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Amanda Gaeta MKTG450-001 Wallendorf April 19, 2010 Chapter Exercise 14C: Judaism, Acculturation, & Brand Loyalty


The United States is home to over 6 million people of the Jewish religion. In Arizona, approximately 1.8% of the population practices Judaism, which is actually above average in comparison to other states (Dashefsky & Sheskin, 2006). With a significant amount of Jewish people in American society, it is only proper to research how they behave and affect business within the United States. According to Jeffrey Podoshen’s study of American Jewish consumption, “the higher the degree of acculturation, the less likely the Jewish consumer will be brand loyal [and] the less likely they will rely on word of mouth (Podoshen, 2006).” Acculturation is defined as the process of movement and adaptation to one country’s cultural environment by a person from another country. This change in practice and behavior does not randomly occur. It is influenced by acculturation agents including riends, family, and religious institutions. The way I went about measuring the degree of acculturation was through asking scaled questions throughout the interview including how often they consult their religion in their daily lives, how dedicated they feel they are to the culture of their religion, and how often they spend time with those of the same religion. A balance of these ratings resulted in an idea of acculturation. One of the respondents, a mother in her 40’s, scored low in acculturation according to these questions. On the other hand, the other respondent, a single woman in her 30’s, scored high. Thus, the responses were varied and allowed for better analysis of the differences between them in accordance with brand loyalty. Customers who are brand loyal repeatedly purchase a brand and commit their money to the company on a consistent basis. One of the ways brand loyalty manifests itself is through family. When a consumer’s family has used the product and they associate the product with their family, many times they will become loyal to the brand themselves. This was seen in the more acculturated subject of my interviews. When asked about purchasing products associated with the practice of her religion, she immediately mentioned Hanukkah candles and explained that she associated the ritual of buying these candles and lighting them to her family. Later in the interview she explains that “outside [her] family, [she doesn’t] really spend time with other Jews.” This allows for less opportunity to participate and be exposed to word of mouth marketing; but beyond word of mouth with friends, she talked more about her


family. The most important part of this explanation was that she admitted to purchasing the same brand of candles as her family. Although this exemplifies the idea of brand loyalty in a sense, this is to a much lesser extent than the other respondent who tested low in acculturation. The mother is highly dedicated to her religion and spends an average amount of time with people within her religion. Podoshen explains that “Jewish women…frequently talk about the latest bargains [and]…they rely on each other for information regarding the quality and price of items (Podoshen, 2006).” She mentioned on an individual level that there was not much choice for kosher purchases available locally, but she does stick with the Manischewitz brand. When spending time with people of her religion, she has recognized that they do use the same brands and in the past has been recommended other brands including “Osem, Empire Kosher, Aaron's Kosher” through this group. According to these responses, I would categorize her in the practice of unstable brand loyalty because even though she does have her regular Manischewitz loyalty, she is willing to try other brands while still remaining a consistent purchaser of Manischewitz. This behavior ties directly into Podoshen’s findings. Not only did I test for product loyalty, but I looked further into where the respondents invest their money. Many religions stress giving back and aiding others. Judaism is no exception to this according to the interviews. Donating to charitable causes was another way in which loyalty was mentioned. The respondent with a high degree of acculturation stated that she donates to a specific cause even though it is outside of her religion. Thus, there is a degree of loyalty embedded in her lifestyle. On the other hand, the mother with a low degree of acculturation stated that she donates annually to the same charity. In this behavior, she practices undivided loyalty. Even though she claims to only donate once a year, she is still supporting the charity consistently. Podoshen’s results are even further cemented through these responses. Thus, the degree of acculturation affects brand loyalty in Americans who practice Judaism. Beyond their religious practices of avoiding meat and products that come from “unclean animals,” the Jewish population leaves their mark on business in the United States by coming together and finding which products and brands are fitting for them in their social and religious circle.


