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A Study on the Role of Materialism in Triggering Conspicuous Consumption among Emigrants from Kerala

International Journal of Marketing and Business Communication

Volume 5 Issue 2

Published: 2016
Author(s) Name: Daly Paulose | Author(s) Affiliation: Research Scholar, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
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Conspicuous consumption involves the overt display of possessions that denote wealth and status, to communicate a distinctive self-image to others. Here, product satisfaction is often derived from audience reaction as opposed to utility from product use. Materialism is the importance a consumer attaches to worldly possessions. Materialists place possessions and their acquisition at the centre of their lives. Several studies have established that various personality traits such as materialism and social factors like susceptibility to social influence explain conspicuous consumption. This paper examines the extent of influence of materialism on conspicuous consumption tendencies of a convenience sample of 640 emigrants from Kerala. The study validates that materialism significantly relates to conspicuous consumption which means materialism is positively related to buying products that confer status. It is also seen to be instrumental in triggering conspicuous consumption among the expatriate community. Variation in conspicuous consumption with respect to gender, age, education, occupation, and income levels are also examined. The study provides interesting insights for marketers in developing consumer-centric approach towards product-development, pricing and promotions and also assists in psychographic segmentation of status seekers. It proposes means to develop and manage meaningful engagement with consumers by exhorting marketers to assume greater social responsibility and focus on societal outcomes stemming from promoting a lifestyle centred on materialism and conspicuous displays of wealth.

Keywords: Materialism, Conspicuous Consumption, Emigrant, Kerala, Consumer, Status

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