Examining consumer motivations through cultural norms : a case study of the Tokyo DisneySea Duffy and Friends Products

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Date

2022-05-16

Authors

Zhu, Jingya

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Abstract

Asian consumers are obsessed with the series of characters released by Tokyo DisneySea called “Duffy and Friends.” These characters are unique because they do not have a Disney movie series associated with them. This thesis examines this marketing phenomenon by studying consumers’ purchase motivation and how cultural differences impact the consumer journey. This research is guided by the main question: Can "Duffy and Friends" achieve the same level of success in the United States as they do in Asia without ties to a specific movie series? An in-depth literature review is presented to outline the cultural impacts of brands, character products, consumers, and purchase motivations. To answer the above question, an online survey and in-depth interviews were conducted. The studies found that culture plays an essential role in affecting consumers’ purchase motivation. Social acceptance is the motivation that leads to Asian consumers’ purchase behavior, while uniqueness motivates U.S. consumers more. Moreover, the emotional connection between consumers and characters is the foundation for character products. Other strategies such as scarcity and familiarity are also discussed as factors that impact the consumer decision process.

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