The ongoing unification taking place in the European political scene, along with recent advances in consumer mobility and communication technology, raises the question of whether the European Union can be treated as a single market to exploit potential synergy effects from pan-European marketing strategies. Previous research, which mostly used domain-specific segmentation bases, has resulted in mixed conclusions. In this paper, a more general segmentation basis is adopted, as we consider the homogeneity in the European countries' Consumer Confidence Indicators. Moreover, rather than analyzing more traditional static similarity measures, we adopt the concepts of dynamic correlation and cohesion between countries. The short-run fluctuations in consumer confidence are found to be largely country specific. A myopic focus on these fluctuations may inspire management to adopt multicountry strategies, forgoing the potential longer-run benefits from more standardized marketing strategies. Indeed, the Consumer Confidence Indicators become much more homogeneous as the planning horizon is extended. Moreover, this homogeneity is inversely related to the economic and cultural distance among the various member states. Hence, pan-regional rather than pan-European strategies are called for.

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International Journal of Research in Marketing
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Lemmens, A., Croux, C., & Dekimpe, M. (2007). Consumer confidence in Europe: United in diversity?. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 24(2), 113–127. doi:10.1016/j.ijresmar.2006.10.006