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Culture Research

In: Business and Management

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Table of content

Research Background 1
Culture Research 1
1. Consumer Culture: Nail Preference Culture 1
2. When and where were the observations/interviews done? 1
3. Consumer List 2
4. Consumer theory Analysis 2
5. Observation Outline and Question List for Interview. 7 6. Who is the target of this culture? (Both demographic and psychographic profile of the individuals) 7
7. Group Members and their contribution to the project 8
Appendix I 9

Nail Preference Culture of Female Consumers

Research Background

Since marketers successfully promote the slogan “It is women’s nature to be beauty”, it seems also well-explained a phenomenon why in current market female consumer exists huge growth potential to marketers to pay attention to it. In this research project, we are trying to explore the nail preference culture of female consumers and understand their potential behavior motivations.

In order to get practical information from this group of consumers, we interviewed some consumers in Nail D’Amour nail salon store as well as its nail specialist. In addition, we used value – Utilitarian Value/Hedonic Value, Motivation – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and Decision Making Process Model these three theories to explain behavior and motivations of these consumers.

According to the interviewing results, we found that this group of consumers love doing nail is mainly due to its Hedonic value which satisfies consumers’ emotional demands to make them happier, prettier, and more confident. Besides, pretty, unique nails also satisfy their esteem demands by getting respect and compliment from other people for their born-with-nature pretty hands or feet. Last but not least, during the decision making process, the characteristics of 100% customization, long persistence, fashion and elegant image of nail art also make this activity distinguishes from other alternatives, such as buying cosmetics, dying hair, or shopping beauty relative products etc.

Culture Research

1. Consumer Culture: Nail Preference Culture

2. When and where were the observations/interviews done?

(1) Date and time: 08/01/2009 4:00pm~7:00pm 08/20/2009 4:00pm~5:00pm
(2) Where: Nail D’Amour Nail Salon Store 18427 E Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748

(3) Physically location: In the store

3. Consumer List

(1) Interviewee list:

|Consumer List |Name |Age |Occupation |
|Interviewee 1 |Ivy |40~45 |Business Woman |
|Interviewee 2 |Michelle |25~30 |Graphic Designer |
|Interviewee 3 |Kathie |25~30 |Business Woman |
|Interviewee 4 |Linda |25~30 |Business Woman |
|Interviewee 5 |Ayako |30~35 |Nail Specialist |
|Interviewee 6 |Winny |25~30 |Graduate Student |
|Interviewee 7 |Christine |25~30 |Graduate Student |

(2) Date and time: 08/01/2009 4:00pm~7:00pm 08/20/2009 4:00pm~5:00pm
(3) Where: Nail D’Amour Nail Salon Store 18427 E Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748

(4) Physically location: In the store

4. Consumer theory Analysis

According to the characteristics of this culture, we decided to use Value – Utilitarian Value/Hedonic Value, Motivation – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and Decision Making Process Model these three theories to explain consumer behavior and motivation of this culture. A detailed analysis and explanation is shown below:

(1) Value – Utilitarian Value/Hedonic Value

| |UTILITARIAN VALUE |HEDONIC VALUE |
|1 |A means to an end: High |End in and of itself: High |
|2 |Logical and objective: Low |Emotional and subjective: High |
|3 |Can objectively explain: Low |Difficult to explain objectively: High |
|4 |Time needed to accomplish task: High |Usually immediate: Low |

Resources: Measuring the Hedonic and Utilitarian Dimensions of Consumer Attitude[1]

Based on the analysis result shown above, nail art provides both Utilitarian Value and Hedonic Value to consumers. However, Hedonic Value which nail art provides is comparatively higher than Utilitarian Value to consumers. The most obvious Utilitarian value (functional value) of nail art is nail specialists help consumers remove the dead skin, activating skin function of both hands and feet before putting colors on it. Moreover, according to medical report, doing nail art is also a way to help correct distorted nails for both hands and feet. These two functions really attract part of the consumers to do the nail art. However, most of the consumers are eager to do the nail art because of its Hedonic Value (Emotional value). According to the interview results, almost 90% of the interviewees love doing nail art due to it makes them feel happier, prettier, more attractive and confident. It can be well-explained that though doing the nail art usually take two or four more hours to consumers and they also need to make an appointment in advance with their nail specialists, these loyal consumers are still willing to do it over and over again.

