Ch 4 - It works!

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Chapter 4
Cultural Dynamics in Assessing Global Markets
McGraw-Hill/Irwin
© 2005 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Introduction
Culture refers to “the human-made part of human environment—
the sum total of knowledge, beliefs, art, morals, laws, customs, and
any other capabilities and habits acquired by humans as members
of society”
Importance of culture in international marketing
A successful marketer must be a student of
culture
Culture is pervasive in all marketing activities—
in pricing, promotion, channels of distribution,
product, packaging, and styling
Understanding culture can determine success or failure in
international marketing
Elements of Culture
 Material Culture
 Technology
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 Economics
 Social Institutions
 Family
 Political Structure
 Education
 The Media
 Humans and The Universe
 Belief Systems
 Aesthetics
 Graphics and Plastic Arts
 Folklore
 Language
Irwin/McGraw-Hill
 Music, Drama, and Dance
Origins of Culture: Geography
1. Geography, which includes climate, topography, flora, fauna,
and microbiology, influences our social institutions
2. Two researchers
suggest that
geography
influences
everything from
history to presentday cultural
values
3. First, Jared
Diamond states
that historically
innovations
spread faster
east-to-west than
north-to-south
4. Second, Philip Parker reports strong correlations between the
latitude (climate) and the per capita GDP of countries
Origins of Culture: History
1. The impact of specific events in history can be seen reflected in
technology, social institutions, cultural values, and even
consumer behavior
•
For e.g., American trade
policy depended on tobacco
being the original source of
the Virginia colony’s
economic survival in the
1600s
2. The military conflicts in the Middle East in 2003 bred new cola
brands, Mecca Cola, Muslim Up, and Arab Cola
Origins of Culture: The Political Economy
1. For most of the 20th Century three approaches to governance
competed for world dominance: fascism, communism, and
democracy/free enterprise
2. Fascism fell in 1945; Communism
crumbled in the 1990s
3. Necessary to appreciate the influence of the political economy
on social institutions and cultural values and ways of thinking
Origins of Culture: Technology
1. Technological innovations also impact institutions and cultural
2. Jet aircraft, air conditioning,
televisions, computers, and the
internet have all influenced culture
3. Arguably the greatest impact is
the pill that has allowed women
to have careers and freed men to
spend more time with kids
Origins of Culture: Social Institutions
•
Social institutions including family, religion, school, the media,
government, and corporations all affect culture
The family, social classes, group behavior,
age groups, and how societies define decency
and civility are interpreted differently within
every culture
(1) Family behavior varies across the world, e.g.,
extended families living together to Dad
washing dishes
(2) Religious value systems differ across the
world, e.g., Muslims not allowed to eat pork
to Hindus not allowed to consume beef

Origins of Culture: Social Institutions
(3) School and education, and literacy rates
affect culture and economic growth
(4) Media (magazines, TV, the Internet)
influences culture and behavior
(5) Government policies influence the
thinking and behaviors citizens of adult
citizens, e.g., the French government
offers new “birth bonuses” of $800 given
to women as an incentive to increase
family size
(6) Corporations influence culture via the
products they market, e.g., MTV
Elements of Culture
International marketers must design products, distribution systems,
and promotional programs with due consideration to culture, which
was defined as including five elements:
1.
Cultural values
2.
Rituals
3.
Symbols
4.
Beliefs, and
5.
Thought processes
It’s Not the Gift That Counts, but How Your Present It
Japan
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Do not open a gift in front of a Japanese
counterpart unless asked, and do not expect the
Japanese to open your gift.
Avoid ribbons and bows as part of the gift wrapping.
Bows as we know them are considered unattractive,
and ribbon colors can have different meanings.
Do not offer a gift depicting a fox or badger. The fox
is the symbol of fertility; the badger, cunning.
Europe
Avoid red roses and white flowers, even numbers,
and the number 13. Do not wrap flowers in paper.
Do not risk the impression of bribery by spending
too much on a gift.
Irwin/McGraw-Hill
Copyright©2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
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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.
Irwin/McGraw-Hill
Definitions and Origins of Culture
Culture is the sum of the “values, rituals, symbols, beliefs, and thought processes
that are learned, shared by a group of people, and transmitted from generation to
generation”
Culture has been conceptualized as:
1.
2.
3.
“Software of the mind” culture is a guide for
humans on how to think and behave; it is a
problem-solving tool (Hofstede)
An invisible barrier… a completely different way
of organizing life, of thinking, and of conceiving
the underlying assumptions about the family and
the state, the economic system, and even Man
himself” (Hall)
A “thicket” (U.S. Ambassador Hodgson)
Cultural Values Four Dimensions
(by Geert Hofstede)
 Individualism/Collective Index (IDV)
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 Power Distance Index (PDI)
 Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)
 Masculinity/Femininity Index (MAS)
Irwin/McGraw-Hill
4-6
Irwin/McGraw-Hill
Cultural Factors

