Regional Cultures, Managerial Behavior, and Entrepreneurship: An International Perspective

By Joseph W. Weiss | Go to book overview

4
The Nine Nations of North America and
the Value Basis of Geographic
Segmentation

Lynn R. Kahle

Geographic segmentation is a useful concept in consumer theory ( Hawkins, Best, and Coney 1983). Different regions of the United States have different cultures, climates, histories, and resources. These differences and others influence such consumer activities as use of media, shopping areas, products, and services; therefore, any serious examination or utilization of consumer behavior knowledge ought minimally to consider the potential importance of geography. A number of marketing managers already realize this fact. For example, R. J. Reynolds promotes different brands of cigarettes in different geographic areas, and General Foods flavors Maxwell House coffee differently, based on region. People in the West prefer stronger coffee ( Kotler 1983). At a most basic level the values of the regions differ, which provides the psychological basis of geographic variation in consumer behavior.

Except for several highly specialized approaches, such as unique purpose segmentation (e.g., soft drink marketing is different in jurisdictions with [versus without] "Bottle Bills") or postal zip code segmentation, probably the most attention has been given to the Bureau of Census (BOC) divisions of the country and to the revision of the South used by such places as the University of Michigan Survey Research Center. This essay tests whether values differ as a function of BOC geographic regions and as a function of another theory of regions by Joel Garreau.

Garreau (1981) proposed an alternative conceptualization of regions

____________________
Lynn R. Kahle, "The Nine Nations of North America and the Value Basis of Geographic Segmentation." Reprinted from Journal of Marketing 50, no. 2 ( 1986): 37-47, published by the American Marketing Association.

-43-

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