Non-targeted customers in individualistic versus collectivistic cultures

Bang Nguyen, Junsong Chen*, Cheng Hao Steve Chen, Xiaoyu (Allen) Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This research explores non-targeted customers in two countries displaying dominant collectivistic and individualistic characteristics. Using China and the UK as research contexts, the study investigates non-targeted customers' perceptions and responses to multiple marketing tactics (MT)' effectiveness. Non-targeted customers are interesting, as they exhibit feelings of inequity and unfairness, influencing their perceptions, responses, and behaviors. Given continuing globalization of retail services and diverse markets, more research that provides insights into cross-cultural shopping behavior is needed. The study fills an important gap in examining non-targeted customers in a cross-cultural framework. Findings reveal that non-targeted collectivists perceive marketing tactics differently than individualists. While the first group responds to price and reputation, the latter group responds to service, communication, and customization. The study posits that collectivists' concerns with loss of face, equality, and status evoke self-expression such as extensive price and reputation comparisons. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed and future research directions offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1218
Number of pages20
JournalService Industries Journal
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • collectivism
  • individualism
  • non-targeted customer
  • perceived unfairness
  • retailing


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