(2) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

[pic]

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory, he depicted human’s needs as a pyramid which consists of five levels: the lowest which is also the most primitive one is physiological needs while the uppermost level is self-actualization needs[2]. The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are met. Based on the responses of the interviewees in the nail salon store, we define their needs for nail art in the level four - “Esteem” level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. First of all, these interviewees who love doing nail art not just because they are looking for emotional belonging to their family and friends. Obviously, the motivation for them to do nail art is not just due to their family and friends. In addition, during the interviewing process, it is interesting to find that highly percentage of the consumers who do the nail art believe that they have long, fine, and good-looking hands or feet. They often get compliment for their hands or feet from other people and therefore, they tend to care more about their both nails and toenails and are willing to pay more money than other people on it in order to show and attract people’s attentions. Moreover, except for attracting people’s attention and gaining their respect, most of the interviewees love nail art is also for the reasons that pretty nails make them feel more confident, fashion, or even professional as well as nail art can bolster their self-image or self-value. By doing the nail art, these consumers are expressing an important message “who they are and who they wants to be”. Therefore, they love this activity and value themselves more when they receive esteem and gain recognition from other people.

(3) Decision Making Process Model

a. Problem Recognition

Consumers who do nail art usually have good-looking hands or feet so they tend to have higher sensitivity toward their nail condition as well due to the reason that they got much higher opportunity for people to pay attentions to their “born with nature” pretty hands and feet. At the beginning, these consumers may start by having the demand to go to nail salon to maintain their hands or feet, such as remove dead skin. Gradually, with the trend of doing nail art from some developed countries, such as Japan and South Korea, they found that doing nail art is a better and easier way to set off their hands and feet. Therefore, most of the consumers begin to have the habit to maintain nail condition as well as decorate their nails. Moreover, these consumers often have highly conscious toward fashion or pretty, they regard pretty nails as a crucial factor of trendy, modern attribute and even necessary in their lives.

b. Information Search

This group of consumers is usually internet savvy, they take care of fashion and like to search latest trend information online. They may through the channels of searching online, reading fashion magazines, and watching TV shows to absorb knowledge about nails. Sometimes they join the online discussing group of nail or build a blog to share or exchange their experiences about doing nail art. They also like to exchange information with their family or friends.

c. Evaluation of Alternatives

After getting the information about nail art, these consumers tend to compare the price and outcome of this service to other alternatives, such as dying hair, buying cosmetics, or shopping in beauty parlor etc. On average, the price which the consumers would accept for nail salon is $30~$50 for regular manicure and pedicure, $80~$120 for 3 D nail gel or nail extension etc. Based on the interviewing results, these consumers are usually willing to pay the same range of money on other services, such as dying hair, buying cosmetics, or buying new clothes and beauty related products. Obviously, price is not the primary factor to affect them in doing the nail art. Comparatively, activity outcome is the main reason to these consumers. According to the interviewees, the characteristics of 100% customization, long persistence, fashion and elegant image of nail art are the key points to make them choose this service.

d. Product Choice – Purchase

Once the consumers have decided to do nail art, colors, patterns of the nails and the skills of the nail specialists are three important parts to these consumers. These consumers tend to pick the colors which properly fit for their skin colors and they more prefer to the pattern that is either rare or 100% customized by their nail specialists according to their demands. “Uniqueness” is more important than “fitting the trend” for them in choosing their nail patterns. Moreover, since most of the consumers love to do nail art is “for their own good”, most of the time they tend to choose nail styles and make decisions by themselves instead of listening to the opinions of their family or friends.

e. Outcomes – Post Purchases activities

Once these consumers have tried this kind of service, most of them feel satisfied both physically and psychologically. For physical section, they accomplish tasks which are removing dead skins, activating skin functions, or correcting distorted nails. For psychological section, their confidence improved and they also become emotionally happier because they feel accepted, respect, and valued more by others and they successfully express their desirable image to them. Besides, pretty nails bolster their self-image, uniqueness, and their individuality by making 100% customized nail design and the characteristic of being persistent for this service and being able to express both fashion and elegant image also make these consumers prefer spending their money on doing nail art than other fashion services or activities. According to the interviewees, almost all are also willing to recommend this service to their family or friends once they have tried. They even become loyal, addictive to this service and open mind to try variety of nail services, such as 3 D nail gel or nail extension etc. The frequency for them to go back to re-do the service is about one month.

5. Observation Outline and Question List for Interview.

In this project, we are trying to observe and explore the following issues:
(1) Why do consumers of this culture love to do the nail art?
(2) What are the motivations to stimulate them to do this service?
(3) What would they get after doing this service (both physically and psychologically)?
(4) How addictive they would become once they have tried this service?

