This PowerPoint slides shows how elements of culture influence global business. Marketing fiasco that have occurred in past due to lack of focus given to cross cultural issue while going global have been described in brief here.
Bangladesh is continuously growing in garment and
apparel export. The growth rate is also rapid. Once,
our main export product was jute. Then at one point
the major portion of national export started to come
from prawn export. But now the major contribution to
national export is garments. The fact that contributes
to this rapid growth of garment industry in country is
our cheap labor. Most of these laborers engaged in
garment industry are illiterate or half-literate.
A foreign company in this situation wants to
invest in mining industry in Bangladesh to
exploit the cheap labor available in Bangladesh.
Available Human Resource
When Pepsi expanded their market to China,
they launched with the slogan, "Pepsi brings
you back to life." What they didn’t realize is
that the phrase translated to “Pepsi brings your
ancestors back from the grave.”
Coca – Cola makes Mistakes……
Coca-Cola name in China was first read as
“Kekoukela”, meaning “Bite the Wax Tadpole”
or “Female Horse Stuffed with Wax”,
depending on the dialect.
General Motors faced Language Complexity…….
General Motors’s Chevrolet Nova car in Spanish in
Central and South America: “No va”,
“It Doesn’t Go”
Gerber, the name of the famous baby food
maker, is also the French word for vomiting
Traficante , an Italian brand of mineral water. In
Spanish, it means drug dealer.
Volkswagen named the sedan version of Golf the
Jetta. However, the letter “J” doesn’t exist in
the Italian alphabet, so Jetta is pronounced
“Ietta”, which means Misfortune.
Implications of Verbal & Non-verbal
Low Context Vs High Context Culture
Low context culture oriented society believes in
speech. Whatever they say, they mean it. There
is no room for intrigues or misunderstanding or
In High context culture speech expresses 50% of
actual intention. Here, understanding ‘silent
language’ plays a crucial role.
What Amazon Faced??
Amazon.com discovered that Jerusalem Post was
donating its slice of the profits derived from its
partnership to Israeli soldiers (to which
consumers in the Middle East objected).
What Amazon Did……..
The internet bookstore terminated its
association with the newspaper.
It asked the newspaper to remove the ads that
linked purchases at Amazon.com to supporting
No matter if you really intend to offend a
particular religion or religious group, once they
are offended you have to loss some goodwill
and reputation. So better check the religious
aspect of different religion
Products to be marketed
Service to be offered
• Chinese are jealous of their cultural heritage,
and they speak of it with great emotion. So
do the Egyptians of their heritage
• Many Americans express feelings of being
deprived of cultural history in a country so
Prejudice young and diverse by nature.
Make many nations reject foreign ideas and
A perception of greatness attributed to another
culture may lead to the eager acceptance of
things reflecting that culture.
Wall- Mart Case: Impact of Culture
Entered Germany in 1997
Ended up with Bad reputation in 1998
What Wall-Mart did in Germany……
Ignore the local culture
Ignore local buying habits
Impose an American boss on its German
Wal-Mart stores are designed for customers who are
willing to spend lot of time shopping.
In Germany, the shopping hours are shorter:
customers don’t have the habit of spending lots of
time in a store – wandering around for the things they
German customers do not like to be assisted by
Wal-Mart’s friendly store assistants. Germans
prefer to do their own search for bargains.
Germans like to see the advertised discount products
upfront without having to ask the store assistant. This
implies that the discount products must be placed at
the eye level. Instead Wal-Mart chose to use its US
style merchandise display strategy – where premium
priced products are kept at eye level and discount
products are kept at higher shelf or in the bottom
racks. This irritated the German shoppers.
Wal-Mart stocked its store with clothes,
hardware, electronics and other non-food
products were given much bigger floor space
than food products, as a result more than 50%
of the revenue was from non-food products.
But other German retailers stock more of food
German’s are introvert in nature and doesn’t like
display of emotion in public, as they always
care for their private personal space.
Employees, like the reserved customers, didn’t
care for Wal-Mart’s public displays of corporate
moral such as the morning cheer.
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