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How Companies Use Acculturation

Acculturation is a process of exchanging ethnic features between two different cultures, that affects and influences on consumer buying behaviour, and consequently should be seen as a very important factor into organizations' marketing research, strategy, planning and execution. This research tries to critically analyse the way the acculturation process influences and influences on ethnic minority group and local human population. It is based upon a comprehensive bibliographical research on marketing management to be able to build a consistent theoretical construction to be used as the basement of this studied subject matter area.

Table of Content

Abstract 2

Introduction 4

Literature Review 5

Main Body 7

Conclusion 12


There are several factors related to each culture surrounding the world and many of those factors are crossed over among many other ethnicities which creates similarities, however the differences are the predominant aspects and factors that are extremely visible for others and they come out very easily and creates basic understanding of the individuals, even though these characteristics are not predominant or not very important for the folks who live with it daily.

These factors are extremely specific and normally create an idea in what kind of food, behaviour, beliefs, values, terms, religion, clothes etc so forth that someone has typically and they are known as culture qualities. Factors like the ones cited early, are incredibly common and popular by the entire population of any country or a location. Quite simply, this is where a culture is based on and is taken by many and many decades through a long time.

In the uk for example, British is the official language but since it is produced by four different countries inside the kingdom (Great britain, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), each one still tries to keep their basic culture attributes and that is very important to them. For instance, in Wales, they still have the Welsh category in university to keep the language alive.

Because of the huge number of people that are going to live or are living already in various countries and areas with different culture qualities, normally are facing other varieties of characteristics such as behaviour, language, believes, prices and so forth; and for case those international people not only absolve basic traits from the local people, but also the neighborhood people will absolve other qualities from the foreigners as well. This exchange of culture traits is thought as acculturation process.

Literature Review

Acculturation process has been analyzed and examined through a long time, and because of local and international effect on people and countries, different perceptions and point of views were developed to explain this process. For instance, Blythe (2008) argues that whenever someone is exposed to different culture features, it will make this person to presume and combine new traits to their on culture, since it is a means of adaptation that human beings create to make life easier.

However, prior studies demonstrated different observation about acculturation process such as Herskovits (1937) who suggests that acculturation is a process among different teams in which the aim is to produce the probability of exchanging and conversation of their culture traits. Furthermore, Winthrop (1991) supports that process is truly a mixture of both foreign and residents relationship, the exchange of culture traits appear in a two way process, the overseas will deliver some attributes to the local who will allow and vice-versa, creating a much better environment for both.

In other words, acculturation process can be described as a vibrant process where groups of men and women absolve certain qualities in one culture and deliver others traits into other cultural groups, in a sense, this process will not take place immediately but steadily which is always a two ways process.

Furthermore, acculturation will play an important role into the consumer buying behavior in many countries where minority categories are located. Matching to Pe±aloza (1994) the association and version of consumer buying behaviour mixed with different culture characteristics and environment will develop the buyer acculturation.

Thus, looking from a small business perspective, consumer acculturation must be wanted and realized by companies that want to get new niches and segments. Usually, they will not be able to visualize the relationship between your foreigners' buyer behavior and exactly how their buying behaviour are inspired and persuaded by the neighborhood culture features.

A study taken by Liu (2000) demonstrates acculturation affects consumer behavior in both consumer re-socialization and acculturating individual's self-management. Consumer re-socialization indicated how an individual consumes inside the new culture and acculturating individual's self-management is related to how someone self-indentify to keep up or change his buying behavior.

Moreover, Liu (2000) developed other important factors which influences individuals and they are extremely important to determine and effect on the buying behaviour, these factors are the specific characteristics and environmentally friendly factors, which is often an extended list developed by communities where people exchange ideas, needs, needs and so forth; however, in her model there are just the most two representative and common factors the work environment and the property.