4-7






Never touch the head of a Thai or pass an object over
it
The head is considered sacred 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 the Czech Republic and has a magical
connotation in Benin.
The number 10 is bad luck in Korea.
The number 4 means death in Japan.
Red represents witchcraft and death in many African
countries.
Red is a positive color in Denmark.
Irwin/McGraw-Hill
SOURCE: Business America, July 12, 1993
Elements of Culture:
Beliefs and Thought Processes
Beliefs, which stem from religious training, vary from culture to
culture

Examples:


The western aversion to the number 13 or refusing
to walk under a ladder
Japanese concern about Year of the Fire Horse
The Chinese practice of Feng Shui in designing
buildings
Thought processes also vary across cultures
Examples:
“Asian and Western” thinking
In summary, marketers must consider larger cultural consequences
of marketing actions
Factual versus Interpretive
Cultural Knowledge
There are two kinds of knowledge about cultures both of which are
necessary
Factual knowledge
is usually obvious
and must be learned,
e.g., different
meanings of colors,
and different tastes;
it deals with a facts
about a culture
Interpretive knowledge is the ability to
understand and appreciate the nuances
of different cultural traits and patterns,
e.g., the meaning of time, and attitudes
toward people
Interpretive knowledge requires a
degree of insight
It is dependent on past experience for
interpretation
It is prone to misinterpretation if one’s
SRC is used
Cultural Change and Cultural Borrowing

International marketers should appreciate how cultures
change and accept or reject new ideas

How cultures change, e.g., war (changes in Japan after
World War II) or by natural disaster

Hofstede has shown that consumers’ acceptance of
innovations varies across cultures – innovation was
associated with higher individualism (IDV), and lower
power distance (PDI) and uncertainty avoidance (UAI)

International marketers should be aware the extent to
which cultures borrow ideas and learn from other
cultures

Helps in the marketing of products from one culture to a
different culture
Whose English?
United States
United Kingdom
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Trunk
Hood
Convertible Top
Elevator
Toilet
Bathroom
Vacuum
Boot
Bonnet
Hood
Lift
W.C.
Tub or Shower
Hoover
Resistance to Change
Although some cultures embrace change,
others are resistant to it
Examples of cultures that resist change:
Working women in Masculine societies like
Saudi Arabia
Acceptance of genetically modified foods
(or “Frankenfood”) in Europe
Planned and Unplanned Cultural Change

Cultures that are resistant to change represent a major hurdle in
marketing products
Cultural change can be accomplished by:
 Determining which cultural factors conflict with an innovation,
thus creating resistance to its acceptance
 Changing those factors from obstacles to acceptance into
stimulants for change
 Introducing an idea or product and deliberately setting about to
overcome resistance and to cause change that accelerates the rate
of acceptance
 Using a strategy of planned change by deliberately changing
those aspects of the culture offering resistance to predetermined
marketing goals, e.g., introducing western foods and baseball into
Japan

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