Creating Competitive Advantage for Calabrian-Made Products: The Influences of Culture and Price Perception
Posted: 10 Aug 2011 Last revised: 18 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 10, 2011
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of culture on consumer’s price perception of local products. In particular, we analyze the locally produced goods of the Calabrian region in Southern Italy. Rich in Magna Græcia influences (derived from Greek occupation from 8 Century B.C. until 1 Century A.D.), this region was selected in order to understand how cultural aspects affect price perception and consumer behavior, as well as the creation of competitive advantage for local firms.
Design/methodology/approach – The research methodology employed is based on two approaches: 1. A qualitative approach, which focuses on in-depth interviews with privileged interlocutors (marketing experts within Calabrian companies). 2. A quantitative approach, which involves research with consumers through the administration of a questionnaire.
A content analysis technique has been employed to analyze the qualitative data using MaxQDA software, while the quantitative data has been analyzed using SPSS 18.0 software in order to improve, validate and test our hypotheses and to evaluate the relationship between cultural factors and price perception.
Practical implications – The results of the study offer important insights to scholars, consumers, and firms about regional image or tradition on consumer perception. Firms will have a greater understanding about the true price expectation of consumers in regards to local products. Local companies can learn from consumers about the price perception that will mediate purchase behavior. Since the firm has a better understanding about the role of culture and its effect on consumer perception it will be able to adjust or improve its pricing policy and thus achieve consumer satisfaction and retention. These interactions and activities are precursors to gaining competitive advantage, to increasing sales, and to the development or expansion of the firms in the region.
Originality/value – Models of consumer’s perception available in extant literature refer to a process of perception for products in general in which the main factors that influence the consumer are linked to the consumer’s characteristics or to the product itself and the place where it is sold. In this study we introduce cultural factors, such as the image and tradition of Magna Græcia culture. Since limited research on the influence of cultural factors on consumer’s perception exists in the field of consumer research, this study can act as a catalyst for future scientific inquiries in this important area. This is an interdisciplinary research study which encompasses integral elements that link the disciplines of marketing, psychology, and revenue management, offering useful and revealing insights.
Keywords: cultural factors, consumer perception, price perception, consumer behavior, local products, competitive advantage
JEL Classification: L11
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