Figure 1. A Theoretical Model of Acculturation and Consumer Behaviour (Liu, 2000)

In addition, without a marketing plan where marketing research plays an essential role, companies will struggle themselves to attain penetration of these minority teams with products that are relevant for the kids. In a manner that adaptation will not take place and foreigners' desires will never be fulfilled.

Consequently, companies have to develop the capability to understand and identify how those factors are proven over individuals and exactly how culture attributes will impact on foreigners' assimilation about the neighborhood culture traits of course, if it will affect straight their consumer buying behaviour.

Main Body

Nowadays, there are numerous companies that aren't longer looking at profit as the primary outcome or aspect and they're not so focused on deliberative as their process aspect, this view is from companies that have understood how minority organizations and external influences have been deciding and impacting on the local consumers' buying behaviour.

Companies which have understood this are migrating into what is known as organized approach, that revenue is still the reason why they are operating, but they want to allocate resources to donate to development of new perspective into the world, to provide to it that they care about what they think, who they are, and what they need. In this point of view, companies are moving into the pluralistic procedure and leaving behind profit as their main final result dimension.

Consequently, companies are growing new human relationships with segments and particular groups of consumers. That is the case of Waitrose for example; the company are looking after many aspects that their activity impacts on. In the business website, Waitrose provides information about their activity with regards to the environment impact, suppliers and local areas; in addition, their decision to put into action on the business's policy the supply of organic foods and reasonable trades with suppliers (Waitrose, 2010).

In this framework, companies will start looking at exterior and interior factors that may effect consumers buying behavior and how a buying decision process takes place in that situation. To clarify this circumstance Hawkins et al (1998) have built the model below where factors, decision process and experience, needs, wants and life-style are entirely connected and all of them play a very important role in to the consumer behavior.

External Influences

- Culture

- Subculture

- Demographics

- Interpersonal Status

- Research Groups

- Family

- Marketing Activities

Internal Influences

- Perception

- Learning

- Memory

- Motives

- Personality

- Emotions

- Attitudes

Consumer Decision Process

Problem Recognition

Information Search

Evaluation & Selection

Outlet Selection & Purchase

Post-Purchase processes



Experiences & Acquisitions

Experiences & Acquisitions



Figure 2. The Consumer Behaviour Model (Hawkins et al. , 1998).

Basically, this model reveals how internal and exterior factors effect on the lifestyle and self-concept that will generate the needs and desires, that finally will be powered to the buying decision process. To be able to implement and enhance the influenced factors, the experiences and the acquisitions that are being made through all over the consumer decision process will straight effect on that factors and everything the process will maintain a defined routine.

Moreover, Jobber and Fahy (2003) dispute that customer buying behavior is an understanding and overview about where, how, who, what and when customers buy. Companies that have that knowledge are able to gain competitive advantages because they'll understand in better way what customers want and when and where they want that, and can form services to complete fulfil the needs and would like.

KFC (2010) has developed a product line centered on Muslim people, this brand originated after customers' question, nevertheless the way the business is delivering this new lines drives for an assumption that truly they may have made a marketing research and understand the potential of Muslim segment in the united kingdom, so they had launched the Halal Trial to compare volumes to choose if it'll be part of these products of not.

Taking in consideration that Kerbaj (2009) has printed a survey in the Times that your Muslim population keeps growing ten times faster than all of those other UK population. This means a whole lot for companies that are working with this portion, it represents that minority group is becoming an important section and they have to comprehend their customer buying behavior and inner and external influences that will contribute to their purchasing behaviour and their purchasing electricity as well.

Another important factor that can contribute to companies focus on minority group with development perspective, is once again the united kingdom as example, Rogers (2010) released a review in the Guardians which shows the rapidly growth of the eastern Western european community in the UK, nowadays Poland gets the second higher delivery rate in the united kingdom, behind India only.

What companies are witnessing nowadays, that targets minority groups with potential to progress or with high development rate, are extremely important. Willetts (2007) implies that Asda supermarket is delivering polish food in their shelves to satisfy not only the polish people, but also other eastern Western nationalities such as Bulgarian and Slovakian.

