A Cross-cultural Comparison of Materialism in Emerging and Newly Developed Asian Markets
Hyeon Jeong Cho, Ph.D.; Byoungho Jin, Ph.D.; Kittichai (Tu) Watchravesringkan, Ph.D.

Considering the needs of refined branding strategies and economic disparity within the Asian market, an importance of comparing the materialism level across Asian countries has risen. Therefore, the overall materialism with its three dimensions by country and by demographic information are explored. Data were collected from the three Asian countries representing two emerging markets (China and India) and one newly developed country (Korea). The results showed that Korean consumers were the most materialistic of the three groups, followed by Chinese and Indians, whose overall materialism levels were not significantly different. A significant effect between China and India was found on success and centrality. Gender effect was only found on the centrality dimension among the Korean sample. This paper provides a new perspective in stating that a country’s materialism level reflects a consumer’s changing values as a consequence of economic development through time. Also, a new attempt to examine the effect of economic development and gender on the three materialism dimensions among Asian countries contributes to establishing better branding strategies for global marketers.

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