Cosmopolitan consumers as a target group for segmentation
For international companies, the literature recommends directing segmentation efforts at customer characteristics rather than country characteristics. Consumers’ degree of cosmopolitan orientation has been suggested as a powerful segmentation base, as this characteristic is expected to drive consumers’ tastes and preferences. To advance research on this segmentation base, this article offers a conceptualization of the consumer cosmopolitanism construct by: (1) delineating its conceptual domain; (2) highlighting its key dimensions, namely open-mindedness, diversity appreciation, and consumption transcending borders; and (3) examining its links with theoretically relevant variables, specifically consumer ethnocentrism and global consumption orientation. Based on the aforementioned conceptualization, a consumer-research-specific and psychometrically sound measurement instrument – the C-COSMO scale – is subsequently developed and tested in a series of complementary studies. Finally, empirically based insights into the characteristics of cosmopolitan consumers are offered, by: (1) profiling them on consumption-relevant variables (innovativeness, risk aversion, susceptibility to normative influence, consumer ethnocentrism, and demographic characteristics); (2) examining the link between consumer cosmopolitanism and willingness to buy foreign products; and (3) developing an empirically based typology of cosmopolitan/local consumers using a cluster analysis approach. From a managerial perspective, findings suggest that the identification and subsequent targeting of cosmopolitan consumers may well represent an appropriate strategy for internationally active companies.
Volume (Year): 43 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
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