PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to study whether the consumer’s perceptual processing style impacts consumer preference. Specifically, whether consumers with local perceptual processing style in emerging Asian countries are more likely to perceive that Asian skincare brands are suitable for them, compared with emerging Asian consumers with global perceptual processing.Design/methodology/approachAn experiment was conducted with 249 Asian female respondents in an emerging Asian market. The Navon letter – a hierarchical letter – is used to classify the respondents’ perceptual processing style. The Navon stimulus used is a big letter H made up of small letter Ls. Those who saw letter H (L) at first glance were classified as consumers with global (local) perceptual processing style. ANCOVA was used to analyze the main effect of global/local perceptual processing style on product preference, as well as to test the moderating effect of age.FindingsThe results suggest that consumers with local perceptual processing style are significantly more likely to perceive that Asian brands are suitable for them, compared with respondents with global perceptual processing style. Additionally, the covariate “age” is not the covariate between global/local perceptual processing and skincare preference.Practical implicationsManagers can apply the findings to their targeting and communication strategies. First, it will be advantageous for managers marketing Asian skincare products to target Asian consumers with local perceptual processing style. For managers marketing Western skincare products in Asia, it will be better to target Asian consumers with global perceptual processing style. In terms of communication strategy development, managers marketing Asian skincare products to Asian consumers are recommended to encourage local perceptual processing, while managers marketing Western skincare brands to emerging Asian consumers should encourage global perceptual processing.Originality valueThe value of this paper is that it applies the perceptual processing style to explain consumer decision-making in the context of consumers in emerging Asian countries. It also highlights a new perspective that helps managers craft targeting and communication strategies that help make their products to be perceived as a better fit or to facilitate consumer processing style so the product becomes a preferred choice.
Journal of Asia Business Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 7, 2019