Unformatted text preview: adult may take a few days to think about, whereas a child may do so within
minutes. Space is an aspect that differs particularly in the working world. It is generally accepted
that people in authority have bigger offices. Personal space, however, varies amongst
South Africans, as some believe in maintaining a “space bubble” around them whilst
others believe that standing too far away from the other person is being rude. When this
“space bubble” is burst be someone else, they in turn regard him or her as being pushy
and rude. A queue at a cashier is where consumers typically experience this. The
influence of etiquette is brought into play by the previous scenario [Hawkins et al.,
2001:58 and Gannon, 1998:44]. Symbols and colours play a role in influencing non-verbal communications [Hawkins et
al., 2001:59 and Cohen, 1996:187]. The male / female icons used at garage restrooms
exemplify the issue of symbols, whilst a relevant colour example sees how most South
Africans generally assume that babies dressed in pink are girls and babies dressed in blue
are boys. 47 Within cultures it is often found that subcultures exist. A subculture is a segment within
a culture that shares a set of meanings, values or activities that differ in certain respects
from those of the overall culture [Arens 1999:143 and Brassington & Pettitt, 1997:111].
The term microculture is sometimes used, as some experts believe that the word
subculture connotes inferiority [Engel et al., 1995:612]. Any culture can be divided into
several types of subcultures, each with its own characteristics, yet existing within the
whole. It all depends on the onlooker’s perspective just how detailed a division is
required [Tian, 2000:273 and Churchill & Peter, 1998:151]. A brief list of subculture
dimensions with relevant examples are shown in table 2.6. Table 2.6: Subculture dimensions.
o racial group
o geographic region
South African, Austrian
Generation Y, Baby Boomers
middle, low Source: Adpated from Kotler, P., 2000, Marketing Management,
Millennium edition, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Prentice Hall, 2000, p. 161. It should be pointed out that the above categories are not clear-cut cases as many
consumers actually have overlapping attributes. An example is that of two different
racial groups that share the same religion yet their lifestyles are completely different.
This has brought about the acceptance that everyone is part of several subcultures
[Hawkins et al., 2001:147]. Subcultures tend to transfer their beliefs and values from generation to generation.
Racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds affect consumers’ preferences for styles of
dress, food, beverages, transportation, personal care products and household furnishings
to name a few [Burgess, 1998:16]. It is anticipated that this research study will encounter
various behaviours from the Millennial Generat...
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