Every culture develops stories and ceremonies that help us make sense of the world.
When we hear about some strange practice that goes on in another place, it may be
hard to figure out just what these people think they’re doing.
2 Yet, our own cultural
practices seem quite normal—even though a visitor may find them equally bizarre!
Just take a European to a NASCAR event and you’ll understand that culture is relative.
9our supposedly “modTo appreciate how “primitive” belief systems influence
ern” rational society, consider the avid interest many of us3
have in magic and luck.
Marketers of health foods, antiaging cosmetics, exercise programs, and gambling
B that prevent sickcasinos often imply that their offerings have “magical” properties
ness, old age, poverty, or just plain bad luck. People by the millions
play their “lucky
numbers” in the lottery, carry rabbits’ feet and other amulets to ward off “the evil
eye,” and own “lucky” clothing.
When the calendar hit July 7, 2007—7/7/07—many people scrambled to take
advantage of its link to lucky 777. Our culture associates the number seven with
good fortune (like the seven sacraments in Roman Catholicism) and marketers from
Wal-Mart to Las Vegas casinos jumped on the bandwagon. The Mandalay Bay
Casino hosted a group wedding for more than 100 couples. The New York City RitzCarlton even offered a Lucky Number 7 wedding package with a reception for 77, a
seven-tier wedding cake, and a seven-night honeymoon at any Ritz in the world for
$77,777.13 Keep in mind that these beliefs are culture centric so they take on different forms around the world. For example, in China eight is the luckiest number. The
Chinese word for eight is ba, which rhymes with fa, the Chinese character for wealth.
It’s no coincidence that the Summer Olympics in Beijing opened on 8/8/08 at 8 P.M.14
#ONSUMER”EHAVIOR “UYING (AVING AND”EING, Ninth Edition, by Michael R. Solomon. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
Consumers and Culture, a free lottery site, puts an
interesting twist on the common practice of
keeping a lucky rabbit’s foot.
Source: Courtesy of
Interest in the occult7tends to spike when members of a society feel overwhelmed
or powerless—magical remedies simplify our lives when they give us “easy” answers.
Many consumers even regard the computer with awe as a sort of “electronic magician”
with the ability to solve our
3 problems (or in other cases to cause data to magically disappear!).15 Software developers even supply “wizards” that guide the uninitiated
through their programs! Or, we may even think a person’s soul possesses an object—kids
(and maybe some adultsU
as well) believe that when they put on their Air Nikes they magically absorb some of the athletic ability of Michael Jordan. Sound preposterous? The
movie Like Mike had this exact storyline. In this section, we’ll discuss myths and rituals,
two aspects of culture common to all societies from the ancients to the modern world.
How are myths stories
that express a culture’s
values, and how in
modern times do
marketing messages
convey these values?
A myth is a story with symbolic elements that represents a culture’s ideals. The story often focuses on some kind of conflict between two opposing forces, and its outcome serves as a moral
guide for listeners. In this way, a myth reduces anxiety because
it provides consumers with guidelines about their world. Most
members of a culture learn these stories, but usually we don’t really think about their origins.
#ONSUMER”EHAVIOR “UYING (AVING AND”EING, Ninth Edition, by Michael R. Solomon. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
ISBN 1-256-36592-0
Cultural Influences on Consumer Behavior
ISBN 1-256-36592-0
Consider, for example, a familiar story in our culture:R
Little Red Riding Hood.
This myth started as a peasant’s tale in sixteenth-century
Y France, where a girl
meets a werewolf on her way to granny’s house (there is historical evidence for a
plague of wolf attacks during this time, including several incidents where men
were put on trial because they allegedly turned themselves
2 into the deadly animals). The werewolf has already killed granny, stored her flesh in the pantry, and
poured her blood in a bottle. Contrary to the version we know however, when the
9 and climbs into bed
girl arrives at the house she snacks on granny, strips naked,
with the wolf! To make the story even more scandalous, some versions refer to the
wolf as a “gaffer” (a contraction of “grandfather”) implying incest as well. This story
B ladies o …
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