The list of questions we developed to help us get the above information from the nail specialists and the consumers are shown in Appendix I.

6. Who is the target of this culture? (Both demographic and psychographic profile of the individuals)

(1) Demographic Profile

a. Age: From 18 to 55 years old

b. Gender: Female

c. Household Income: Average household income higher than U.S. $60,000

d. Lifestyle:

- These consumers can be defined as high household income group because they have enough disposable income to spend on beauty relative products or services or doing leisure activities.

- These consumers usually love to read or watch fashion and beauty magazines as well as TV shows, searching latest fashion-related information online, and exchanging fashion knowledge with other people on the blog.

- They spend certain amount of money (about 20~30% of their income) buying beauty relative products every month, such as cosmetics, perfume, bath preparation, and traveling.

- They are usually internet savvy and spend average 3 to 5 hours a day using computers.

- They usually love traveling to developed countries, such as Japan and United States.

e. Occupation:

These consumers have variety of backgrounds toward their careers. They can be full time students, marketing planners, accountants, financial assistants, administrators, business woman, or even housewives etc.

(2) Psychographic Profile

- These consumers usually have faddish nature and high fashion conscious.

- Sometimes they are viewed as fashion mavens who are always able to catch up with the latest fashion or beauty information.

- They consider that pretty, unique nails can help express their individuality and bolster their self-image.

- They consider that being fashion is a good way to express and distinguish themselves from others.

7. Group Members and their contribution to the project

| |Group Members |Main Contribution |
|1. |Tai-Hao Wu |Collecting and analyzing data from SimplyMap system |
| | |Arranging for consumer culture report |
| | |Designing videotape background |
| | |Doing the interview |
|2. |Hsin-Yi Shen |Writing consumer culture report |
| | |Collecting data from SimplyMap system |
| | |Designing videotape background |
| | |Developing question list for interview |
| | |Doing the interview |
|3. |Chia-Yu Shih |Editing the videotape |
| | |Collecting data from SimplyMap system |
| | |Developing question list for interview |
| | |Arranging for consumer culture report |
| | |Doing the interview |

Appendix I

Interview Question List

➢ Who is the target of this culture? (Interviewing the nail specialist)

✓ Who is your target customer? (Gender, age, and lifestyle) ✓ How often do these customers come? ✓ What kind of services do they usually/often do? ✓ What are the three most popular nail services in your store? And why? ✓ According to your expertise and understanding, what do you think that your target customer like this kind of services?

➢ Consumer Culture Theory Information (Interviewing the target customer)
1. Value ✓ What is/are the reason(s) for you to do this kind of service (nail art)? ✓ Does doing nail art become a part of your life? ✓ What can nail art give you? Except physically for the pretty nails but psychologically? ✓ How do you feel after doing nail art?

2. Motivation – Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs ✓ How often do you go to nail salon? ✓ How much money do you spend in doing nail art every year? ✓ How much money do you spend in other sections (buying food, living, saving, entertaining etc) ✓ Where do you get the information from about nail art? ✓ Do your family/friends/close friends also do nail art? ✓ If not, do your family/friends/close friends support you to do nail art? ✓ What benefit(s) do nail art give you?

3. Decision Making Process Model ✓ When do you start doing nail art? What make you do this? ✓ How do you get the information about nail art? ✓ What other services may distract your decisions from doing nail art? ✓ What factor(s) may affect you in doing nail art? ✓ Do you prefer to choose your nail style by yourself or by your nail stylist? ✓ How do you feel after doing nail art? Is there any emotional difference between pre-doing and post-doing nail art? ✓ Will you recommend your family/friends/close friends to do nail art? ✓ Are you going to do nail art again? ✓ When do you want to do nail art? And why?

Individual Submission
1. Describe all the activities you did for the project.
1) To discuss with my team members and search the data of specific cultures. Finally, we decide to do “nail preference culture”.
2) To search information about “nail preference culture”.
3) To decide target customers of nail preference culture, and search information and variables from Simplymap.
4) To come up the interview questions and discuss with other team member to decide final version of question lists.
5) To interview customers in nail salon.
6) To edit and cut video.
7) To design the photographs.
8) To arrange consumer culture report.

