CROSS CULTURAL ISSUES

Cultural Values An Introduction
‡ MNC in India will depend on a number of factors viz; right entry strategy, investment, choice of right product & finding the right mix of Globalization & Indianisation. ‡ To have a focused approach, therefore we will seek to understand the cultural values prevailing in India & the lesson that an MNC can draw there from. ‡ Values represent the deepest level of culture. These are broad feelings, often unconscious & not open to discussion like what is good or bad, natural or paradoxical, decent or indecent. ‡ Thus these Values acts as a guides to behavior.

Classification of Cultural Values
‡ Self Oriented Values: These reflects the objectives & approaches to life that the individual members of society find desirable. Ex: today there are 20 finance firms lending more than Rs. 8000 crore to help consumer finance their purchases. Yet Indians still save & buy & are vary of shopping on future income. So what is the Value System ³ save for a rainy day´ or ³ live for today´. ‡ Other Oriented Values: These reflects the Society¶ view of the appropriate relationship b/w individual & group within the society. Thus a Mc Cann Pulse survey conducted periodically in India says that youth in India still endeavour to fulfill their parent¶s expectations. ‡ Environmental Oriented Values: These prescribes a society¶s relationship to its economic & technical as well as physical environment Ex: Indian Society is status oriented Rather that performance oriented.

Orientation

Meaning

Example Materialistic / Non materialistic objects & their significance Parents, by virtue of seniority in age, know what is good for their children.

Influence On Cognitive, affective, & behavioral component s of:

Self

Desirable Approach To Life Ideal Relationshi p b/w individuals

Others

‡Communicat ion

Wanted Environment Relationship with environment

Experimentation with things new vs. status quo approach

‡Purchase

‡Consumptio n

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Individualism Vs. Collectivism
‡ Various cultures emphasize & reward individual initiative or are group oriented where conformity to group norms is highly valued. ‡ Indian society also tends to reward individualism, though to a less extent to U.S. society. But younger generation is getting more & more oriented towards ³I, Me, Myself´. ‡ According to Cartoon Network commissioned study of 7-18 years old children, 40% Indian kids rated individuality as a very important dimension of their personality. ‡ These also points out that few cultures are completely homogeneous; their exists subculture within culture.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior Romantic Orientation
‡ In Hindi movies, the boy meets the girl, loves her against all odds, eventually marries her. But only in movies. In reality advertisements suggesting courtships are not likely to work in India, where even age group 17 ± 21 years from Sec A & B exhibits preference from same gender friends. ‡ Though even arranged marriage was not the first choice, since ³where is our say in it then?´ So the preference was love cum arranged marriage.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Role for Adult / Child
‡ Children according to Mc Cann Erickson study of 6-12 age group, from Sec A & B families are increasingly playing a more participative role in final decisions. ‡ In India it is necessary for marketers to shape a formula that ropes in children with their parents¶ consent, without it being an obvious factor. ‡ At the same time the Ad campaign addresses the parents: ³ Why your bundle of joy is not the bundle of energy? Or, ³Iron deficiency in 8 out of 10 children´ is likely to be taken seriously by parents.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Masculinity / Feminity ‡ In general, Indian society is male dominated society, though gender roles are being redefined. ‡ According to the IMRB survey with traditional roles are breaking down, new ones have yet to take shape. ‡ Gender roles & relations have become a minefield of high expectations & mixed signals. But the very concept of masculinity is being redefined. ‡ Thus , the new age man in Ads is turning a little soft.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Spirit of Competition & Cooperation
‡ In Mexico & Spain comparative advertisement are not allowed. In U.S.A & India these are very much welcome. ‡ Infact, LG the fastest growing consumer durable company in 1999-2000 consistently follows this approach in its advertising. ‡ According to our value system, there is room at the top for only one person, including the brand personified. So whether in the Natraj Pencil or BPL battery, they all win against the competitors.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Age Factor
‡ While American society is youth oriented , Indian society respects age. Survey after survey proves that even youth respects age, if out of pragmatic only ! ‡ A recent survey by McCann Erickson of children in age group 6-12 yrs. From Sec A & suggests that parents from the primary focus in children¶ life. ‡ In other survey of 20-29 age group again about 66% said that young people should not challenge their parent's authority. This means messages that depict this behavior in. say advertisement, are likely to succeed more than those which shows rebellion.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Materialistic / Nonmaterialistic Orientation
‡ There is a clear division among the young generation & the old. The older generation believes that a person has to strive for higher things, & not materialistic acquisitions, & younger generation does not seem to share this viewpoint. ‡ The concept of Pursharth ± goals of life- tells us that there are 4 broad goals, (Dharma, Artha, Kama & Moksha) are the 4 Ashramas, or stages of life. ‡ While no ordinary mortal in India follows this concept, undeniably it influences their thinking. Infact in a very recent survey by a leading New York based marketing research firm Roper Starch Worldwide, it was found that 66% of Indian respondents want more time that money, as against the worldwide average of 31%

