Our research uses an interpretive approach to explore the consumer journeys of sojourners, temporary residents of a new country, with attention to cultural experiential goal pursuit and cultural brand engagement. Depth interviews with students from nine countries studying in America document that home country access to American popular culture impacts cultural experiential goals; the temporary nature of sojourners’ stay engenders instrumental brand use (vs. brand attachment); and cultural brand engagement relies on indexical/iconic brand meanings inextricably tied to the desired cultural experience. Three cultural experiential goals and their brand engagement emerge: the “imagined American” cultural experience is grounded in American myths and stereotypes and iconic brand meanings; the “unique Americana” experience is grounded in Americana symbolism and indexical brand meanings with American symbolism; and the “life like the locals” experience is grounded in observed realities in America and indexical brand meanings. We discuss theoretical and managerial implications related to our findings.
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The authors thank Jill Avery, Kelly Herd, William T. Ross Jr., Susan Spiggle, and Yuliya Strizhakova for helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.
Rebecca Hamilton served as Special Issue Guest Editor for this article.
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Vredeveld, A.J., Coulter, R.A. Cultural experiential goal pursuit, cultural brand engagement, and culturally authentic experiences: sojourners in America. J. of the Acad. Mark. Sci. 47, 274–290 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-018-0620-7
- Consumer journeys
- Cultural experiential goals
- Brand engagement
- Experiential consumption
- Cultural authenticity
- American popular culture
- Emerging adulthood