2. How the project evolved over the quarter. When we got permission from professor that we could choose “nail preference culture” for our topic, we started to search data about nail art to understand it. We decided the target customer at the beginning, and tried to come up the interview questions. We had many discussions before interview. My team member, TaiHao Wu, loves to do nail art. So we asked her many questions first to find out the behavior of the nail preference culture. It was very helpful to understand this culture. We interviewed many people in the nail salon. However, some people did not addict to do nail. We changed some questions immediately and tried to find more interviewers. We also interviewed our team member, TaiHao Wu, and the other classmate who also loves to do nail. Finally, we got the answers we were looking for. We spent two to three weeks to edit video and write report. The order of video is based on “decision making process”. We adopted this process to show the video is because we want to make audiences understand the culture easily. All team members did the project very hard. Finally, we completed the report, video, and Simplymap at the same time.

3. What did you learn by doing the project? It is so interesting when doing the project. I was shy to interview strangers. I think I overcome my weakness through the project because the interview was successful. I think it is good to communicate with people because we can directly understand what they think about. It is so important to understand consumer behaviors. I understand their demands, desires, thinking, and feeling about nail during the interview. I think the experience of doing consumer behavior project would be beneficial to me to be a marketing person in the future. On the other hand, Simplymap is a good system to search demographic and geographic data. I spent a lot of time on it because I do not know how to use it in the beginning. It is worth it because now, I know how to use Simplymap and I get a lot of useful information from it. I am appreciated that school provides such a good system to us. Moreover, I am mainly responsible for editing the videotape. I like this challenge because I can learn a new computer skill. I am happy to work with my team members, TaiHao Wu and HsinYi Shen. They both work very hard in project. I also learn a lot through discussions. I learn a lot when doing the project. I am good in searching data, editing videotape, and interviewing people now.

4. What did you find helpful and what did you need more information on; what would you want to know at the beginning and along the way that would make the project easier? At the beginning, we searched information on website and from magazines. It is not too difficult to get information about nails and I think the information is very helpful. Many people share their experiences about nail art. It helps me know more about nail art and know why they like to do nails. On the other hand, my team member is familiar with nail art culture. She also knows the owner of nail salon who can provide the place to us to interview. It is also helpful for us to do the project because it makes us easier to contact the customers in this culture. Besides, the owner of nail salon provided some information about nail to us. I would say if we can find more people who are very addictive in doing nail will be easier to do the project. Many people like to do nail, but few of them are addictive in nail art. We found that it is difficult to get deeper answers that we want.

5. Would you do the project again? Why or why not? Yes, I would like to do the project again but I would like to choose Japanese for my target customers. Because we know that 3D gel nail, nail extension, and nail art are from Japan. Many Japanese love to do nail art. They want to save money on food for doing nail. Some people think they are crazy so I am curious about their motivation and decision process.

6. Group evaluation sheet for your group.

[pic][pic]
-----------------------
[1]http://www.cbe.wsu.edu/~spangen/PDF_Papers/Measuring_the_Hedonic_and_Utilitarian.pdf

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

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...In a short biography about the Hmong culture, they originally dominated the country of China; however, they were overtaken by other Asian groups (Split Horn). Some Hmong people were enslaved, while majority of the Hmong individuals scattered throughout the world. Hmong families and relatives strayed away from populated areas, and decided to escape to Thailand. With the separation of the Hmong population, Hmong relatives mainly mobilized to Laos or deep into the mountains in Thailand. The estimated Hmong population during that time was 300,000 to 400,000 people (Split Horn). When the Vietnam War began, several Hmong people decided to find different locations to live in, while other Hmong individuals contributed to fight along with the United...

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Sociology and Cultural Anthropology: Compare and Contrast

...beings through their ancestors in terms of surroundings, social relationships, language, religious beliefs and the principles of their societies (O’Neil, 2011). Both of these fields are inter-related in the study of a society and social culture but they each use specific research methods that are appropriate for their own course of studies. Sociology identifies associations or correlations between variables in a small group of sample population and applies these findings to a larger population (Calhoun, 2002). Cultural anthropology looks at small groups of people in their studies. Researchers may compare their understandings of the subjects with other cultures we are familiar with, but they do not necessarily have to use these findings to explain other cultures (O’Neil, 2011). Sociologists use five main methods of research that include surveys, interviews, experiments, observations, and secondary analysis (Admin, 2013). Each research method has its positive and negative effects and the study itself determines which tool is best suited, though most research will use several methods. Philosophical justifications dictate which methodology should be used to fit the topics the researchers are trying to investigate. Survey research can be either written survey such as questionnaires or they can be interviewing surveys where the researcher administers the survey. Large number of people are asked the same questions and the...

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