CultureElements in International Market
CultureElements in International Market
Culturerefers to people’s way of life. Culture can relate to anorganization (corporate culture), a distinct section of society(sub-culture), or a country (national culture). Culture includes allvalues and norms, beliefs, religion, custom and traditions,artifacts, and rituals of different people. In global marketing,culture is a significant factor and marketers should have a clearculture understanding. Language, religion, manners and customs, andaesthetics are examples of elements of culture that are importantwhen marketing products and services internationally.
Accordingto Neelankaviland Rai (2014),language reflects the values and the nature of a society. Languageplays significant roles in global business. Firstly, it is vital ingathering and evaluating information. Additionally, it provides easyaccess to the local society. Lastly, it provides the ability tocommunicate, as well as goes beyond to interpreting contexts.Therefore, international marketers should be aware of the appropriatelanguage to use. For instance, the word “aftertaste” exists onlyin some culture, and may have a different meaning in differentcultures.
Thecomplexity and the nature of religion are diverse in internationalmarketing. Religion has a significant influence on global marketingespecially on culture’s values towards consumption,entrepreneurship, and social organization. Religion element ensuresproducts and services sold in the international market are notunlawful, distasteful, or offensive to the local nations. However,its influence varies and it is less influential in the regions withmany Protestants but more profound in regions with a high Islamicpopulation. Therefore, marketers should be aware of religiousrestrictions before launching their products or services in aparticular area. For example, in 2007, China banned all advertisingthat included pigs’ images to maintain harmony among the Muslimcommunity.
Internationalmarketers should carefully monitor changes in manners and customsespecially in cases where there exist cultural differences amongpeople. Manners and customs is an important culture element becauseit helps marketers to understand people they are selling theirproducts or services (Neelankavilet. al., 2014).Further, marketers should be aware how and when different productsare used, and in the manner, they are used. For instance, in theUnited States, a Tang is placed in refreshment goods only.
Aestheticsrefers to the nature of something including ambiance, taste, smell,and artistic appreciation. Aesthetic differences affect color,design, brand name, packaging, and the media message of a particularproduct (Neelankavilet. al., 2014).Every culture has a clear statement concerning its taste in art,color, music, folklore, drama, music, and dance, among others.Aswathappa(2008),states that aesthetic is vital element in international marketingbecause it helps an international marketer to interpret symbols andsigns of artistic expression. Color, for example, has a more symbolicvalue in the international market. It is used as a mechanism fordifferentiation and brand identification. Further, aestheticunderstanding informs the marketer on the best strategies to use inproduct packaging and advertisement. Therefore, businesspersonsshould consult the meaning of different aesthetics before engaging inbusiness in any country.
Language,religion, manners and customs, and aesthetics play a significant rolein the international market. As businesses expand into region withdifferent culture, they should consider these elements to avoidfacing hurdles associated with them. If a business does not alignitself with the established culture, then, it cannot successfullyreap benefits of expansion. If marketers can understand all elementsof cultures, they can effective do well in the global market.
Aswathappa,K. (2008). Internationalbusiness.New Delhi: Tata McGraw Hill Education.
Neelankavil,J. P., & Rai, A. (2014). Basicsof international business.Routledge.