Demographics and consumer ethnocentrism in a developing context : a South African study

Pentz, Chris D. ; Terblanche, Nic S. ; Boshoff, Christo (2014)

CITATION: Pentz, C.D., Terblanche, N. . & Boshoff, C. 2014. Demographics and consumer ethnocentrism in a developing context: A South African study. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 17(4):412-426.

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The continued growth in international trade results in the fact that consumers in many countries are exposed to increasing amounts of product offerings from various countries of origin. As the origin of products might have an influence on consumer behavior, many marketers realize that extended knowledge on consumer behavior toward both domestic and imported products can be useful in the formulation of more effective marketing strategies. Past research in the field of international marketing suggest that the concept of consumer ethnocentrism can be an influencing factor in the decision of consumers to purchase locally-produced rather than imported products. While the concept of consumer ethnocentrism has been actively researched in a number of contexts and countries, research on this phenomenon has been limited in developing countries. The present study aims to add to the existing body of knowledge on consumer ethnocentrism in developing markets by investigating the possible relationships between consumer ethnocentrism and a number of demographic variables in South Africa. A unique contribution of this study is that the investigation focused on two different samples in terms of race, namely on a sample of “white” respondents and a sample of “black” respondents to account for the ethnic diversity in South Africa. The results of the study revealed that for both groups of respondents there was a positive relationship between age and consumer ethnocentrism, while a negative relationship was found for both groups in terms of the relationship between consumer ethnocentrism and income. In terms of the relationship between consumer ethnocentrism and gender, the results differed between the two groups of respondents. The findings can be used rewardingly by marketers wishing to operate more successfully in developing markets, such as South Africa.

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