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Consumer Behaviour in Malaysia - Essay Example

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Opportunities in Malaysian Consumerism Introduction An important sunshine industry in Malaysia today is the information and communication technology (ICT) industry. In the latter part of the 1990s, the Malaysian government has embarked on an ambitious project designed to make the country a future global leader in information technology by developing the information technology sector…
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Consumer Behaviour in Malaysia

(Ndubisi 2006, p17) In order to be able to take advantage of opportunities and establish strong chance at competition in Malaysia, Australian exporters should be able to understand the dynamics of the country’s consumer market because Malaysian consumers differ significantly from those in Australia. An understanding of consumer behavior, particularly, can make a difference since it impacts purchasing behavior and, therefore, marketing decisions as well. In addition, the diffusion of trends such as technological and economic is also crucial to penetrate the Malaysian market. Culture and Consumer Behavior The relationship between consumers and consumer goods is driven by several variables. Culture is one of the most important of such. McCracken’s model, which explained the movement of cultural meaning, identify possession ritual, exchange ritual, grooming ritual and divestment ritual as what dictates individual consumer behavior in the process wherein meaning is constructed, structured and transferred in the flow of consumer goods. (Schiffman et al 2009) Ritual is the key concept at work here. Consumption becomes a symbolic activity typified by steps, behaviors and actions that became constant, occurring repeatedly over time. This underscores how culture impacts consumers. Consumer products are symbols that represent what the consumers value in products and services or what the marketers communicate as value for the buyers. Karahana, Evaristo and Strite also explained how culture impacts behavior through their own theoretical model of culture’s influence on behavior. Here, behavior is driven by attitude and social norms, variables that are produced by cognitive beliefs, cultural practices and values. (p8) Pecotich and Schultz conducted a review of studies on consumer perception on brands in Malaysia. It was found that Malaysians display specific characteristics in their attitude towards products. Specific examples were provided. For instance, in brand selection on electrical products, Malaysians were found to be motivated by the perceived best brand, favoring prestige over a product that is simply thought of as efficient or works well. (p426) This is also congruent to the tendency of Malaysian consumers to patronize celebrity-endorsed products and their loyalty to brands. According to Kacen and Lee (2002), impulse consumer buying behavior now accounts for up to 80% of all purchases in some countries and that culture plays a part as consumers engage in sudden, compelling, hedonically complex purchase decision process that precludes thoughtful, deliberate consideration of all information and choice alternatives. (p163) The argument is that culture tempers impulsive buying. This is highlighted in Malaysia by the Islamic subculture, which in turn can best be depicted through the concept of halal. In Malaysia, halal, which means what is permitted, is the norm in Islamic consumption. Consumers and their consumption are subject to institutionalization regulated by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. Fischer (2008) explained that halal informs and controls ideas and practices such as wearing of gold and ornaments, wigs and hairpieces; paintings; photographs, keeping of dogs; cleanliness; ... Read More
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