Journal of Business Research
The logic behind globalized advertising appeals is based on the premise that cultural value systems are converging. Yet, there is no clear agreement regarding the superiority of standardized campaigns vs. localized ones. One reason for this lack of agreement deals with the extent to which various cultures share similar values. The goal of this study is to apply a relatively new framework dealing with value differences developed by Schwartz [Adv. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 25 (1992) 1.] to New Zealand and the USA by looking at the connection between these values and possessions. The hypotheses received mix support. The results confirm that New Zealanders are higher in Harmony and Affective Autonomy, and these values did, in part, affect possessions and reasons for owning them. New Zealanders’ most valued possessions were for environmental reasons, but they were no more likely to mention enjoyment reasons than Americans. New Zealanders also did not mention recreational possessions as more important, contrary to one of the hypotheses. Nonetheless, the similarities between NZ and the USA were much greater than the differences. The study provides valuable insight into how the meanings of important possessions differ across cultures and illustrates the need to understand these differences when designing marketing communications and positioning products in foreign markets.