Academic journal article Competition Forum

The Role of Political Colors in Consumer Behavior

Academic journal article Competition Forum

The Role of Political Colors in Consumer Behavior

Article excerpt


Politically motivated consumption decisions are not foreign to the Arab world where the citizens are highly politicized. This paper studies the impact of political colors (representing different political parties) on the consumption decisions of university students at one of the top Lebanese universities. A random sample of 1220 students at different faculties participated in the research. Findings established that there is a linear association between political awareness and involvement, on the one side, and consumption on the other. Products of relatively lower prices seem to be impacted the most by political sensitivities reflected in colors. Furthermore, exposure to political news and events increases the students' sensitivity towards political colors.

Key words: Political colors, Consumer behavior.


The Arab World is becoming more and more politicized. The so called 'Arab Spring' affecting so many Arab countries in both Africa and Asia, from Tunisia to Syria, has done nothing but increased the political, economic, religious, social and ethnic divide among the citizens of any of these countries impacted. Lebanon has been affected directly and indirectly by these uprisings happening in the region, mainly in its neighboring country Syria. Besides the 1.5 million Syrian refugees fleeing their country to neighboring Lebanon and taking their toll on its socio-economic situation and political stability, the political divide in the country has widened. The vertical divide prevailing in the country since the assassination of its former prime minister, Mr. Rafiq Harriri in 2005, has deepened with the current unfortunate events taking place in the region. One side of the Lebanese political powers, known as the 8th of March, is standing beside Syria's presidency and Iran. Another major part of the Lebanese political powers, known as the 14th of March, are standing with the opposition in Syria and calling for the end of dictatorships in the region. Lebanese parties fall under one of these two major political movements. Each party has its own supporters. Each one of these parties is identified by its own logo, slogan, and flag, but most importantly branded by a color, referred to as 'political color' in this paper. Yellow is for Hezbollah, orange for the Free Patriotic Movement, dark green for the Lebanese Forces, light green for the Marada, blue for the Future and so on, and so forth. The effect of this politicization in the country is easily observed as well as far-flung. However, there is no empirical research done on the topic and its effect on consumer behavior. This paper explores the effects of these political colors on the consumption decisions of the youth in the country represented by the university students. In particular, this research aims to examine whether there is a relationship between political colors and purchasing decisions, whose decisions are impacted, and what aspects of their purchases are impacted the most.


Understanding consumer behavior is a product of a multi-variant function, colored by many internal and external forces, as well as by rational as well as psychological and social forces. A holistic approach is needed to grasp the complexity of this process (Mont & Power, 2009). Political, social, and economic forces interplay with taxation and pricing policies, technological advancements and marketing stimuli in the shaping of the consumer world.

The consumption choices may stem from inner needs that are, in turn, shaped by cultural forces and individual personalities to become wants, and later backed up by purchasing powers to pose actual demands (Solomon, 2013). Consumption patterns are also impacted by religious beliefs, where Hindus and Buddhists, for example, refrain from eating pork and beef, whereas Muslims and Jews do not eat only pork (Dindyal, 2003). The level of income, availability of credits and savings that an individual has directly impact his/her purchasing ability. …

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