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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Customizing or conforming? Exploring cross-cultural differences in consumers’ perception of customizable branded products

Published: May 27, 2020


Ann Kristin Rhode, ESCP Europe ; Benjamin Voyer, ESCP Europe


customization; cross-cultural differences; brands


A growing body of research shows that the involvement of consumers in a co-creation process is key to strengthening connections between consumers and brands. Product design customization has emerged as a particularly useful tool to involve consumers in the co-creation process and to increase their satisfaction and willingness to pay. However, existing theories on product customization are bound to Western individualistic thinking, with most research coming from Western individualistic societies. This research explores the extent to which East Asian consumers differ in their perception of customizable fashion branded products from Western individualistic consumers. Results show that, compared with Western consumers, East Asian consumers are less likely to view product customization as beneficial and to ascribe a particular value to customized branded products.