Changing American values: Why are brands and status important to consumers?

Question 1:
Chapter 3 addresses changing American values and with that comes a change in gender roles.  According to the text  51% of men are the primary grocery shopper in the household.  Given the advent of the “two-income” family, does this surprise anyone?

Americans have maintained a strong material orientation. An outcome of America’s focus on materialism is a consumption-driven society. As we will see, Americans are working longer hours, in part, to afford material possessions.  That is, Americans are trading time and energy for things and services such as cars and travel.
(Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2016, p. 81)

What are some factors that lead to changes in American values?

Hawkins, D. & Mothersbaugh, D. (2016) Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy, 13th Edition.
McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
Question 2:
The Chapter 5 segment of reading addresses subculture.  According to the authors, “The unique values and patterns of behavior shared by subculture group members are based on the social history of the group as well as its current situation” (Hawkins & Mothersbaugh, 2016, p. 148)

The text focuses on ethnic groups in these few pages.  When marketers are looking at the behaviors of subcultures, or ethnic groups, are they stereotyping?

Hawkins, D. & Mothersbaugh, D. (2016) Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy, 13th Edition.
McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.
Question 3:
Chapter 6 addresses different types of households.  We’ll address families as reference groups in Chapter 7, but let’s discuss “household” dynamics.  In a previous post, I mentioned that 51% of men in households did the grocery shopping.  This is obviously a changing dynamic over the “traditional ” roles in families.

Think of your household and discuss the dynamics of your household if buying a new car….. groceries.

Who is involved in the decision?  Who makes the final decision?
Question 4:
Ann Poghosyan writes about the power of celebrity endorsements and their influence on consumer behavior. (2015) Think of the sales of the products endorsed by the Kardashian and Jenner family.  Michael Jordan and Nike shoes.  There are many successful celebrity endorsements, however, what if a celebrity endorser does something wrong?  How did Nike and Buick react when Tiger Woods had his personal issues between he and his wife?

What are the dangers to a brand of aligning with a celebrity?     Can you describe a time when you , personally, bought a brand because of a particular endorsement?

Question 5:
As we discuss family influence and consumer behavior, consider the influence of children on purchases.  McDonald’s, for example historically marketed to children with their Happy Meals.  Children, however, may influence the purchase, however, are they the customer?

Do you consider marketing to children to be ethical?  Why or why not?

How the kids took over: Child-driven marketing [Video file]. (2005). Retrieved March 7, 2017, from
Question 6:
This video implies that we’re “born to consume.”  If you think about , from the time we’re infants, everything is branded and different brands denote different status and even different values.  Do Tom’s shoes make us better people, because they donate a pair of shoes when we buy a pair?    Does driving a Prius mean we’re concerned about the environment?  If we own an iPhone are we “cooler” than someone who owns an Android phone?

The video goes on to say that future generations will wonder why we focused so much on brands and why we wanted a 6-bedroom house and two cars when we only have two parents and a child in the house!

Why are brands and status important to consumers?   (Remember Maslow in Chapter 10?)

Consumed: Identity and anxiety in an age of plenty [Video file]. (2011). Retrieved March 8, 2017, from
Think about the influence of groups on our behaviors.  Reference groups might include, family, coworkers, Church members, neighbors, etc….  Often brands work to develop reference groups to create brand loyalty.  Consider, for example, Harley Davidson, Jeep, Volkswagen Beetles, etc… These brands have develop almost a “cult” like following.

Consider some of the reference groups you belong to.  Our family is typically our first.  When we move out on our own, we often use the same brands our parents or other family members used.

Other than family, can you identify other reference groups that impact your consumer behavior?  We discussed this briefly last week.

Personally, I still use the same detergent and many of the brands my mother used when I was young, living at home.  How many products / brands do you use because of the influence of a family member?   of another reference group?
Choose one of the following changes in Cultural Values to review and discuss: (1) green marketing, (2) cause-related marketing, (3) gender-based marketing, or (4) marketing to gay and lesbian consumers.
Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper in which the interrelationship between consumer behavior and changes in cultural values is reviewed.
Find three specific examples of organizations marketing to these changes in cultural values.  Examples may be mission/value statements, print advertising, web site content, press releases, among others.
Using these examples, what is your opinion of how the company uses the understanding of changing cultural values to create and implement its marketing strategy?
Discuss each example you found using specific information.
Include screenshots or copies of the marketing pieces you examined.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

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