In an increasingly globalized society, consumers become affiliated to multiple sociocultural entities and simultaneously hold multiple different identities. The European Union (EU) represents one such entity that, particularly in today's shifting environment, is expected to exert a strong influence on how people make purchase decisions. Unfortunately, no empirical evidence exists about the role the EU identity plays in consumer behavior. Drawing on social identity theory, this paper simultaneously considers multiple community-based identities, disentangling the role of the EU identity in predicting product preferences. In an empirical study (N = 1053 consumers) we demonstrate that the EU identity has a unique, crossover function driving preferences for both domestic and foreign products. The positive effect of EU identity on foreign products is invariant of consumers' ethnocentric tendencies, while it is eliminated for domestic products and highly ethnocentric segments. The findings are discussed in light of the existing literature and routes for future research are identified.
- EU identity
- Multiple community-based identities
- Domestic and foreign product preferences