Moreover, in 2007 the Nikkhah and W (2007) argued that in one time only exporters has shown that the demand for polish beers and spirits in restaurants, golf clubs and pubs possessed increased 200% in the UK. Even supermarkets as Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's are selling not only polish food but also beverages, because the demand have been increasing because the products were launched.

The model developed by pe±oloza and Gilly (1999) has many of the factors offered in the Hawkins model, however it brings two more modules that includes the people' sensitivity above the new culture qualities, and the expected results from that sensibility.

Adaptation Strategies


Influential agent




Channel members


Other retailers


Business associations



Negotiate consumers' resistance

Business enculturation

Multicultural reproduction

Civic development

Social legitimization

Marketer/consumer dialectic



Type of business


Years in business

Cultural rapport

National source/ethnicity

Language ability




Cultural Market Learning and Translation Processes

Distinctions in ethnic consumption behaviours

Formation of social market heuristics

Other and self-cultural knowledge


Knowledge of sociocultural relations

Marketer Characteristics:Physique 3. The Professional Acculturation Process (Pe±aloza and Gilly, 1999)

There is a common assumption that Schiffman et al (2008) has increased that argues consumers will purchase products with features available with the best quality and that will deliver the best benefits. Taking this assumption to a minority group point of view, it will buy products which are more likely to be similar from their country. So companies which run business focused on those groups have to acquire the ability to know very well what they want for to boost quality, style, features and so forth.

Consumer buying behaviour is totally inside the limitations of companies' strategy, organizations have to comprehend how their customers or potential ones react to identify strategies such as price, campaign, circulation and products characteristics.

Understand better customer can create a very important competitive advantage, once applying what companies have analysed about their customers; they'll be able to acquire four main factors according to Schiffman (2008):

1 - Loyalty, will raise the sales

2 - Behaviour, customers will be less price delicate and competition' noise won't easily hit them.

3 - Customer Service will be cheaper because customers popular the company's culture.

4 - Campaign, customers will disperse the positives factors through word-of-mouth.

Thus, organizations which are going to concentrate on certain sections that relates to a minority group including the muslin and polish people defined earlier, probably they will fail with out a properly marketing research to understand all the factors detailed recently. However, when companies portion, it can create the unawareness in customers in an eventually strategy to growth and develop the brand to attain different sections.

Furthermore, a completely marketing strategy for a minority group can be since a good approach, for today's but for the future. Because as one of the theories about acculturation says that people will absolve the neighborhood culture and in an extended run perhaps that folks changes their buying behaviour and product won't be interested for the kids.

Thus, companies need to be alert to this prospects and always be targeting interesting segments, but not only put their entered work into one segment only such as a minority group, but use both to accomplish and receive the best from the market, and know how the neighborhood culture will affect the foreigners and what need to be done to don't let competitors reach them.


Acculturation presents to businesses that there are numerous ways of individuals be affected, and it brings to companies that they have to find the right knowledge and understanding about the minority groups' cultures, usually they will struggle themselves to attain a particular segmented targeted as a potential and profitable segment.

Companies must recognize that acculturation is a two way process, foreigners will affect residents and the local people will effect the foreigner. It means an exchange of culture qualities from both foreigners and locals. In the united kingdom many companies will work to conform and delivery what some minority groupings are looking for to build up a relationship between the company and the clients, in order to produce loyalty which is expressed in income.

However, those organizations have to beware about the acculturation level of both foreigners and local to carry out not be so focused on and look for new opportunities and the changing in the buying behaviour of their sections, otherwise they'll face challenges to keep their market show and to growth inside a market very competitive.

Thus, all the acculturation process is very complicated to understand and offer with, however companies can begin with adaptation to recognize how the segment will act and analyse if what's happening is profitable, plus they have to include into their marketing strategy and planning to progress and achieve corporate objectives.

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