Works Cited Dashefsky, A. & Sheskin, I. (2006). American jewish year book 2006. NY: American Jewish Committee.

Podoshen, J. (2006). Word of mouth, brand loyalty, acculturation and the american jewish consumer. Journal of Consumer Marketing ,23(5), Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/07363760610681664


Appendix Interview Data Questions 1.

Describe your basic religious practices.

b. Are there daily, weekly, or annual rituals? c. Do these require specific products? If yes, describe them. 2.

To what extent do you feel you participate in the Jewish culture?

Never 3.

1

2

3 (Sometimes)

4

5

Always

How often do you consult your religious views to make daily decisions?

Never

1

2

3

4

5

Always

4.

How often do you donate to charities associated with your religion?

b.

Do you consistently donate to one, or do you vary?

5.

Are there products that are forbidden for you to buy according to your religion? Explain.

6.

Are there products you buy in order to practice your religion whether for daily or holiday practices?

a.

How often do you purchase them?

b.

Do you remain with a specific brand?

c.

How did you become aware of these products (in store, from friends, advertisements)?

7. How often do you spend time with those that share your religious views outside of your place of worship? Never

1

2

3

4

5

Always

a. What type of food is served or seen at these events? b. Do you find that you use the same products and/or brands as these people? If yes, give examples.


INTERVIEW 1: Janine Shane (Age Group: Mid 40’s) 1.

Describe your basic religious practices.

I practice Judaism, I pray only to one G-d, believe that G-d is present in my everyday life & that every person is created in the image of G-d. We are all equally G-d's children, equally important & we can all do good in the world. The teachings of Judaism are found in the Torah which was given to Moses by G-d on Mount Sinai. The Torah contains the 10 Commandments plus an additional 613 commandments. I try my best to follow the laws & teachings of the Torah. b. Are there daily, weekly, or annual rituals? Daily: It is custom to pray 3 times a day,(morning,afternoon & evening). In addition blessings are said for meals & before going to bed, Weekly: The Sabbath begins at sunset every Friday & ends at sunset on Saturday. The Sabbath is a day of rest & spiritual enrichment. Annual: a.Rosh Hashanah- The Jewish New Year b.Yom Kippur-The Day of Atonement(Repentance)- The holiest day on the Jewish Calendar-25 hours of fasting & intense prayers, asking for forgiveness for one's sins. c.Sukkot-Giving thanks for the Fall Harvest (Sukkot lasts 7 days) d.Simchat Torah- dancing with the Torah e.Channukah-The Festival of Lights- an 8 day holiday f.Purim-a fun holiday to commemorate when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved. g. Pesach-The exodus of the Jews from Egypt- freed from slavery. c. Do these require specific products for practice? If yes, describe them. Daily Prayers- men need a Kippah(skull cap) & Teffilin (set of small boxes containing scrolls with versus from the Torah) Sabbath-Challah(2 braided breads), Sabbath wine & special wine cup(Kiddush cup), Sabbath candles & special candlesticks, special Sabbath meal (chicken soup, roast chicken or brisket & chollent (Sabbath stew)etc), - We wear really nice clothes to temple on the Sabbath. Rosh Hashanah-Round Challah bread, Apples dipped in honey, Tzimmis made from carrots, sweet potato & honey. Always buy new nice clothes(wear clothes never worn before)for Rosh Hashannah. Sukkot-Items to build a Sukkah (temporary dwelling), Lulav, Etrog. Channukah- Potato latkas, candles & channukiah-8 branched candle holder & candles. 8 days of gifts. Purim- dress up outfits(queen/king),hamentashen. Pesach-Matzah & special foods without yeast. (very expensive to buy all the special Pesach foods) 2.

To what extent do you feel you participate in the Jewish culture?

Never 3.

1

2

3(Sometimes)

4

5 Always

How often do you consult your religious views to make daily decisions?

Never

1

2

3

4

5

Always


4.

