Cultural values in market and opinion research

Date of publication: September 1, 1998


The term ‘value’ has many meanings. In market research we meet the term most often in the phrase ‘value for money’ but also in the notion ‘consumer values’. The latter is our concern here. Values in this sense are the consumers’ priorities in their living. Values are something broader than attitudes and opinions; they are also more consistent than opinions and more lasting than attitudes. A full definition of (cultural) values thus reads: Values are generalised, relatively enduring and consistent priorities for how we want to live. Our values unite us with certain people, products, and services and estrange us from others. Markets, technically speaking, are continual exchanges of property rights until they end up with those who pay an optimum price. One ultimate driving force of the markets in a region is the values held by its population. Values indicate priorities for how we want to live, and, in our type of society, the market is the major system through which we can realise our values. Such simple considerations have suggested that it may be very fruitful to incorporate value research into market research. Value research has many benefits for marketing.

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