Consumer Behavior Differences between Developed & Developing Countries

June 30, 2016

Consumer behaviors vary greatly from country-to-country, even when looking at the most developed of countries. Therefore, it makes sense that the consumer behaviors between developed and developing countries will differ even more. This can be for any number of reasons, including cultural beliefs, education level, and economic situations. Here are just some of the notable differences in consumer behaviors between developed and developing countries.

Valuing Culture & Locality

When it comes to advertising for products, developed countries prefer that products stand out from other products. However, when you look at developing countries, this is not the case. Rather, developing countries have a preference for product advertisements that play on their local and cultural values and traditions.


The belief that one’s culture is better than another—is much more common in developing countries than their developed counterparts. These countries consider products from Westernized countries to be things that can harm not just their society, but their workforce as well, where local businesses may be unable to keep up with competition. This means that they are more willing to buy lesser-quality items if they come from their own culture. In developed countries, however, consumers buy their products based primarily on the price, quality, and durability.

Evaluative Dissonance

Westernized countries have made efforts to connect with the younger generation in developing countries, and succeeded—even in countries where westernized cultures are extremely disliked. However, these same developed countries are still unreceptive to the values and ideas of the developing countries they try to reach because, for them, these countries have inferior values that do not match with their existing beliefs.

Individualistic Vs Community

Western, developed countries tend to be very individualistic and value their independent values and beliefs more than those of a culture as a whole. This is the opposite belief of developing countries, where cultures are more focused on the community as a whole, rather than just themselves.

Valuation of Goods

Unlike in developed countries, high inflation makes it virtually impossible for consumers in developing countries to focus on quality when making their purchases. Because of this, they use other means to determine the quality of the products available on the market, while also searching for the most affordable options they have.

Difference in Education

Consumers in developing countries do not always have a lot of education, like their developed country counterparts. Due to these differing education levels, the consumers from developing countries are not as bothered by the way they dispose of used products, which leads to poor environmental conditions. On the other hand, developed countries place a lot of attention on proper disposal, due to their high environmental consciousness.

These are just some of the differences that one can find when it comes to consumer behaviors in both developed and developing countries. While some of these differences may not seem that big, they do have a major impact on the buying habits of residents. They can even have a big effect on the ability of western companies to find success, should they try to enter the market of a developing country where they may not be as welcomed by the public.


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