Management International Review

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 473–500 | Cite as

Shared Consumer Needs Across India and China: A Path to Global Advertising of Services?

  • Pradip H. Sadarangani
  • Anup KrishnamurthyEmail author
  • Richard P. Bagozzi
Research Article


Global advertising often uses cultural values to standardize globally advertised messages. However, this exploratory study investigates the possibility that rather than cultural values (and consumer wants), it is consumer needs that are strongly shared across countries. Therefore, it might be possible to replace cultural values with these shared consumer needs for the standardization of globally advertised messages. This study does not argue against the universality of the content or structure of values, but rather against the universality of the importance of values across countries. The means-end theory is used to link the relationships between consumer wants, needs, and values. Data collected from Indian and Chinese consumers of information technology education services were analyzed using the laddering technique to reveal hierarchical value maps for each of the two country samples. The results indicate that at the level of consumer wants, Indian consumers seek more tangible attributes while Chinese consumers seek more intangible ones. Also, at the level of cultural values, Chinese consumers associate more values with the service than their Indian counterparts. At the same time, within both groups of consumers the same set of consumer needs were strongly shared among consumers; these were the need for knowledge enhancement, the need for skill improvement, and the need for better employability. Therefore, the results suggest that if managers want to successfully standardize their global advertising, their message strategy could focus on consumer needs that are strongly shared across countries.


Consumer needs Global advertising Means-end theory Laddering Cross-cultural research 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pradip H. Sadarangani
    • 1
  • Anup Krishnamurthy
    • 2
    Email author
  • Richard P. Bagozzi
    • 3
  1. 1.Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of ManagementShillongIndia
  2. 2.St. Joseph’s College of Business AdministrationBangaloreIndia
  3. 3.Stephen M. Ross School of BusinessUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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