International marketing requires constant concern for different cultures and therefore requires adaptation.
Self-reference criterion - a tendency to rely on one own cultural values, personal experience and knowledge as the primary basis for making decisions.
The SRC must be effectively overcome in order to adapt marketing programs to foreign countries.
3) Values and Attitudes
5) Material Elements
Elements of Culture:
8) Social Institutions
Learning about other cultures
is where the social context in which what is said strongly affects the meaning of the message.
Examples: Japan and Saudi Arabia
is where the meaning of the message is explicitly expressed by the words and is less affected by the social context.
Example: North America
Contextual Background of Various Countries High Context Implicit Japanese Arabian Latin American Spanish Italian English (UK) French North American (US) Scandinavian German Swiss Low Context Explicit
How words are spoken
Body position assumed
Degree of eye contact
Local language capability’s important role in international marketing
Aids in information gathering and evaluation
Provides access to local society
Important to company communications
Allows for interpretation of contexts
Hidden language of cultures
Time flexibility and sensibility
Social acquaintance and rapport
Personal physical space and personal touching
Non-verbal gestures and signaling
Fractured Translations Product English Translation Equivalent to Japanese Spam Liver Putty Toilet Paper My Fanny Brand Ready to Eat Pancakes Strawberry Crap Dessert Antifreeze Spray Hot Piss Brand Pediatrician’s Slogan Specialist in Deceased Children SOURCE: Some Strawberry Crap Dessert, dear South China Morning Post, December 9, 1996 p. 12. English Translations made by Japanese firm added to labels to increase prestige for their products being sold in China.
Irwin/McGraw-Hill Whose English? United States United Kingdom Trunk Boot Hood Bonnet Convertible Top Hood Elevator Lift Toilet W.C. Bathroom Tub or Shower Vacuum Hoover ??? Shag Bloody ??? 4-8
The Major World Religions
Christianity - 2.0 billion followers
Islam - 1.2 billion followers
Hinduism - 860 million followers
Buddhism - 360 million followers
Confucianism - 150 million followers
Religion Marketing in an Islamic Framework Source: Mushtaq Luqmani, Zahir A Quraeshi, and Linda Delene, “Marketing in Islamic Countries: A Viewpoint,” MSU Business Topics , Summer 1980, pp. 20-21. Reprinted by permission.
Values and Attitudes
are shared beliefs or group norms that have been internalized by individuals.
are evaluations of alternatives based on these values.
Work and Leisure
Attitudes Toward Work:
Have a Substantial Impact on Economic
Vary Greatly Among Countries
Work Hrs. = Average number of working hours per year. Work/Fun = Young people’s desire to work/learn vs. have fun. (0 for fun - 10 for work/learn). Comp. Sup. = Society’s support of competitiveness (0 for least support - 10 for most support). Source: The World Competitiveness Yearbook 1996, (Lausanne: IMD, 1996), pp. 556, 579, 581. Values of Selected Countries* Work and Leisure *See text for complete listing of countries and statistics.
Cultural Analysis for International Marketing *Source of this entire list: Philip R. Harris and Robert T. Moran: Managing Cultural Differences , 2nd ed. (Houston: Gulf, 1987) pp. 212-215.
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Small vs. Large Power Distance
Masculine vs. Feminine
Weak vs. Strong Uncertainty Avoidance
Power Distance Index 0 112 10 110 Small Power Distance Collectivist Large Power Distance Collectivist Small Power Distance Individualist Large Power Distance Individualist 4 1 2 3 5 6 Individualism Index Example Countries: 1. Costa Rica 2. Korea and Mexico 3. Brazil & India 4. Israel and Ireland 5. Australia and U.S.A. 6. France and Italy Source: Geert Hofstede, Cultures and Organizations , McGraw-Hill, 1991, pp. 23, 51, 83 & 111. Reprinted with permission of the McGraw-Hill Companies. Power Distance and Individualism-Collectivism
Manners and Customs
Potential problem areas for marketers arise from an insufficient understanding of:
different ways of thinking.
the necessity of saving face.
knowledge and understanding of the host country.
the decision-making process and personal relations.
the allocation of time for negotiations.
“ A house should be dusted and polished three times a week”
United Kingdom 59
United States 25
“ I attend church regularly”
United States 65
United Kingdom 36
“ My children are the most important thing in my life”
United States 71
“ There is too much emphasis on sex nowadays”
United Kingdom 82%
United States 66
“ Everyone Should Use a Deodorant”
United States 89%
United Kingdom 71
Never touch the head of a Thai or pass an object over it. The head is considered scared in Thailand.
Avoid using triangular shapes in Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. It is considered a negative shape.
The number 7 is considered bad luck in Kenya, good luck in Czech Republic and has a magical connotation in Benin, Africa.
The number 10 is bad luck in Korea.
The number 4 means death in Japan.
Red represents witchcraft and death in many African countries.
Irwin/McGraw-Hill 4-5 It’s Not the Gift That Counts, but How Your Present It… Arab World Do not give a gift when you first meet someone. It may be interpreted as a bribe. Do not let it appear that you contrived to present the gift when the recipient is alone. It looks bad unless you know the person well. Give the gift in front of others in less –personal relationships. Latin America Do not give a gift until after a somewhat personal relationship has developed unless it is given to express appreciation for hospitality. Gift should be given during social encounters, not in the course of business. China Never make an issue of a gift presentation—publicly or private. Gifts should be presented privately, with the exception of collective ceremonial gifts at banquets.
Results from technology and is directly related to how a society organizes its economic activity.
Material culture is manifested in
The degree of industrialization can provide a marketing segmentation variable.
What is or is not acceptable as good taste varies widely in cultures.
The symbolism of colors, forms, and music carries different meanings in different cultures.
Assessing the educational level of a culture
formal and informal education
enrollment in secondary or higher education
qualitative aspects of emphasizing science
competition for labor
Secondary = Percentage of relevant age group receiving full time secondary education. Scores in excess of 100% indicate adults also participating in that education. University = Percentage of population 20 - 24 years old enrolled in higher education Literacy = Percentage of Population over 15 years old Source: The World Competitiveness Report 1996 (Lausanne: IMD, 1996), pp. 560, 561, 567. Education *See text for complete listing of countries and statistics. Educational Statistics of Selected Countries (in %)*
immediate and extended family
Primary reference groups
Secondary reference groups
professional associations, trade organizations
Family Roles Display Great
Variances between Cultures
Family Statistics of Selected Countries (in %)* Pop. Growth = Population Growth: percentage per year, 1985-1995. Fem. Work = Female participation in the labor force as a percentage of the total labor force, 1995. Source: 1997 World Bank Atlas , Washington, DC: World Bank, 1997, pp. 16-17. The Family *See text for complete listing of countries and statistics.
The Training Challenge - Global Managers
Internal education programs that increase cultural sensitivity
Specialized training for global managers
Cultural orientation programs
Business Customs Cultural Imperatives Cultural Adiaphora Cultural Exclusives Irwin/McGraw-Hill 5-2