How the consumer behaviours should be inferred? Or, is the brand proposition consistent with the targeted culture? These is the issues to address for defining a marketing strategy.
Along my MBA experience, I had the both the opportunity to study some insights regarding the behavior of a Chinese customer and living a cultural experience in China within an exchange program (Sun Yat-sen University). So, how is possible to create a framework that measure the consistency (correlation) between the culture and the relative inferences about the decision making process of the consumer? That was what stimulate my curiosity during my permanence in China so much that was also the question I have chosen as a final essay for the exchange :
IT, I and WE
Briefly, in order to evaluate the consistency between the culture and the inferred consumer behaviours the idea is to use the IT, I and WE paradigm initially developed by Daniel Ofman  within the Core Qualities where are mainly three areas that represent three different ways to see the world and the reality:
IT: IT is the world of science, truth and objective reality as well as of tasks and goals to achieve.
I: I is the inner world and is about arts and also self-understanding, self-consciousness and self-awareness.
WE: the “sense of WE”. Solidarity, inclusion and sense of being part of a group\community are the main values for such a WE personality.
Since the IT, I and WE model by Daniel Ofman has been applied also for managing diversities and conflicts among people (See Blue, Green and Red model by Diversity Icebreaker) , why not applying it also for asessing cultures and consumer behaviors? Let’s see how.
The model IT, I and WE in the methodology proposed has been implemented as follow:
First, identify the main topics that in general can assess a culture.
For each topic, given 6 points available, distribute the points among the three areas IT, I and WE.
Sum all the points obtained respectively for the IT, I and WE areas.
Collects all the findings that describe the decision making process of the customer.
As it has been done for the culture at point 2, assign per each characteristic of the consumer behaviors 6 point distributed among the area IT, I and WE.
Sum the scores obtained respectively for the IT, I and WE areas regarding the consumer behaviour.
The result obtained from the analysis of the Chinese consumer behaviors has shown:
A consistent preference to the WE area: 45% and 38% from the Cultural and consumer behavior respectively. The result suits the high context mark of the Chinese culture where trust is based on relationships rather that tasks and facts.
Divergences between IT and I areas. In fact, with the selected items, the Chinese Culture has shown a preference to the IT area (35%) rather than to I (20%), while the Chinese behaviors has shown a balance between them, 25% and 37% respectively for the IT and the I.
For further details see the references.
Ofman Daniel. (2004). Core Qualities: a Gateway to Human Resources. Cyan Communications.
- Gruer Ivan. (2013). ” IT, I, WE: a framework for the consumer behaviour“. (Slideshare).