Saturday, October 12, 2013

Note Influence in Nontraditional Couples

A set of classic cross-national studies by researchers at University of Chicago and Belgium’s Catholic Universities of Louvain and Mons concluded that the relative dominance of husband and wife depends on the type of product or service being considered when the couple shop together:
  • Husband-dominant: Lawn mowers, hardware 
  • Wife-dominant: Children’s clothing, women’s clothing, groceries, toiletries 
  • Shared dominance: Cars, refrigerators, televisions, living room furniture, financial planning services, vacations 
     While making the decision, the man’s objectives are underpinned by a desire to ensure his individual specifications are met, while the woman’s objectives are underpinned by a desire to have the shared specifications of the couple met.
     Subsequent research described how these overall patterns differ by cultural background. Mexican-American couples are more likely than others to have husband-dominant patterns, while African-Americans are more likely to have wife-dominant patterns.
     Now another cultural category is ascending: Same sex married couples. Insights for retailers about that category come from recently published findings of studies based at Steinbeis University Berlin. The researchers analyzed patterns of purchase decision making in male homosexuals who have maintained committed relationships.
     They report that, compared to heterosexual couples, there is a greater frequency of equalitarian patterns. The partners are more likely to collaborate, or at least compromise, before making a purchase. This indicates that the retailer should prepare for decisions by gay couples to take longer on average than the same types of decisions made by heterosexual couples. This would especially be the case with items the classic research pegged as husband-dominant or wife-dominant.
     The Berlin researchers say that the sex-role orientation of each member of the gay couple showed no noticeable influence on the distribution of purchasing influence. However, as with heterosexual couples, the partner who brings the greater amount of money into the household does have greater say in how the money is spent.
     The newly paired may have already set up housekeeping and therefore made many shopping decisions together already. Still, shopping after the ceremony brings out different power dynamics. Each partner is subconsciously influenced by how his own parents handled the decisions. The challenge for the retail salesperson is to track the ritual, which is still in a formative stage.
     The long-married couple have settled into their shopping-together rituals. Here, the challenge facing the retail salesperson might come from the ritual being so automatic and quick by the couple that it’s challenging for the salesperson to discern.

Click below for more: 
Build on Couples’ Decision-Making Rituals 
Join the Real Modern Family 
Go Over the Rainbow for LGBT Retailing 
Resolve Conflicts with Attention to Style

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