The role of cultural diversity in brand management success in the South African cellular industry
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The focus of this study was on cultural diversity and its possible impact on brand management in the cellular industry. The study showed that cultural diversity, as one of the important aspects in the consumer’s environment, is important to consider when carrying out brand management and branding activities. Doing so will play a role in influencing consumers to make favourable purchasing decisions. Data were collected from Free State Province individuals (510). Cross-tabulations, factor analysis and cluster analysis were carried out on the database. The study resulted in the identification of four clusters. The cultural diversity components used to identify these clusters were: age, gender, race, social class and lifestyle. These clusters had different characteristics from one another. In each cluster there was a difference in lifestyle characteristics and perception of brand equity. There was also a difference in the reasons why a cellular phone is used. The results about the clusters show that no single approach can be used to target them. There has to be different approaches of which each can also be an opportunity for marketing managers to differentiate their branding activities. The manner in which clusters were identified is complex and yet gives insightful information which will help marketing managers make better decisions. In other words simple segment approaches should be avoided. Also, the clusters are not constant; they evolve over time. It is therefore suggested that such an activity should be reviewed more often. The main contribution of this study is that cultural diversity is an integral part of brand management from the perspective of the consumer. Furthermore, consumers can no longer just be defined by cultural diversity components in isolation, i.e. age, gender, race, social class and lifestyle. Their definition will vary depending on the industry in concern. In other words, the consumers will need to be defined by the unique clusters they belong to and these clusters will be different depending on the industry concerned.