The activity of human being and the ways that gives the activities significance is called culture .Culture mainly is the main base of human , basically it is what people wear , eat , what he believes and what activities he does to support .In this age of competitive international marketing the different culture of different countries has turned into a very vital factor to the multinational companies to be successful in the field of international marketing. Though some multinational companies in the world has created their own culture in the global market but this own culture is nothing just to facilitate the culture of the local marketed countries.
All the multinational companies are facing the most important fear is the international marketing is the culture.All the better national companies in the world always thinking of expanding their business throughout the world. In this information age the world has become small thus it becomes easy to communicate with the local investors to expand the business globally .
The assignment will be focusing on the result whether culture as defined by maximum author is the essential part in effective international marketing or not. Besides the description will examine how culture is an important factor and also the role of culture in international marketing. In conclusion of the discussion, there will be comments about the author's stand about the proposition of culture in successful international marketing.
Different peoples of different countries and region have different culture. That is why the marketers should consider the cultures of different countries to develop their product for different countries. The design of the marketed products should focus the norms , values of local peoples and should be positive according to the culture of that country where they are eager to market their products . Also the promotional resources such as advertising should also be similar with the local culture. In product designing and advertising the cloths in Arab countries , and in the sub-continent the marketers should take into one system and in case of western countries the design and advertising should be another system because of the culture in that two different region. Now-a-days focusing the customer has become an important factors for all the national and multinational companies that is why all the companies should take into consideration of the cultures of the customers to be a successful marketers. For example in India the cultural program is a part of life .They always organize different cultural program throughout the years. All the multinational companies (Coke, Pepsi ) always try to celebrate their culture to promote their products and make their products famous to India. They sometimes organizes different programs in different occasions , sometimes sponsors the cultural programs. That is why the people becomes aware of that multinational companies and take their products positively .
Not only the general definition of culture we should also consider different components of culture in discussing the question. The components which we need to consider of culture as: (1) communication (language), which may be classified as verbal and nonverbal; (2) religion; (3) aesthetics; (4) education; (5) symbols/ colors; (6) Country of origin.
It is very important to consider language in case of international business as the meaning of language differ country to country area to area. Ther marketier should understand the language before preparing their slogan or motto.If the meaning is good in one country but bad in other country then the importance of motto and company may be decreased .The product may not be so popular for the motto.
Example: Pepsi's familiar "Come Alive with Pepsi" when translated into German conveyed the idea of "coming alive from Grave"
Religion is a very important factor in International Marketing especially in the recent marketing world. Religion reflects the culture of individual nation. Religion is a cause of culture differences as each religion contains its own culture and beliefs. The eating , clothing are different in different religion. All international marketers if do not know a little of religion then there are big chance to make mistake .That may result crush in the international marketing .
Example: Doing food business in Muslim countries all multinational companies usually thinks of introducing "Halal" food to make their brand favourite one .McDonald's usually doing good by adopting this strategy .
Education System :
Segmenting the market depending on age may be an important factor in targeting different countries .As the age at education begins and ends differs in various countries . The marketers should consider this factor to segment the market and target the market .Levels of literacy of different countries should also take into consideration enter and target the market .
Example : In doing business in the UK the literacy % must take into consideration but doing business in the less literacy country like India , Bangladesh the strategy may be different .
Symbols and colors:
Symbols and colors is a very important factor in International Marketing as it is a very important element of culture.Color , smells and even numbers can have different meaning in different culture .Before marketing internationally we need to consider this very important element of culture.
Example: White symbolizes purity in the UK but means Death in Japan and others parts in Asia .McDonald's use of Ronal McDonald a white faced clown, would not work as a promotion to children in Japan.
Country of origin Effect:
Peoples of different countries have their own believes about the quality of products.They usually believes that quality may differ from product to product if manufactured in different countries.
Example: Germans are known as good Engineers that is why a customer may prefers German Car instead of that origin from other countries.
Thus all the multinational companies should evaluate each cultural elements and should examine how it will affect the proposed marketing program .Some may have indirect program some may have direct impact on it . But still all must consider the elements to be a successful international marketer . (International marketing p88)
The Role of Culture in International Marketing
It is believed that globalization of culture is a source of international marketing .All the multinational companies are searching for new valuable and potential markets .All the companies are training their work force who deals with the international marketing about the culture of marketed country .All the companies which thinks of starting business globally should develop a product unique to the worlds.
Cultural differences actually roles a vital play in identifying the proper way of business between companies with cross culture.Companies who are cross cultural should involve in business and should act in a way that they must understand the local culture and that their business do not harm to the local culture.
"Successful foreign marketing begins with cultural sensitivity"
(International marketing p82)
The sentence emphasis that multinational companies starting their business must consider culture very vital and essential elements in business study. One type of attitude and appearance may be successful in one country but not in all countries.
For example :
The advertising agency Leo Burnet and the competitor DDB share McDonald's advertising in more than 60 countries .Everywhere the aim is to produce the burger-chain as the near-by family restaurant with fast quality food. But the campaign have been adapted to the family values of each nationality and also to the period in which the burger has existed in the country .
Australia is an old market with the largest number of McDonald's restaurant per inhabitants in the world. Here they try to maintain the consumers focus on the brand with the Australian song 'MacTime' and a series of trick movies with James Dean and Marylyn Monroe.
