2014

Identifying Diversity-Seeking Consumers

CHICAGO, May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the article, "Agents of Change: A Scale to Identify Diversity Seekers," Drs. Anne M. Brumbaugh and Sonya A. Grier develop and validate a new marketing scale to identify people who have a high propensity to seek out cultural diversity in products, services, and experiences.

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Previous research has explored how some consumers' thinking and behaviors limit diversity and inclusion through ethnocentrism, prejudice, discrimination, and ignorance.  However, little has explored the flip side – how some people's thinking and behaviors facilitate cross-cultural consumption, marketplace inclusion, and promotion of diversity.  In their research, Brumbaugh and Grier show how some people have a propensity to seek out cultural diversity in products, services, and experiences that broadens, rather than narrows, marketplace diversity and cross-cultural consumption. 

In the article, which appears in the Spring 2013 special issue of the American Marketing Association's Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, the authors develop a seven-item scale to measure this diversity seeking trait and show how it influences diversity-related consumer behaviors.  Their results indicate that high diversity seekers are more likely to travel internationally, vote Democratic, purchase other-culture products, live in diverse neighborhoods, and champion diversity-related causes than people low on the scale.

"We were inspired to conduct this research based on real-life examples of folks who bucked convention, risked social ostracism, and went out of their way to immerse themselves in other-culture experiences," says Dr. Brumbaugh.  "There seemed to be no measure that captured this tendency, so we created one."  Dr. Grier notes the significant policy implications of their research:  "Diversity Seekers seem to be able to move outside of their own cultural belief systems and social networks to effect change by embracing and implementing diversity-related policies in employment, education, healthcare, and other key social arenas.  Identifying and deploying these individuals will be crucial in advancing successful diversity-related policies."

Brumbaugh and Grier refer to high diversity individuals as "positive deviants" who will lead a charge against fragmented and insular marketspaces and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive marketplace.

About the American Marketing Association:
The American marketing Association (AMA) is the professional association for individuals and organizations who are leading the practice, teaching, and development of marketing worldwide.  Learn more at marketingpower.com

Contact:  Christopher Bartone – 312.542.9029 – cbartone@ama.org.

SOURCE American Marketing Association



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