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Female self-enhancement, ingratiation practices and consumption symbolism: Qualitative insights into personality driven customer behaviour and evaluations of consumer electronics

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The purpose of this paper was to explore how female consumers engage with consumer electronics through the theoretical lens of self-monitoring and ingratiation, thus filling a lacuna in the customer behaviour literature. Utilising the Snyder (1974) scale as a screener, the work employed a subjective, inductive, qualitative research position, with data collection incorporating nineteen focus groups, with one hundred and twenty-two participants, across the UK. The data revealed that the personality trait of high self-monitoring was evident when participants evaluated products, with decision making and subsequent choices nurtured interpersonally and predicated on social reflexivity and a need for positive third-party evaluation, and products were being used strategically as an ingratiation tool to enhance social inclusion and, on occasion, social leadership. This study indicates that female customers should be perceived as assets for consumer electronics brands. The paper suggests that they are prone to loyalty to those brands that project a positive, social image, with product/brand related satisfaction derived from social inclusion.
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Keywords: CONSUMER ELECTRONICS; CUSTOMER BEHAVIOUR; FOCUS GROUPS; INGRATIATION; QUALITATIVE RESEARCH; SELF-MONITORING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2014

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