In China the burger chain new in the market , so they use children to introduce and explain McDonald's excellence to the old generation.
Hong Kong lies in between , both geographically , culturally and as regards the life cycle of the burger chain . here they also use children , but with a humour that is tailormade for the more Western-oriented customers.(Internal Business p390)
From the example we came to know that McDonald's using the advertising to the people of different contry in different ways that matches with the local national culture. That usually attract the local people and make them to think that this company is their own. That ultimately makes the brand a favourite one in different countries.
Another example is that in India McDonald's serve the 'Maharaja Mac' . This burger features two mutton patties , since most Indians consider cows sacred and don't eat beef.
In spicy Singapore they serve a 'pepper burger ' and in the fastidious green Germany they introduce 'Vegetarian burger'
All this they are doing due to the respect of the culture and that is why they are the local brand of the world.
When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America it was apparently unaware that 'No va' means 'it won't go'. After the company figured out why it wasn't selling any cars it renamed the cars in its Spanish markets as the Caribe. (International business p391 ).So from all the points of we can are observing that without monitoring or knowing the cultural elements and culture are very important factor in international marketing .Although one country may have lots of population with different language and culture but still one cultural strategy also acts becomes fruitful for that organization and their products .just because a culture different does not make it wrong . Marketers must understand how their own culture influences their assumption about another culture. Cultural empathy must be cultivated carefully to be a successful international marketer.
Culture influences a very lot in international as well as national business. Understanding different culture has become very vital factor in international business. Peoples in different culture has different language , believes as well as same language but different believes .With the different or same language the choice of products sometimes differs and some times the language and believes does not influences in choice. But still business firms should have clear understanding of different language as well as other elements of culture to be a successful marketer in the national and international business.
Analysis and Description:
The importance of understanding different language of a country is very important in international business and it can not be overestimated. The successful business organization should have skilled communication in doing business internationally. This includes not only understanding the local language but also all advertisement promotion should also have perfect meaning to make the brand a famous one.
Schweppes was not pleased with its tonic water translation into Italian : 'll Water' idiomatically means the bathroom .(p87 gaury)
So entering into a new country with new product is very crucial especially for new multinationals . Language is the main part of culture .If the meaning of of product name as well as the slogan or motto has very bad meaning in the marketed country the product will never be accepted and successful in that country .Entering into a new country as a new organization must needs to consider this very important factor in international business.
Several nationalities can speak the same language or have similar race and heritage , but it does not follow that similarities exist in other respects that a product accepted to one culture will be readily accepted to the other.(p91 Gaury)
This actually stands that peoples of different countries may have similarities in the language but the cultural difference can play a very vital role in acceptance of the products. One product can be accepted in the UK but that product can not be accepted in the USA though the language are same .
There are some multinationals which usually mix their corporate culture in the local culture and becomes successful in the world. An example can be given below to make the idea clear.
Unilever describes itself as 'a truly multi-local multinational', and is dedicated to meeting the every needs of people everywhere . With 300 local operating units in some 90 countries and with sales in over 60 more, it caters for consumers around world, in both new and established markets. Unilever has a portfolio of global , regional and local brands.Some such as magnum ice cream and Dove personal wash , have become leaders; others are the top choice for consumers in specific countries.
Unilever's strength lies in its deep understanding of local culture and markets. Building on a presence that in places stretches back nearly a century , it is closely in tune with local consumers and invests in understanding and meeting their needs.
Since consumers vary from country to country in their preferences and habits, unilever adjusts many of its brands to suits local tastes .For instance among its many teas , unilever produces 18 separate brands of black tea specifically tailored for consumption in 18 different countries and it is constantly sharpening the flavours to suit all its local markets. Likewise detergent has been modified to take into account differences in water conditions and laundry habits. (International Business p389)
Unilever has become very favourite in the consumer products throughout the world. They are beyond the cultural influence of different countries . They are very famous brand the reason behind this is that they usually mix the corporate culture with the local culture. Their product promotion is very clever .They usually tries to understand the local culture and then they praise the local culture .Their promotion always reflects the local culture .In Bangladesh they usually prepares their advertisement based on the patriotism as all peoples loves their country very much. They advertisements speaks like they are the local company in Bangladesh.
A geopolitical boundary does not necessarily mean a single culture: Canada is divided culturally between its French and English heritages although it is politically one country. A successful marketing strategy among the French Canadians may be a certain failure among remaining Canadians. Within most cultures there are many subcultures that can have marketing significance.(gaury p91)
The same country and the same religion does not means that same product and same type of promotion will act very nicely in international marketing. People in same country may have different language and culture and thus their choice of product may be different .
In south India the most of the movies are shown in the Cinema hall usually translated into the local language 'Tamil or Telegu'.Even Hindi film are also translated into the local language as most of the population only use their local language .The English movie 'Avator' was translated into Tamil as well . The reason behind this is the local language and culture.
Not only the movies but also all the materials have the local name .If any multinational company wants to do their business in South India then they must have to convert the promotional information into local language other wise it must not be a successful brand in the South India.
But In Kolkata all the movies are a not translated in Bengali as the local people uses Hindi, Bengali and English language as well.
Another Example can be given that when Parker Pen marketed a ballpen in Mexico its advertise supposed to say 'It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you'. However the company mistakenly thought that the Spanish word 'embarazze' meant embarrass. Instead the adds said that 'it won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant'