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Marketing Across Cultures


Particular solutions to universal problems

1. .there is limited number of common human problems for which all people at all times must find some solution. 2. While there is a variability in solutions of all the problems, it is neither nor random but is definitely variable within a range of possible solutions.

Particular solutions to universal problems

3. .all alternatives of all solutions are present in all societies at all times, but are differentially preferred, Every society has, in addition to its dominant profile of value orientations, numerous variant or substitute profiles.

The four essential elements of culture

Language Institutions Material productions Symbolic productions

Seven Universal principles

1. The principle of reproduction blood relationships 2. The principle of territoriality neighbourhood and vicinity. 3. The principle of physiology the sexual division of labour, sex roles, the relationship patterns between age groups, and he way minority members of the community are treated. 4. The principle of spontaneous tendency to join together various kinds of associations.

Seven Universal principles

5. The principle of occupational and professional activities labour divisions and the kinds of expertise. 6. The principle of hierarchy rank and status, including the nobility, the middle class and slaves. 7. The principle of totality a reasonably coherent whole. The political process.

Sources of culture
Language (s)
Corporate of organizational culture



Social class

Sources of culture

(specialized education)






Cultural homogeneity and relevant segmentation

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Linguistic homogeneity. Religious homogeneity. Ethnic homogeneity. Climatic homogeneity Geographical homogeneity. Institutional and political homogeneity. Social/income homogeneity.

A model of cultural dynamics

Within persons
Basic assumptions On the nature of reality

Between persons

From persons to The world


Concept of The self and others

Interaction models

Attitude towards action


Time-related cultural differences

Basic problem/Cultural orientations
Is time money?
(a) Economicity of time

Contrasts across cultures

Time is regarded as a scarce resource of, conversely, as plentiful and indefinitely available.
Only one task is undertaken at any (preset) time, following a schedule (agenda society), versus dealing simultaneously with different tasks, actions and /or communications (polychronism) for convenience, pleasure and efficiency, Time is seen as linear- separable, cut in slices (L), versus an emphasis on the daily, Yearly and seasonal cycles (C).

How to schedule tasks

(b) Monochronism versus polychronism

Is time a continuous line?

(c) Linearity (L) versus cyclicity (C) of time

How should we emphasize past, present and future?

(d) Temporal orientations (i) towards the past People with high past orientation consider that the past is important, that resources must be spent on teaching history and building museums, referring to oral and written traditions and past works, Their basic assumption is that their roots are implanted in the past and no plant can survive without its roots. The converse is true for low past orientation. People with high present orientation consider that they basically live here and now. Although not always enjoyable, the present must be accepted for what it is: the only true reality we live in. People easily and precisely envisage and plan their future, They are project oriented, prepare for the long term, appreciate the Achievements of science, and so on. For then the future is inevitably bigger and better. The converse is true for low future orientation.

(ii) Towards the present

(iii) Towards the future

Space-related cultural differences

Basic problem/Cultural orientations
Is emphasis put on what people do (i,e, doing) or on what they are (i.e. being) based on belonging to Family, age, sex, religious of social status groups? (a) Personalization versus depersonalization

Contrasts across cultures

Necessity of being personally acquainted with other, people if one is to communicate and interact with them efficiently versus ability to communicate easily with unknown persons.

Who is a member of the group and what are the relevant ingroups? (b) Ingroup orientation

Belonging to the ingrouup (or reference group: family, tribe, clan, club. Professional society, nation, etc.) may be a necessary condition for being considered a reliable, bona fide partner. What are the group membership conditions? For an individual who belongs to the outgroup. what are the prerequisites for assimilation (if any) ? Tendency to live near to one another, and to be undisturbed by such intimacy. Conversely, tendency to feel the need for private space around ones body, and to resent intrusion into this space (Hall, 1966)

How to gain membership? (c) Concrete versus abstract territoriality

How to deal with physical space? (d) Group cultures with close physical contact versus individualistic cultures desiring private space

Concepts of the self and others

Basic problem/Cultural orientations
How should we treat unknown people?
(a) Is human nature basically good or bad?

Contrasts across cultures

Unknown people are considered favourably and shown confidence or, they are treated with suspicion when net for the first time.
Who are the persons to be considered trustworthy and reliable. With whom it is possible to do business? I. Older (younger) people are seen more favourably,

Appraising others (b) When appraising others, emphasis placed on: I. II. III. age Sex Social class


Trustworthiness is based on sex or not. Social class plays a singnificant role (or not) in concepts of the self and others.