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Friendship
Friendship

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Cleanliness ‡ In India 94% respondents said that they had taken bath in last 24 hrs., compared with say, a 2.2 % figure for Brazil. But beyond this Indians don¶t seem to be too much concerned about personal hygiene: deodorants, when used, are used more as µcheap perfume¶. ‡ In general , Indians cant be said to be too conscious about personal hygiene. Or, perhaps they are particular about personal cleanliness, but use traditional products for it.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Performance or Status
‡ Indian society is µstatus¶ oriented & therefore cell phones is a status symbol rater that a item of functional utility for many. In such a society, quality established brands are preferred to unknown brands. ‡ Thus a survey, among15-24 age group in India found that 64% respondents said: ³people should recognize that I buy only the best´.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Traditional / Change
‡ Youngsters are managing to straddle the East & West quite well. But this amalgamation is best evident in symbols-food, clothing, gizmos, hairdos. ‡ According to MTV survey quoted above, unlike in the West, parental rebellion has very few takers among young youth.

‡ So all the icons are hardworking & ambitious and more importantly, are conformist in their value system, and in the way they lead their personal & professional lives.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Risk Taking / Security
‡ Previous generation in India was rather risk averse, the young generation realizes that risk & reward go together. So unconventional careers are accepted. ‡ Park Avenue Ad. Exhorts a young person to : ³ Do your own things ´, rather than taking up a 9-5 job. Success symbols are desired & hard work seems to be the key to obtain them. ‡ Key drivers for young generation are the desire for a material & financial success, but with a tendency to fit in & adjust. Hence, movement is towards is calculated risk taking.

Impact of Cultural Values on Consumer Behavior
Control Over nature & Environment
‡ American historically consider nature as something to be overcome/ tamed. But in India, forces of nature can¶t be conquered; these have to be appeased. ‡ In general, while Americans have a problem solving attitude, Indians are fatalistic in their orientation. Hence technology is looked upon with fear, not as a tool to master events. Thus, technologically complex products are shunned.

Control Over nature & Environment

Lesson For MNCs In India

India is still not a part of Global village: µone word on strategy¶ doest not hold in Indian context. Instead of attempting to globalise the Indians, Indianisation of transnationals is required. Thus: ‡ Ford, has designed IKON specially for India; ‡ Philips has obtained online response from 1000s of customer to design a TV of their choice; Cultural differences abound. The risk of ignoring them are great: local failure if one is lucky, global disaster if one is not. For Example Gold jewellery does not merely display social status; it also provides security & accumulation of wealth.

According to Paul A Herbig, 2 major rules needs to be observed in order to succeed in cross cultural; marketing:

Recognize That a Foreign Customer is different

Perceptions, Motivation Beliefs & Outlooks of Indians are different from those of Westerners & Japanese. Self Reference criterion fallacy should be avoided. Kellogg¶s realized this when its corn & wheat based flakes failed in India initially.

According to Paul A Herbig, 2 major rules needs to be observed in order to succeed in cross cultural; marketing:

Be Culturally Neutral

As a marketer the job of an MNC is to sell; it is not in India to educate, to reform Indians. So here a proper Human Resource strategy will prove effective. Most Global Corporations bring in expatriates or NRIs from their global operations. Fiat, General Motors, Carrier Aircon, & of course Coke have attempted this.

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