National and regional ethnocentrism: a case study of beer consumers in Poland
Purpose ‐ Earlier studies into consumer ethnocentrism focused on identification of the level of ethnocentric tendencies in different countries and their investigation for various categories of products. This research contributes to a wider understanding of that phenomenon, aiming to explore the characteristics of Polish consumers' national and regional ethnocentric attitudes and behaviours, especially symptoms of those attitudes in relationship with locally produced brands of beer. Design/methodology/approach ‐ All the data were collected on a university campus in Poland in late autumn 2007 in a group of ten university students. Purposive sampling was used to establish two focus groups within the industry's main target market age group, each of which met on two occasions, three weeks apart. Findings ‐ The main identified issues broadly covered two main categories: national ethnocentrism and regional ethnocentrism. The findings point to the relative importance of elements such as brand image (based on Polish culture and referring to its symbols), local brands as contributors to local identities and the form of their expression, as well as a moral obligation to buy local brands. Originality/value ‐ Indicative findings suggest that several areas need to be further investigated in future research in order to better understand the characteristics of national and regional ethnocentric tendencies, and the contribution they make to local identities.