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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

When cosmopolitans go for local brands: Using adaptation cues as identity inferences

Published: May 28, 2019


Dario Miocevic, University of Split, Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism; Ruzica Brecic, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business; Srdan Zdravkovic, Bryant University, Department of Marketing


cosmopolitanism; adaptation; local brands


This study aimed to investigate how cosmopolitan identity drives consumer choices. Literature review suggests that cosmopolitans might have positive stance towards both the local and global brands. We believe that these results can be attributed to the contextual contingencies that affect cosmopolitan consumer’s choices. Cross-cultural psychology literature suggests that expatriates are naturally inclined to develop cosmopolitan identity but this context was neglected in previous studies. In order to get more detailed insight, we conceptualize that consumer cosmopolitanism will lead to higher relative propensity to buy a local brand when expatriates are more adapted within host country context. We conducted a survey among 292 expatriates living in countries of Greater Middle East. Our results reveal that adaptation mechanisms have divergent moderating impact on the link between cosmopolitanism and relative propensity to buy a local brand. Whereas adjustment was found to have positive, acculturation behaviors showed negative moderating effect. In conclusion we discuss that these results might be attributed to the identity signalling phenomenon.