Why we buy? Culture as a buying motivator

Published on August 26, 2013 Reviewed on September 26, 2019   43 min

A selection of talks on Global Business Management

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Hello, my name is Soren Askegaard and I'm a professor at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. In this series of lectures on why we buy? I have been asked to talk a little bit to you about culture as a buying motivator.
When people think of culture as the reason for buying something, they usually think in terms of general national stereotypes such as the French with his baguette and his berets or the American with his burger and his big belly or the German with lederhosen and beer and so on and so forth. Culture from this perspective is just like the water fish swim in. It's those cultural surroundings that determine how we buy and how we consume without us really being very knowledgeable or reflexive about it. Culture from this perspective is the hidden explanatory factor that is divided into different types of national stereotypes. Is this a good explanation for consumption? Well, there are obviously cultural differences between the world's nations and cultures. So sometimes it is, but I would also invite you during this lecture to think that it's a less obvious explanation than you would think it is.
The agenda for this lecture is divided into five parts. First, I would like to share with you a definition of culture so that we can agree what we're talking about. Then I'll talk a little bit about the relationship between marketing, culture and consumption. I'm going to provide you some examples of national cultural differences and how they can be analyzed from a semiotic perspective. Then I would like to challenge, as already indicated, the national differences perspective on culture as a motivator for buying through a discussion of globalization, localization, and cultural reflexivity and you will learn what all these fancy words mean through this lecture. Finally, I would like to share with you an example from my own research where together with a colleague we took a look at yoga as an example of local consumption.