Shifting value perceptions among young urban Indian consumersThe role of need for distinctiveness and western acculturation

Manveer Mann, Montclair State University
Wi Suk Kwon, University of South Carolina
Sang Eun Byun, Auburn University


Very limited research addresses cultural change and consumer decisions in key emerging markets experiencing proliferation of Western brands and retail formats. This study fills the gap in the literature by investigating the role of need for distinctiveness and Western acculturation in shifting value perceptions of Western brands and Western retail formats among young urban Indian consumers, an emerging market with growing spending power. Mall/market-intercept surveys in four Indian cities revealed that young urban Indian consumers’ need for distinctiveness accelerated Western acculturation, thereby enhancing perceived values of Western brands and Western retail formats. Such value perceptions significantly increased intention to buy Western brands at Western retail formats. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed for retailers seeking to enter or expand in India, especially those targeting young urban consumers.