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Marketing Across Cultures - Essay Example

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Thus what is seen is just as important as what is written or what is spoken. Therefore visual or non-verbal communications about brands and products must be adapted to culture to connect with people in high context cultures. In particular, people from high context cultures are more socially oriented and prefer to have face-to-face, or interpersonal dealings in communications (Usunier & Lee, 2009). The idea is to establish some sort of a connection to consumers in high context cultures. For example, when distributing goods in places like China, Japan and India, connections can be made by appealing to local cultural symbols. Japan’s high uncertainty avoidance culture makes it the most difficult market for foreigners to penetrate. High uncertainty avoidance cultures are usually not amenable to anything new or uncertain. Thus the state and social norms typically implement rules and norms to restrict the introduction of uncertainty in terms of the introduction of anything or any phenomenon that is foreign or different. China and India are cultures that are more amenable to uncertainty than Japan is (Usunier & Lee, 2009). Many products fulfill both a functional need as well as a social need. When deciding how much to adapt an existing product for a new foreign market, which type of need should a marketer focus on? Explain your answer. When adapting an existing product for a new foreign market the marketer should focus on social needs. For example in masculine cultures where men make a majority of the purchasing decisions, the product should be adapted to appeal to men. Likewise, in “highly feminine individualist cultures” the social and financial burdens are shared by men and women (Usunier & Lee, 2009, p. 71). Thus when adapting an existing product to this culture, the product does not have to be gender-specific. However other cultural norms may require adaptation. For example, explicit images displaying some degree of nudity in packaging may be offensive to some cultures. A food product such as a soup brand may want to replace a soup made of forbidden meat products with a more appropriate meat in countries where the meat is not an acceptable food source. This will be particularly important in high uncertainty avoidance cultures. High feminine collectivist cultures are similar to high feminine individualist cultures in that men and women share responsibilities for economic and social decisions. However, these individuals typically lack individual authority. Thus products must be adapted so that they appeal to this group dynamic. It therefore follows that products should be more family oriented as high feminine collectivist cultures emphasize the importance of the family as a whole. As Usunier and Lee (2009), in high feminine collectivist cultures, the entire family has a significant influence on “consumption behaviour” (Usunier & Lee, 2009, p. 71). Comparing a supermarket in Tokyo, Japan with one in Dallas, Texas, which of the two is likely to have higher sales of snacks and sweets (Items usually found near the cash register at the checkout)? Explain your answer using the most relevant cultural dimension. Items are typically placed near the cash register in supermarkets and other stores generally to appeal to impulsive or unplanned consumer purchasing behaviour. Asian cultures are typically linked to the collectivist dimension of ...Show more
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Summary

What are the problems you are likely to encounter with the distribution of your products in: China, Japan, and India? Which country poses the biggest problem? Explain your answer. In distributing products in China, Japan in India, marketers can expect to experience difficulties in communicating with consumers as a result of language and other cultural differences…
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