Demystifying Global Consumer Choice

Article Demystifying Global Consumer Choice

What really drives consumer choice around the world? An intensive BCG research project offers three key insights.


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The Boston Consulting Group surveyed 15,000 consumers, analyzing hundreds of variables to understand the local market dynamics in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan and the United States. The results provide insights into diverse product categories, from snacks and beverages to luxury retail and leisure travel. If you’re beginning to think a one-size-fits-all approach will work in this increasingly globalized world, the Boston Consulting Group will convince you that local knowledge still matters.

Summary

Though the world is connected by social media and globalization, consumer choice still varies primarily by location.

Some businesses are operating under the assumption that social media and globalization have eradicated differences between consumers in diverse locations, especially young gen Z consumers, but research results suggest this isn’t the case. Consumers who live in the same area tend to hold similar values and attitudes. 

Still, there are similarities between markets – survey respondents from Germany and France hold similar attitudes, and results from the United States and Australia also show similarities, though the United States places a higher emphasis on religion than any other region. Differences are the most stark when comparing Eastern markets with Western markets. Respondents from Western countries tended to agree that it’s “important to be an individual,” for example, while respondents from China and Japan were less likely to agree with that statement. China and Japan differed...

About the Authors

Aparna Bharadwaj (Singapore), Lauren Taylor (Dallas), Ben Eppler (Dallas), Gaby Barrios (Paris) and Patrick Witschi (Singapore) are professionals with the Boston Consulting Group.


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