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Cosmopolitan consumers as a target group for segmentation


  • Petra Riefler

    (Department of International Marketing, University of Vienna, Austria)

  • Adamantios Diamantopoulos

    (Department of International Marketing, University of Vienna, Austria)

  • Judy A Siguaw

    (College of Human Ecology, East Carolina University, Greenville, USA)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Petra Riefler & Adamantios Diamantopoulos & Judy A Siguaw, 2012. "Cosmopolitan consumers as a target group for segmentation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 43(3), pages 285-305, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:43:y:2012:i:3:p:285-305

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 2004. "Market discipline and deposit insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 375-399, March.
    2. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Karacaovali, Baybars & Laeven, Luc, 2005. "Deposit insurance around the world : a comprehensive database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3628, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:pal:jmarka:v:4:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1057_s41270-016-0009-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Oliver Parts, 2013. "The Effects of Cosmopolitanism on Consumer Ethnocentrism, Brand Origin Identification and Foreign Product Purchases," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 3(11), pages 30-44, November.
    3. repec:eee:touman:v:52:y:2016:i:c:p:539-556 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:jbrese:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:210-217 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gineikiene, Justina & Schlegelmilch, Bodo B. & Auruskeviciene, Vilte, 2017. "“Ours” or “theirs”? Psychological ownership and domestic products preferences," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 93-103.
    6. Cleveland, Mark & Laroche, Michel & Takahashi, Ikuo & Erdoğan, Seçil, 2014. "Cross-linguistic validation of a unidimensional scale for cosmopolitanism," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 268-277.
    7. repec:spr:manint:v:57:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11575-016-0299-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Bartikowski, Boris & Walsh, Gianfranco, 2015. "Attitude toward cultural diversity: A test of identity-related antecedents and purchasing consequences," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 526-533.
    9. Jin, Zhongqi & Lynch, Richard & Attia, Samaa & Chansarkar, Bal & Gülsoy, Tanses & Lapoule, Paul & Liu, Xueyuan & Newburry, William & Nooraini, Mohamad Sheriff & Parente, Ronaldo & Purani, Keyoor & Ung, 2015. "The relationship between consumer ethnocentrism, cosmopolitanism and product country image among younger generation consumers: The moderating role of country development status," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 380-393.
    10. Siqueira, Ana Cristina O. & Priem, Richard L. & Parente, Ronaldo C., 2015. "Demand-side Perspectives in International Business: Themes and Future Directions," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 261-266.
    11. repec:eee:jbrese:v:77:y:2017:i:c:p:195-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:worbus:v:53:y:2018:i:2:p:194-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:spr:amsrev:v:7:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s13162-017-0092-9 is not listed on IDEAS

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