Globalization, culture, and consumer behavior

Carlos J. Torelli, Shirley Y.Y. Cheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As globalization increases, the world is becoming smaller and the consciousness of the world as a whole is intensifying rapidly. With the rapid growth of global linkages and global consciousness, the marketplace is also growing in cultural diversity both in terms of the demand side (i.e., consumer markets) and the supply side (i.e., brand offerings). Increased cultural diversity in the demand side of the market is fueled by the emergence of a robust middle class in emerging economies (such as those of China, Russia, Brazil, and India), the immigration patterns changing the cultural landscape of developed markets (e.g., growth of Hispanics in the United States or that of Muslim populations in Europe), and the increased cultural curiosity of worldwide consumers thanks to Internet connectivity, social media platforms, and global travel. The supply side of the market is witnessing the emergence of global brands from every corner of the developed and developing world. Specifically, the last decade has witnessed a tremendous growth in the number of new American and European brands successfully establishing a global presence in emerging markets. For instance, one may consider the American brand Jack Daniel's success in China and Europe, which has helped the company to sell more whiskey abroad than in the United States (Kiley, 2007). Or consider the high-stakes expansion of Spanish phone company Telefónica into Latin America, which has been instrumental for helping the company become the largest telecommunications company in Europe (O'Brien, 2012). More importantly, brands from emerging markets have also recently emerged as global challengers. Consider, for example, the leadership position achieved in recent years by Chinese Lenovo Group in the personal computer industry, overtaking competitors Hewlett-Packard and Dell in worldwide sales (Hachman, 2014), the recent entry of India's Tata Group into the luxury cars segment via the acquisition of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, or the growth of Brazilian's Embraer in the Western-dominated aerospace industry. As a result of these global market trends, a wide range of brands bring a variety of cultures to a consumer population that is also growing culturally diverse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Psychology
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781107706552
ISBN (Print)9781107069206
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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