Evolution of Cultural Change
Cultural values and beliefs are not stagnant; these do evolve and change. However the pace of change will differ depending on the level examined. At the broad cultural level changes often evolves slowly. For instance, consider how people in the United States and Japan view the importance of saving money. People in the United States are more inclined to spend their earned income than they are to save resulting in a low personal savings rate for Americans. Those living in Japan are more concerned with saving and thus show a high personal savings rate. The difference in values toward savings has been consistent for many years and no one expects consumers from either country to alter their values in the near future.
While broad cultures tend to shift values and beliefs slowly, changes within sub-cultures can occur relatively quickly. For instance, the music industry often experiences rapid shifts as a sub-culture of music enthusiasts discovers new artists. The key for marketers targeting sub-cultures is to maintain close contact with these groups through regular marketing research. In this way marketers can see how different sub-cultures behave and also spot trends, which the marketer can capitalize on through new marketing tactics (e.g., new products, new sales channels, added value, etc.).