Spring

11

International Marketing
Do Thu Ha - 4923286
The Impact of Culture on Marketing Practices in Japan and Germany

University of East Anglia 2011

.......... 4-9 4.............................. ............. ..............1 The importance of culture in international marketing ......... ................... ........ ..................................2 Understanding of rivals ...2 Definition ......................................... 4-8 4............ ................................ 4-8 4...................1............1 2............ ......... .. ....... 3-5 4 Relationship between culture and international marketing ................ 4-8 4................................. ....... ............................................................................................................................................................................... 4-9 5 Recommendation and Conclusion ...................... ........................ .....1............................. .. . ........ .... .......... 2-4 Methodology ................1 Understanding consumer behaviour ........ 5-10 Reference 1-1 . .................................................................................................................. ..................................................... 1-4 2 Literature review . ........................................... 2-4 3 Countries analysis ........ ..........................2 The impact of culture on marketing practice .. ....... ............................................Content 1 Introduction............ 2-4 2.............................

Abbreviation IMF R&D PDI IDV MAS UAI LTO GPI GDP International Monetary Fund Research and Development Power Distance Index Individualism Masculinity Uncertainty Avoidance Index Long-Term Orientation Global Peace Index Gross Domestic Product 1-2 .

In order to understand local consumer¶s behaviour in its full complexity. 1-3 .´. However the success or failure of them is subjected to the acceptance of indigenous people.Abstract The expansion of business from a country to others is the ultimate goal of any businessman. 2009). By looking at the similarities and differences between these countries the researcher finds that all aspects of consumer behaviour are cultural elements covered. this paper studies the major characteristics and culture uniqueness of Japan and Germany to find the answers for questions:³Why culture is important for international marketing´ and ³How distinctive culture influence marketing strategies through the case of these countries.In the end. the future international marketers should use the cross-culture approach to international marketing (Usunier& Lee. therefore the marketers need to identify and understand these factors and its impact on global marketing to be successful in business. By using useful tools such as PEST and Hofstede¶s theories. the report attempts to give managerial recommendations based on the analysis.

1 Introduction Nowadays both economists and culturists agree that cultural adaptation is not only a goal but also the driving force on economic developmentof society. preferences. individualism-collectivism and long term orientation. 2 2. This report is going to deal with the following issues: y y y y y Literature review Interpretation of the countries similarities and differences The importance of culture in international marketing The impact of culture on international practice Recommendation and conclusion. uncertainty avoidance. the diversity of cultures leads to the diversity of socio-politico-economic systems and paradigms. Beside. masculinity-femininity. 2. According to Chang (2010). Moreover.2 Methodology Firstly. The impact of culture on the economy is very large and complex. Countries were assessed according to the main five dimensions: power distance. and responses (Hofstede. Hofstede¶s classification of national cultures is a second analytical tool that was used in terms of Germany and Japan.1 Literature review Definition Culture is defined as a shared set of values that influence societal perceptions. thus ³PEST´ and ³Hofstede´ are used to analyse the impact of culture on marketing practice. 2-4 . social and technological aspects of each country. 1980). economical. PEST analysis helps to understand that businesses do not exist in vacuum and exposed to different pressures. PEST analysis is a useful instrument for assessing external environment of foreign markets and includes political. attitudes. it will focus onthe cultural implications to the marketing activities of businesses in Germany and Japan.Within the scope of this paper.

3 Countries analysis This is PEST and Hofede analysis to interpret the countries similarities and differences. Social: Based on CIAFact Book (2011). Technological: As the marketsfor international business. PEST Analysis a. Here are the population pyramids of these two countries in 2009. d. Japan and Germany can be defined as high technological countries. Economic: Based on the IMF. c. Japan. both countries are two of the four largest economies in the world in 2010. while Germany focuses on investment in innovative automobile technology (CIA Fact Book. In the Global Peace Index (2011). according to the International Monetary Fund. 3-5 . the government type of Japan is parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy and Germanyis federal republic. 2011). these countries have an aging population: Japan¶s average age is 44. Political: According to CIAFact Book (2011). for example. measured in nominal GDP (trillions of USD). b.3 years old.6 years old and Germany¶s is 44. focuses on continuing improve the technologies in environmental area and in innovative game industry. Figure 1: The ten largest economies in the world in 2010. Japan is 3rd of 149 countries in the world whilst Germany is 16th.