How often do you donate to charities associated with your religion?

Annually b.

Do you consistently donate to one, or do you vary?

Donate to the same charity 5.

Are there products that are forbidden for you to buy according to your religion? Explain.

Pork & pork products(eg gelatin), Fish must have fins & scales so no shell fish eg shrimps, oysters, lobster etc., no birds of prey. All meat & chicken eaten are slaughtered in a special way & specially prepared.(koshered with coarse salt) . Dietary laws prohibit the mixing of meat & milk products. 6.

Are there products you buy in order to practice your religion whether for daily or holiday practices?

Kosher meat & chicken, challah, candles, Manichewitz Sabbath wine(Fry's, Safeway etc). a.

How often do you purchase them?

Weekly/monthly b.

Do you remain with a specific brand?

There is not much choice of brands her in Arizona. Trader Joes sells kosher meat & chicken & then there is also the Kosher Store on Scottsdale & Shea (very expensive). I usually buy Manischewitz. c.

How did you become aware of these products (in store, from friends, advertisements)?

From friends at the Temple we attend & also in store. (always looking for the Kosher labels on foods) 7. How often do you spend time with those that share your religious views outside of your place of worship? Never

1

2

3

4

5

Always

a. What type of food is served or seen at these events? Always kosher, mainly traditional Jewish cooking. b. Do you find that you use the same products and/or brands as these people? If yes, give examples. Yes, Manischewitz, Osem, Empire Kosher, Aaron's Kosher.


INTERVIEW 2: Cara Perlman (Age Group: Early 30’s) 1.

Describe your basic religious practices.

I celebrate the major holidays such as Hanukka, Passover, Yom Kippur, and Rosh Hashanna with my family b. Are there daily, weekly, or annual rituals? Just annual whenever these holidays roll around c. Do these require specific products including clothing or food? If yes, describe them. There are traditional foods that we eat such as Matzoh, potato pancakes and giflte fish (which is horrible and I refuse to eat) 2.

To what extent do you feel you participate in the Jewish culture? I would say I'm probably around a 2. Usually I only participate on the major holidays.

Never 3.

2

3(Sometimes)

4

5 Always

How often do you consult your religious views to make daily decisions? 2, my religion rarely effects my daily decisions.

Never 4.

1

1

2

3

4

5

Always

How often do you donate to charities associated with your religion?

Not very often, although I would like to on a more regular basis. a.

Do you consistently donate to one, or do you vary?

I try to donate to charities throughout the year, my most recent donation was to the leukemia/lymphoma society. 5.

Are there products that are forbidden for you to buy according to your religion? Explain.

Any and all pork products, shellfish. It is against Kosher law to consume and purchase these products as they are considered unclean animals. 6.

Are there products you buy in order to practice your religion whether for daily or holiday practices?

Hanukkah candles for the menorah are about all I buy. a.

How often do you purchase them? Once a year


b.

Do you remain with a specific brand? No

c.

How did you become aware of these products (in store, from friends, advertisements)?

I was first aware of them when I was a little girl lighting the menorah with my family. I actually still use the same ones. 7. How often do you spend time with those that share your religious views outside of your place of worship? 2, Outside of my family I don’t really spend time with other jews, with the exception of going on the Birthright trip to Israel 3 years ago. Never

1

2

3

4

5

Always

a. What type of food is served or seen at these events? Traditional jewish food include brisket, potatoes, challah, matzoh ball soup, and generally there is always wine on the table. b. Do you find that you use the same products and/or brands as these people? If yes, give examples. No, not really.


Interview Respondent Information Name: Janine Shane Age: 45 years old Email: janinecshane@aol.com Contact: Rooomate’s Friend’s Mom Name: Cara Perlman Age: 33 years old Email: caraperlman@comcast.net Contact: Classmate’s Coworker

Brand Loyalty and Religion  

Analysis of Judaism, Acculturation, & Brand Loyalty

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