Appraising others (c) Emphasis placed on the self-concept perceived as culturally appropriate: I. self-esteem: low / high II. perceived potency: low / high III. level of activity: low /high Relating the individual to the group (d) Individualism versus collectivism To give the correct appearance one should behave. I. Shy and modest versus extrovert or even arrogant. II. Power should be shown versus hidden. III. Busy people or unoccupied/idle people are well regarded. The individual seen as the basic resource and therefore individual-related values are strongly emphasized (personal freedom, human rights, equality Between men and women); versus the group is seen as the basic resource and therefore group values are favoured (loyalty, sense of belonging, sense of personal sacrifice for the community, etc,)

Interaction models
Basic problem/Cultural orientations
Equality or inequality in interpersonal interactions (a) Power Distance (PD)

Contrasts across cultures

Hierarchy is strong, power is centralized at the top (high PD) ; power is more equally distributed and superior and subordinates have a sense of equality as human beings (low PD). Assertiveness and personal achievement are favoured (masc.) versus caring for others, adopting nurturing roles and emphasizing quality of life (fem.) Tendency to avoid risks (high UA). To prefer stable situations, uncertainty- reducing rules and risk-free procedures, which are seen as a necessity for efficiency, Or, conversely, a risk-prone attitude (low UA) where people as individuals are seen as the engine of change, which is perceived as a requirement for efficiency. Do people rely on their own forces, find motivation and control within themselves (self-reliance) or do they need to find outside support, motivation and control from their environment (dependence) ? See Chapter 13 on Language: culture and communication.

Interacting with others of for others (b) Masculinity versus Femininity

Dealing with uncertainty (c) Uncertainty avoidance (UA)

Relying on oneself or on others

(d) Self-reliance versus dependence

Developing appropriate communication with others

(e) Communication styles

Attitudes towards action

Basic problem/Cultural orientations
Why act?
(a) Degree of fatalism: mastery of mature versus subjugation to nature; existence and degree of legitimacy of a Promethean (proactive) view of human life

Contrasts across cultures

People believe that it is possible to cope with any problem or any situation and that, to mankind, nothing is impossible, evil is when one does nothing (master of destiny); the converse is the belief that there are many situations where people cannot do anything: destiny binds us and we should not try to find alternatives (fatalistic orientation); evil is when one does not accept ones own destiny (subjugation) Contrast between cultures that value speech as action and those that separate them; contrast between a clear sequencing of action and a fuzzy view of action

What is action?

(b) Speech versus deed orientation

How to relate thinking to action (1)

(c) Ideologism versus pragmatism Idologism: thinking patterns, communication (style of speech) and actions should always be set within the context of broad ideological principles (religious, political, social, legal, etc,) versus pragmatism: precise issues must be addressed: a practical attitude is favoured: orientation towards problem solving and concrete results. Differences in assigning a dominant role to theory, data, speech, modesty and virtue in assessing truthful propositions that need to be put into action, WT cultures tend to emphasize enthusiasm. Imagination of the future and the capacity of desires to shape reality; non-WT cultures emphasize the principle of reality: desires and wishes have to be checked objectively against the constraints of the real world. People in N cultures separate feelings from actions. Do not mix friendship with business; in A cultures, mixing both is seen as inevitable and positive.

How to relate thinking to action (2)

(d) Intellectual styles

How to relate wishes and desires to action

(e) Wishful thinking orientation (WT)

How to relate feelings to action

(f) Affective (A) Versus Neutral (N) cultures

How to deal with rules

(g) Obeying practical rules versus coping with ideal rules Rules can be made which are respected, discussed and implemented quite strictly or there may be a discrepancy between ideal rules and what people can actually do, leading them to undertake behaviour that involves exploring and bypassing rules,

Basic cultural assumptions and actual behaviour

(everyday) behaviour standards (e.g. corporate culture)

(e,g. Family and social morals)


Basic culturat assumptions

(national, ethnic or religious culture)

Culture and consumer behaviour

1. 2. 3. 4. Hierarchy of needs Individualism and collectivism Independent versus interdependent self Institutions, social conventions, habits and customs

The influence of culture in selected aspects of consumer behaviour

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Loyalty Consumer involvement Perceived risk Consumer cognitive styles Legal marketing environment

The global convergence of consumption patterns

1. General convergence at the macro-level 2. Evidence of consumers; globalization at a micro-level

The emergence of a global consumer culture

1. The standard world package and McDonaldlzed consumption
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Efficiency Systematic quantification and calculation Predictability Control through the substitution of non-human for human technology