In the ITIM (2011). 2011). they showthe differences in five Hofstede¶s cultural dimensions between Japan and Germany in the graph below: PDI. The population¶s life expectancy of both countries has the highest percentage. IDV.(Source: http://w Li i Japanese and German people have the hi hest standard of living on the world. almost 90% of their populations use their own languages as the official language.wordpress. UAI and LTO. especially for doing the business (C Fact Book. M . whichthe average represents around 81.com/2010/08 ) 3-6 .   ¡  tchecon.2 years of age.

(Blodgent. However. which is made in Japan or domestic brand rather than foreign or imported product or brand. In fact. Japan has been a male dominated country. which can be 3-7 . In contrast. In the Germany¶s market. more than 90%. Germany¶s another dimensions are lower than Japan¶s. 2008). Japan is a collective culture. they will be more attracted to men . UAI and economic development have some relationship. While German tends to be created equal in society. Japan¶s women become more and more strong and independent in workplace so they are able to earn more money and get a higher position in the society. The higher Power Distance means individual tend to follow the rules of conduct and are reluctant to disagree to superiors.(Source . while Japanese thinks that group is the most important. 2011). 1999).UAI dimension of these countries are both relatively high (60% and 90% respectively). There are more and more advertisements focused on female customers and products designed for women only.Nowadays. the MASis really high in Japan. 2008). Individuals recognise other people differently depending on their relationship together. Japanese prefer to buy the product. Bakir and Rose.ITIM International Home Page) It is clearly to see that the level of Germany¶s IDV dimension is higher than Japan¶s.In the other hand. It means that German believe on individuals¶ ability. (Lee. Knight and Kim. these advertisements in fact imply that if a women use this product. and how close that relationship is. Japanese is more conservative in terms of risk taking. Japanese is not. men are expected to be in management level in companies (Hannay. the individual investors and consumers are at the centre.According to the graph. Beside.The strong individualism belief has developed a shareholders-driven corporate paradigm in Germany (Husted.

1 The importance of culture in international marketing 4. Culture affects the consumer¶s choice and it also affects beliefs and attitudes of individuals. competition. Understanding the cultural diversity of the global marketplace is an important required in international marketing. the stable politic. 4 Relationship between culture and international marketing ³Most economic of the world are multi-cultural. Japan and Germany can be considered as the potential market.(Colbert et al. the marketers not only understand customer behaviour and its change but marketers also need to recognize different aspects of environmental change. 2008). To overcome this barrier. in an environment with high living standards. In addition. If marketers do not understand what little communication there.1 Understanding consumer behaviour The culture barriers for market development are clear. reliability and usability of the product. Moreover. it contains three components: rule orientation. durability.Finally. 4-8 . consumers in Japan and Germany ask specific standards for quality precision. 2007). (Tang and Koveos.explained by ecological factors.the Japanese have higher saving rates than those scored short-term (Germany¶s LTO).1. exchanging cards is one of the most important gestures in doing business in Japan. employment stability and stress. The absence of the business cards is not a good impression (Kwintessential. The consumer becomes an active social process rooted in cultural factors. The existence of culture is influenced on individual preferences and it also affects consumer behaviour. For example. ³More saving meant more money for productive investment. 2011). 2007) Comment: Based on the willingness and the attention of the customers. consumer¶s behaviour will express individuality and to build social relationships under the guidance of cultural factors. the marketers should consider the characters of culture in future market carefully to achieve their success. hygiene products. 4. howthey can understand and sell to people here with the right products and services. 2009). Therefore. the marketers needto pay attention to the stage of completion.´ (Hofstede. However. Within a range of social. it requires manufacturers and marketers understand local culture and its impact of their decision to purchase. Moreover. affording both opportunities and challenges to the global marketer´ (Lee & Carter. and the growth of the domestic corporation both in domestic and overseas. packaging and freight.

