Consumer Behavior Process for Purchasing Men's Business Attire in First and Second Generation Colombian-Americans

Topics: Household income in the United States, Colombia, Colombian culture Pages: 6 (2298 words) Published: January 23, 2009
Consumer Behavior Process for Purchasing Men’s Business Attire in First and Second Generation of Colombian-Americans

The focus of this research is on comparing how Colombian-Americans from the first and second generations make their decisions in purchasing men’s business attire. Variables such as motivation, lifestyle, occupation, education, family, friends, belonging groups and culture are analyzed to understand both groups’ behavior. Among the main differences found between both groups are spoken language, type of jobs they have, self-identification with belonging groups, messages they respond to and values they respect. The second generation is definitely more “American” than the first generation, for which the influence of the Colombian culture is higher. When buying men’s business attire, second generation makes emphasis on ease and comfort, while first generation looks for elegance and distinction.

Consumer Behavior Process for Purchasing Men’s Business Attire in First and Second Generation of Colombian-Americans
The consumer behavior process is a model that represents the steps a consumer follows in his mind when making a purchase. It is composed of five main steps. First, the individual’s recognition of a need. Second, search for information. Third, pre-purchase evaluation of alternatives. Fourth, purchase of the product or service. And fifth, product consumption or use. Even though the five steps are present in any purchase decision, sometimes some of the steps occur simultaneously (Blackwell, Miniard & Engel, 2006). The focus of this research is on comparing how Colombian-Americans from the first generation and Colombian-Americans from the second generation make their decisions in purchasing men’s business attire. This is based on the two first steps of the consumer behavior process: recognition of a need and search for information. These two steps are influenced by many external and internal variables. Motivation, feelings, attitudes, lifestyle, occupation, income, education, family, friends, belonging groups, and culture are some of them (Blackwell et al, 2006). On analyzing these variables, differences between the first and second generation of Colombian-Americans process of purchasing men’s business attire will be found. Men’s Business Attire in the U.S. and Hispanic Expenditure in it Traditional business attire for men in the U.S. consists of a non-always-matched dress suit, a long sleeved shirt, a necktie, dress shoes and a belt the same color as the shoes. Recently, in an effort to create a more relaxed environment, a new fashion trend called ‘business casual’ has been introduced. This includes wearing a shirt with a collar, cotton slacks, and a pair of moccasins (Romain, n.d.). In 2005 men’s business attire for Hispanics was a market of $377 million. The average Hispanic spent $30 on men’s business apparel in 2005 while average Americans spent $34. In addition, while Hispanic expenditure on men’s attire represents 13% of the share, their expenditure on men’s business attire represents only 9% of the share. It means that Hispanics spend 19% more on men’s attire and 12% less on men’s business attire than the average American (Who's Buying, 2007). Colombian-Americans

Colombian-Americans number 730,510. 30% of them are second generation (born in America) while 70% are first generation (born in Colombia). They are members of the Hispanic minority and represent about 0.25% of U.S. population (U.S. Census, 2005). According to the U.S. Census (2005), 74% of Colombian-American households are ‘family’ households. Colombian-Americans’ median household income in 2005 was $43,600, not very far from national median. But the fact that Colombian families on average tend to have more children and periodically send money to their family left in Colombia places them at a comparative economic disadvantage (Levinson & Ember, 1997). As a result, its per capita income...

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