The emergence of a global consumer culture

2. Globalization and modern culture
2.1 Modernity is a given and technology is our path to a bigger and better future for all of us on our little planet: 2.2 Even if they differ externally, all societies and be placed on a continuum of social change-from traditional to developed societies: 2.3 The criterion for placing a society on the continuum is its degree of resistance to the changes brought about by modernity

Local products and consumption experiences

1. 2. 3. 4. Culture-bound products Unique consumption experiences Consumption as disposal Habits, habitus and shared meaning

Local consumer cultures and resistance to change

1. Preference for national products 2. Central and peripheral consumption contexts 3. Complexity and ambivalence in globalized consumption patterns

The components of authoritarian pluralism

1. A negation of individualism: group belonging and consequent obligations are more important than individual human rights; 2. Family is the basic building block. 3. Education is highly valued and people are ready to make financial sacrifices and efforts to obtain it.

The components of authoritarian pluralism

4. Thrift, modesty and renunciation are the rule until somebody can show through conspicuous consumption that he or she has really deserved personal enjoyment. 5. The strong work orientation is facilitated by the collective ambience of effort. 6. A national teamwork orientation: 7. The Asian form of contrat social: the role of the state is mostly to provide lay and order.

The components of authoritarian pluralism

8. The state is a company and the citizens its shareholders. 9. An orientation towards a morally clean environment: 10. The press is free, but is not a fourth estate.

Adaptation or standardization of product attributes

1. There are three layers of product attributes that lend themselves more of less to standardization:
1.1 The physical attributes (size, weight colour, etc.) 1.2 Service attributes (maintenance, after-sales service spare parts availability, etc.) 1.3 Symbolic attributer, These often comprise the interpretive element of the physical attributes.

Adaptation or standardization of product attributes

2. Compulsory adaptation : National regulations and standards
2.1 The industrial standards for the supply of electricity: 2.2 Safety standards: 2.3 Hygiene regulations:

Adaptation or standardization of product attributes

3. Required adaptations to differences in consumer behaviour and in the national marketing environment.
3.1 Consumption patterns: 3.2 Climate and the physical environment. 3.3 Adapting products to local product usage.

Adaptation or standardization of product attributes

4. Adaptation of service in the light of local conditions.
4.1 The level of technical expertise. 4.2 The level of labour costs. 4.3 The level of literacy. 4.4 Climatic differences. 4.5 The remoteness of locations. 4.6 Different ways of performing a seemingly identical.

Several layers of country-, company-and brandrelated product image

Global image of products in terms of domestic goods and foreign goods Imported versus domestic Imported versus domestic

Country (or country-based, or country-related) image of the generic product Neutral More of less Specific national image Connotes several Different countries Regional image

Corporate image diffused by the producer

Image related to Its nationality

Brand image Neutral brand

Corporate image As such (per se)

Brand with a specific linguistic connotation (linguistically country-connotative brand)

Made-in related product image (product image based on the made in label)

Consumer product evaluation according to country of origin.

1. The use of the country of origin attribute. 2. Stereotypical country images. 3. COO and moderator effects. 4. Familiarity and knowledge. 5. Ethnocentric and cultural tendencies.

National, international and global brands

1. Transposition of a national brand name to an international level. 2. Linguistic aspects of the brand. 3. Linguistic devices for brand names. 4. Semantic issues: Intended versus unintended meaning.

Price-based Signals
Meaning conveyed by price
Buy seller interactions Consumer behaviour Product evaluation (Tough) competition Target market (s) Distributors (Grey markets)

Bargaining rituals, price offers and relationship development. Differences in consumer price-mindedness across cultures. To what extent is quality interred from price? Signalling willingness to compete by dumping prices. Signalling willingness to compete by dumping prices. Signalling desire to avoid parallel imports from opportunistic distributors who disturb international price policy and may damage brand image. Signalling willingness to enter peacefully in a market with cartels. Meaning conveyed by price in high-inflation contexts. Meaning conveyed by price in high-inflation contexts.

(Peaceful) competition Price increase policy Relationship to suppliers

Criteria for choosing foreign distribution channels

Consumers and their characteristics. Some geographical segments in a foreign market may be, for instance, more import oriented, Channels serving these segments should therefore be preferred. Culture. Distribution is the element of the marketing mix what is most deeply rooted in culture, because it is closely related to everyday life and human relationships. Character. It is important that the image projected by the channel, its sales methods, shop locations and clientele as well as appearance, should correspond to the image and character that the product is intended to convey.

Criteria for choosing foreign distribution channels.