First group. among individuals. 2011). Firstly. including the set of factors such as level of use of technical innovations.. has an effect on following issue of businesses: Culture affects a wide range of issues of strategic marketing such as: field selection business. the engineering and technology or the environment population demographic environment (Colbert et al.Characteristics of these factors do not exist in the system of elements of the business environment of enterprises. the promotion strategy is affected profoundly by the language problem. as an environmental factor of overall marketing. the environmental science.4. lifestyle. and how to use time and space. Finally. selecting target markets. the more they can make lots of profit and tend to win the competitors where know less (Colbert et al. Culture. 2007). the acceptance of products 4-9 . Culture almost affects to the various tools of marketing-mix strategy of enterprises (Colbert et al. marketers have to understand what competition brings to consumers and their strategies to find ways to respond promptly. The marketers understand consumer behaviour and their desires so that they can develop new goods and services with specific marketing strategies on the markets in the world. education level of the workers. for example. Culture also affects the implementation of tactics. it is legal or institutionalized under types of environmental variables of the law. Instead. 4.. number four was considered unlucky number because of its similar pronunciation with the pronunciation of the letter µDeath¶ (Shi = death) (Kwintessential. religions. 2007). cultural variables of this group was officially organized and be considered as constituent parts and creating real content of the cultural factors for marketing activities (Colbert et al.1. strategies and measures for specific tasks. 2007). It is not always easy indeed.2 Understanding of rivals To succeed in the competitive market. etc« In the theoretical studies as well as in the practical activities. symbols. In Japan. The second group includes many factors such as language. psychology. scientific discoveries in the fields of production and social life.2 The impact of culture on marketing practice The impact of cultural values to marketing activities is influenced by many different factors but they can be divided into two groups. specific acts of market activities in the marketing process. decisions about the mission's overall business objectives and marketing activities. Secondly. 2007).Some hotels do not even have room number four. the concept of friendship. selecting the overall marketing strategy.

distribution systems are often affected by other social institutions. both in terms of materials and styles. most Japanese families have no central heating system. recognise them and adopt them to product promotion is the main work of managers in global market place. 2011). when planning marketing strategies. There is no doubt. To sum up. norms. For example. 5-10 . It shapes the behaviour of one single customer and influence development of the whole country. it is possible to give some recommendations and instructions to managers that have to deal with international marketing issues. Finally. Those who are not related will be excluded from the business transaction in a certain number of distribution channels (Kwintessential. Considering of past experiences of foreign companies in this country. preferences and tastes. they use air conditioning. which regulated to operate not too warm or too cold in order to protect the environment. and lessons that they learnt will be very useful and will help to avoid similar problems in future. In some places. For instance. difficulties that they dealt with. therefore. It helps to ³keep pulse´ on new customers behaviour trends and demands that crucial for any organizations. pricing is often influenced by cultural attitudes toward change through the so-called "psychological price". fashion clothes. But elsewhere the changes can be seen as bad.Thirdly. These are several terms that are necessary to observe when companies plan to enter new markets: Strong market research is the main requirement of any global marketing. the change is often considered as positive. as an example. However marketers recognise that there are some cultural universals that create common interests. Culture it is a complex issue that includes value. Such as. 5 Recommendation and Conclusion Using information that were collected and analysed. 2011). are set at high prices because it represents change. every country and region is unique and has they own special features and perceptions of the world. Fashion has to suit each season. Consequently. Therefore.affected by the attitudes and standards of value. Japanese people wear thicker winter clothes in house than the ones in Germany market. that culture shapes consumer behaviour. businesses have to account for differences in weather (Kwintessential. beliefs and even psychological factors. in Japan the relationship between suppliers and buyers are based on kinship regardless of distance or near. instead. To reach the balance between similarities and specifics. a higher price for new products often make it become too expensive for ordinary consumers.

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