c. International companies have been marketing to countries around the world for years and many have had some degree of success without ever taking cultural differences into consideration. Craft your marketing message with host country values in mind and boost your chances of success. Understanding cultural differences is important to achieve success in any market, let alone on the world business stage. While there are national and local cultures to consider, remember to address political and business cultures, when developing marketing strategies. Sociologic differences around the world largely outweigh the similarities. People in the global community are influenced and driven by different things. When responding to advertising, some value freedom, reward for effort and an entrepreneurial approach, while others avoid individualism like the plague. Lack of cultural considerations not only can result in a mediocre response to product promotions, but can even impact the company's international image. Nestlé suffered significant international criticism when a breast milk substitute marketed in Africa was deemed to be the cause of malnutrition in babies. While there was nothing wrong with their product, Nestlé was at fault because the company didn't consider the possibility that reduced literacy levels in Africa would result in their breast milk substitute being misused.
Culture is the way that we do things around here. Culture could relate to a country (national culture), a distinct section of the community (sub-culture), or an organization (corporate culture). It is widely accepted that you are not born with a culture, and that it is learned. So, culture
The ban included pictures of sausages that contained pork. This was to maintain harmony with the country's Muslim population of around 2%. Education.e. This includes marketing promotion and branding. The Eight categories are Language. In China in 2007 (which was the year of the pig) all advertising which included pictures of pigs was banned. Therefore international marketing needs to take into account the local culture of the country in which you wish to market. Examples of a high context cultures include Japan and some Arabic nations. The Terpstra and Sarathy Cultural Framework helps marketing managers to assess the cultural nature of an international market. So with a high context culture hidden cultural meaning needs to be considered. The concept relates to the balance between the verbal and the non-verbal communication. what is said is what is meant. Technology and Material Culture. such as the Sydney Opera House or the Great Wall of China). In 2005 France's Catholic Church won a court injunction to ban a clothing advertisement (by clothing designers Marithe and Francois Girbaud) based upon Leonardo da Vinci's Christ's Last Supper. In a high context culture verbal communications tend not to carry a direct message i. In a low context culture spoken language carries the emphasis of the communication i. Values and Attitudes. and even advertising that included an animated (cartoon) pig. customs and traditions. Language With language one should consider whether or not the national culture is predominantly a high context culture or a low context culture (Hall and Hall 1986).includes all that we have learned in relation to values and norms.e.e. Religion The nature and complexity of the different religions an international marketer could encounter is pretty diverse. Examples include Australia and the Netherlands. Religion. tangible symbols of a culture. and uses eight categories in its analysis. and even vary within nations. The organization needs to make sure that their products and services are not offensive. beliefs and religions. Law and Politics and Aesthetics. Social Organizations. as does body language. rituals and artefacts (i. It is very straight-forward. Values and Attitudes Values and attitudes vary between nations. what is said may not be what is meant. So if you are planning to take a product or service overseas make sure that you have a good grasp the locality before
. unlawful or distasteful to the local nation.
because it was argued that the ad insults Chinese national dignity. which includes primary schools. In 2004. we've saved you a spot on the beach. In Finland school attendance is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 16. come the tag line: "So where the bloody hell are you?" Education The level and nature of education in each international market will vary. Then. For example. The labelling of products may also be an issue.you enter the market. Nine years of education is compulsory for all Chinese students. as well as traditional symbols like the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. and coral reefs. and would favour radio advertising with an audio message or visual media such as billboards. deserts. For example. The education after primary school is divided to the vocational and academic systems. in France workers tend to take vacations for the whole of August. The commentary ran: "We've poured you a beer and we've had the camels shampooed. We've even got the sharks out of the pool. and universities. There may also be an issue when managing local employees. whilst in the United States employees may only take a couple of week's vacation in an entire year. The campaign featured all the standard icons of Australia such as beaches. from a bikini-clad blonde. 6 years of secondary education (divided into 4 years of lower secondary and 2 years of upper secondary school). and the pupils go to their local school. according to the old German model.S. In Uganda schooling includes 7 years of primary education. In the People's Republic of China a nationwide system of public education is in place. basketball star LeBron James in a battle with animated cartoon kung fu masters and two dragons. This may impact the type of message or even the medium that you employ. advertisers would avoid communications which depended upon written copy.". Social Organizations
. and 3 to 5 years of post-secondary education. The $130 million (US) campaign was banned by the British Advertising Standards Authority from the United Kingdom. middle schools (lower and upper). This could mean altering promotional material or subtle branding messages. Tourism Australian launched its ad campaign entitled "So where the bloody hell are you?" in Britain. in countries with low literacy levels. China banned a Nike television commercial showing U. the first nine years of education (primary and secondary school) are compulsory. In 2006.
the potential for growth in the Chinese market is immense. The political ideology on which the society is based will impact upon your decision to market there. Technology and Material Culture Technology is a term that includes many other elements. Governments need to do lots of things to encourage development ± they need to
. what is the role of women in a society? How is the country governed centralized or devolved? The level influence of class or casts upon a society needs to be considered. So social mobility could be restricted where caste and class systems are in place. taste or ambience. For example. Since batteries were expensive in Africa and power supplies in rural areas are non-existent. whilst Iran has a political and legal system based upon the teachings and principles Islam and a Sharia tradition. For example.and many Western countries still have an embedded class system. India has an established caste system .This aspect of Terpstra and Sarathy's Cultural Framework relates to how a national society is organized. For example. do consumers actually buy material goods i. compared with 90% car ownership in the US and 80% in the UK. are they materialistic? Trevor Baylis launched the clockwork radio upon the African market. including its smell.e. music or architecture relating to an experience pleasing? Is everything relating to branding aesthetically pleasing? Cross Cultural Marketing Blunders There are often political factors involved in why some countries remain poor. The clockwork radio innovation was a huge success. It includes questions such as is there energy to power our products? Is there a transport infrastructure to distribute our goods to consumers? Does the local port have large enough cranes to offload containers from ships? How quickly does innovation diffuse? Also of key importance. Law and Politics As with many aspects of Terpstra and Sarathy's Cultural Framework. Aesthetics Aesthetics relate to your senses. and one of those is bad government. democratic society with laws based upon precedent and legislation. Whether or not there are strong trade unions will impact upon management decisions if you employ local workers. and the appreciation of the artistic nature of something. With just six car owners per 100 people (6%). the underpinning social culture will drive the political and legal landscape. China's car market grew 25% in 2006 and it has overtaken Japan to be the second-largest car market in the world with sales of 8 million vehicles. For example. is something beautiful? Does it have a fashionable design? Was an advert delivered in good taste? Do you find the color. the United Kingdom has a largely market-driven.
on the right projects. Sir Walter Raleigh famously
. It takes strong leadership to fight it. That¶s the reality of endemic corruption. or download their Global Corruption Report for 2007. or for Madagascar to participate in the global culture industries. Elton John. It would be much harder to develop a local music industry of any kind under these conditions. This worked fine up to a point. that protect businesses and individuals legally. and that honour property rights. which everyone knows about. bribing the bank clerk to let you take money out of your own account. Visit Transparency International for more. Imagine having to bribe the post office every time you bought something by mail order. Nobody wants to build a factory in a city where the power could go out at any time. in his book µThe Undercover Economistµ. Corruption If you have ever lived in a country where corruption is rife. and Bob Marley tapes. the greater the temptation to pay µspeed money¶.¶ Imagine having to bribe your telephone company and all your utility companies. Red tape is where real endemic corruption happens ± a slowing and overcomplicating of simple processes. you will now how frustrating. You could go up to the booth. interviews.build and maintain infrastructure. the abuse of power at every level. While the most obvious perpetrators are crooked policemen or customs officials. when it was rated the world¶s fifth most corrupt country. Tim Harford describes corruption in Cameroon. and then come back in an hour to pick up the audio tape they¶d quickly dubbed for you from their catalogue of crackly Michael Jackson. paying your doctor to give you a prescription. They also need to set up their laws and business practices in a way that encourages investment and initiative. they are the tip of the iceberg. but there was no incentive for investment in music studios or record labels. visits to ministry offices. To give you one example. but it can be done. The slower the standard processes. buying or selling property. to the law courts. in Madagascar I used to visit street-side music shops as a child. tell them what you want. chasing an unpaid invoice took 58 separate procedures . all require ridiculous amounts of paperwork. paying an aside for your driver¶s license and to pass your exams. Trade laws I¶m putting trade law in here because it is largely a political matter. When governments are inept at managing infrastructure. from starting businesses. and raise and spend finance wisely. disheartening and fundamentally dis-empowering corruption can be. Says Harford: µEvery procedure is an opportunity to extract a bribe. development is impossible. because the absence of intellectual property laws meant nobody ever paid you for what you created. in the Cameroon courts in 2001. contracts and copyrights. and then the chemist to give it to you.
where rich countries spend $1 billion a day on farm subsidies. and proves this to be true. the World Trade Organisation commands world trade. It would be illegal for an African country to take similar steps to protect one of their own industries. However. please visit the 3 links at the end of the page. For more examples.¶ It is illegal for poor countries to block the import of such surpluses. even if they could afford them. Below we have provided a few classic cross cultural marketing blunders for your enjoyment. This is not a bad thing. have little chance of developing. political instability plays a role in why some countries remain poor. Needless to say. and illegal for them to set up subsidies of their own.5% a year. Read part 4
Although cruel. de-stabilising the region and discouraging investment. Political instability Finally.
. cross cultural marketing mistakes are a humorous means of understanding the impact poor cultural awareness or translations can have on a product or company when selling abroad. countries with long-term conflicts such as the ones in Somalia or Afghanistan. One rule for the rich. exporting surpluses on world markets in a way that drives down prices for farmers in developing countries. and demand that LEDCs open up their markets. Other nations such as Sri Lanka. David Smith again. and we¶ll write more about it here in time. µWhen developing countries export to rich country markets. while economically closed countries grow at an average of 0.said µwhosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world and hence the world itself. Another problem is subsidies. They have more power in trading rules than individual governments. states Oxfam¶s Rigged Rules and Double Standards Report.¶ In 2002 George Bush put a high tariff on steel imports. Economist David Smith points out that developing countries who have opened their markets have average growth rates of 4. in his book Free Lunch: µPerhaps the worst examples of where trade acts against the interests of poor countries are in agriculture. or all out war. The WTO is controlled by the US and Europe. have simmering ethnic divides that are a constant distraction. they face tariff barriers that are four times higher than those encountered by rich countries¶. µThose barriers cost them $100bn a year ± twice as much as they receive in aid. This is the heart of the fair trade issue. the WTO applies different rules for different countries. Trade law is a complicated business. and quite shamelessly looks out for the welfare of richer nations first. to stop cheap imports from undermining the American steel industry. one rule for the poor.¶ Well. tribalism. This could be ethnic tension.7% a year.
"Mist Stick" (a curling iron from Clairol) and "Silver Mist" (Rolls Royce car) all flopping as "mist" in German means dung/manure. Sharwoods. A nice cross cultural example of the fact that all pictures or symbols are not interpreted the same across the world: staff at the African port of Stevadores saw the "internationally
. The Swedish furniture giant IKEA somehow agreed upon the name "FARTFULL" for one of its new desks. 8. In the end they renamed it "Honda Jazz". Umbro the UK sports manufacturer had to withdraw its new trainers (sneakers) called the Zyklon. In the late 1970s. 2. to British ears this sounds too close to "Wankers" which would not really give a very positive image to any company. You can see the result. 10.. spent £6 million on a campaign to launch its new 'Bundh' sauces. Wang. Panasonic created the new web browser and had received license to use the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker as an interactive internet guide. Of course. the American computer company could not understand why its British branches were refusing to use its latest motto "Wang Cares".The Internet Pecker. The Japanese company Matsushita Electric was promoting a new Japanese PC for internet users. In 2002. In Spanish it translates as "drug dealer". As most companies do at Christmas they sent out Christmas cards to customers. Why? The ads for the new product featured the following slogan: "Touch Woody . The day before the huge marketing campaign. It received calls from numerous Punjabi speakers telling them that "bundh" sounded just like the Punjabi word for "arse". Enough said. Fancy a glass of Irish dung? 6. "Traficante" and Italian mineral water found a great reception in Spain's underworld. 7. In 1991 they decided to give their logo a little holiday spirit by replacing the "o" in Locum with a heart. There are several examples of companies getting tangled up with bad translations of products due to the word "mist". The firm received complaints from many organisations and individuals as it was the name of the gas used by the Nazi regime to murder millions of Jews in concentration camps. Panasonic realised its error and pulled the plug. Norwegian and Danish.. 9. Honda introduced their new car "Fitta" into Nordic countries in 2001. 5. Locum is a Swedish company. We had "Irish Mist" (an alcoholic drink). If they had taken the time to undertake some cross cultural marketing research they may have discovered that "fitta" was an old word used in vulgar language to refer to a woman's genitals in Swedish. 4.1. a UK food manufacturer." The company only realised its cross cultural blunder when an embarrassed American explain what "touch Woody's pecker" could be interpreted as! 3.
.answers. Rather than waste space they threw all the boxes into the sea!
Read more: http://wiki. broken wine glass) and presumed it was a box of broken glass.e.recognised" symbol for "fragile" (i.