Necessary capital relates to the issue of what financial resources are necessary to start and maintain the channel. Cost. This criterion is strongly linked to the previous one, but relates more to trade margins than to overhead costs. Competition arises in channels either through competing products being placed side by side on shelves, or through competitors refusing other producers access to the distribution channels. Coverage is another important element, It is important to cover markets that are widely scattered.

Criteria for choosing foreign distribution channels.

Continuity. It is vital that the channel in which investment is to be made does not turn out to be unusable for some reason. Control. The ideal situation of course is where the company creates its own distribution network. This ensures maximum control.

Influence of culture on some aspects of distribution vis--vis shoppers.

Selected aspects of distribution
(1) Shopping behaviour

Traits that may differ according to country/culture.

Is time spent shopping experienced as wasted? (Economic Time: section 2.2) Is return of goods standard behaviour? (Complaining behaviour secton 4.3) Who is the shopper? (Sex roles, age, etc.) Degree of loyalty to the shop and the shopkeeper. (Section4.2) Religion-based arguments in favour of restricted store opening Hours femininity-based arguments. (Store personnel should not be exploited) Products may be banned because of religious or legal prescriptions. Homan nature is good. (Friendliness towards shoppers) versus bad (Indifference) /Negative view of service to others. (Section 9.3) Compliance with rules. (See tables 3.3 and 3.6 and section 9.3) Ethical behaviour ingroup orientation (See sections 2.3, 3.6 and 15.6) See section 9.3

(2) Opening hours

(3) Product range (4) Willingness to service consumers (5) Waiting lines (6) Thefts by consumers or personnel (7) Self-service versus personnel in contact

Sales Promotion: Other Customs, Other Manners.

Cross-national differences in the use of safes promotion techniques.

Sociocultural factors influencing the implementation of sales promotion techniques.

Language, Culture And Communication

1. Verbal communication the role of context.
1. 2. 3. 4. Low-context cultures and explicit communication. High-context cultures favour a more diffuse communication style. Communication on the Internet. The culture context of communication styles.

2. Non-verbal communication.
1. 2. Communication through gestures. Facial expressions and communication with the eyes.

Language, Culture And Communication

3. Language shaping our world-views.
1. Language influencing culture. 2. Language as a reflection of status, hierarch and a vision of appropriate social relationships. 3. Language used in writing advertising message. 4. Languages and new international cultures.

4. Ethnocentrism, stereotypes and misunderstandings in intercultural communication.

1. Ethnocentrism. 2. Stereotypes. 3. Self-shock.

Some guidelines for effective communication in international business.

1. 2. 3. Start by assessing as accurately as you can the possible intercultural obstacles that exist, exist, such as language and problems of communication in general. Be aware that what is explicitly said is not necessarily what is implicitly meant. Learning the non-verbal communication style of other cultures may prove very difficult.

Some guidelines for effective communication in international business.

4. In many cases interpreters may serve a crucial purpose; they may be transposers of meaning. They do not work like a dictionary, translating literally. They may translate better from one language to another than in the reverse direction, and this will depend not only on which language is their native one, but also on a personal leaning that they may have towards one party. It must be clearly appreciated that there is always a part of the language that cannot be translated. Culturespecific meaninge as it reflects the culture.


Some guidelines for effective communication in international business.

6. Develop a bomb squad ability to defuse a conflict based on negative stereotypes. Subjective misunderstandings in intercultural communication often snowball and mix with purely interest based objective conflicts, resulting in confrontations that may not be productive. Keep in mind that all this depends on advance preparation, and unfortunately cannot be improvised.


Influence of culture on attitudes towards advertising 1. General attitudes towards the role and functions of advertising. 2. General attitudes towards publicity and publiphobia. 3. Attitudes towards comparative advertising.

Culture And Advertising Exeution.

1. Language. 2. Humour. 3. Characters and roles represented in advertising. 4. The influence of mores and religion. 5. Visual elements.

Media Worldwide: Technological Advances And Cultural Convergence.

1. Worldwide differences in advertising expenditure. 2. Cross-cultural differences in media availability and usa. 3. The emergence of global media. 4. Technological and social changes open the door for more specific and segmented marketing.

The Globalization Of Advertising

1. Agencies internationalize. 2. Relationships between advertisers and agencies. 3. Advertising standardization: Feasibility and desirability. 4. The global campaign concept.

Bribery: Ethical Aspects.

1. Cultural relativism: The bribe as bonanza. 2. Recent evolution in the fight against bribery in international contracts. 3. Other efforts at combating bribery. 4. Comparison of ethical attitudes across industrial nations. 5. A pragmatic and respectful view of ethical behaviour in a cross-cultural context .