Culture In International Marketing And Buyer Hehavior Index Introduction Characteristics of culture International Marketing and buyer behavior Examples of Cultural Blunders Made by International Marketers The Culture Sensitivity of Markets The Development of Global Culture Cultural Analysis of Global Markets Cross- cultural analysis Conclusion References Introduction Culture is the learned ways of group living and the group’s responses to various stimuli. It is also the total way of life and thinking patterns that are passed from generation to generation. It encompasses norms, values, customs, art, and beliefs. Culture is the patterns of behavior and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create, and share. Culture distinguishes one human group from others.
A people’s culture includes their beliefs, rules of behavior, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems. Anthropologists commonly use the term culture to refer to a society or group in which many or all people live and think in the same ways. Likewise, any group of people who share a common culture – and in particular, common rules of behavior and a basic form of social organization – constitutes a society. Thus, the terms culture and society are somewhat interchangeable. Characteristics of culture: Culture is prescriptive. It prescribes that kinds of behavior considered acceptable in the society.
The prescriptive characteristic of culture simplifies a consumer’s decision-making process by limiting product choices to those, which are socially acceptable. These same characteristics create problems for those products not in tune with the consumer’s cultural beliefs. Culture is socially shared. Culture cannot exist by itself. Members of a society must share it. Thus acting to reinforce culture’s perspective nature. Culture is learned.
Culture is not inherited genetically; it must be learned and acquired. Socialization or enculturation occurs when a person absorbs or learns the culture in which he or she is raised. Culture facilitates communication. One useful function provided by culture is to facilitate communication. Culture usually imposes common habits of though and feeling among people.
Thus, within a given group culture makes it easier for people to communicate with one another. But culture may also impede communication across groups because of a lack of shared common culture values. This one reason why a standardized advertisement may have difficulty communicating with consumers in foreign countries. How marketing efforts interact with a culture determines the success or failure of a product. Advertising and promotion require special attention because the play a key role in communicating product concepts and benefits to the target segment. Culture is subjective people in different cultures often have different ideas about the same object. What is acceptable in one culture may not necessarily be so in another.
In this regard, culture is both unique and arbitrary. Culture is enduring, because culture is shared and passed along from generation to generation, it is relatively stable and somewhat permanent. Old habits are hard to break, and people and people tend to maintain its own heritage in spite of continuously changing world. Culture is cumulative. Culture is based on hundreds or even thousands of years of accumulated circumstances. Each generation adds something of its own of culture before passing the heritage on to the next generation. Therefore culture tends to be broader based over time, because new ideas are incorporated and become a part of the culture. Culture is dynamic.
Culture is passed along from generation to generation, but one should not assume that culture is static and immune to change. Culture is constantly changing it adapts itself to new situations and new sources of knowledge. International Marketing and buyer behavior: An understanding of buyer behavior is central to successful marketing. To develop effective marketing programs, the marketing manager must have knowledge of the needs and wants of potential buyers, how they arise, and how and where they are likely to be satisfied. Buyer behavior is affected by many factors.
Class, education, age, and psychosocial traits are just four of the many factors useful in distinguishing different buyer groups. Researching the relationships that exist between the marketing-mix variables and buyer needs and response. From this effort have evolved many buyer behavior models, concepts, and techniques. * International Marketing’s Four Buyer Behavior Tasks Apparent similarities such as language can hide subtle but important differences between markets. International marketers have often shown a higher propensity to misinterpret a marketing situation when the cultural and economic environments of the foreign market are apparently the same as their own. For example, Philip Morris lost a considerable amount of money when tried to introduce a U.S.
cigarette to the Canadian market. Management was under the erroneous impression that Canadians and Americans had similar smoking habits because the spoke the same language, had similar cultural heritages, dresses more or less the same, and watched many of the same television programs. Campbell Soups lost $30 million in Europe before it accepted the idea that British and U.S. soup consumers were different in three important ways. First British soups consumers have different taste preferences. Campbell soups made no attempt to modify the taste of their soups for the British palate. Second, British soup consumers had not been educated to the condensed soup product concept. Because of the smaller can size.
Third, British soup consumers did not respond the same way to U.S. advertisement as U.S. consumer did. Examples of Cultural Blunders Made by International Marketers: Language: A U.S. toothpaste manufacturer promised its customers that they would be more “interesting” if they used the firm’s toothpaste. What the advertising coordinators did not realize, however, was that in Latin American Countries “interesting” is another euphemism for “pregnant”. Food: Chase and Sanborn met resistance when it tried to introduce its instant coffee in France.
In the home, the consumption of coffee plays more of a ceremonial role than in the English home. The preparation of “real” coffee is a touchstone in the life of the French housewife, so she will generally reject instant coffee because its causal characteristics do not “fit” into the French eating habits. Values: In 1963, Dow Breweries introduced a new beer in Quebec, Canada; called “kebec” the promotion incorporated the Canadian flag and attempted to evoke nationalistic pride. The strategy backfired when major local groups protested the “profane” use of “sacred” symbols. Religion: England’s East India Company once caused a revolt when it did not modify a product. In 1857, bullets were often encased in pig wax, and the tops had to be bitten off before the bullets could be fired. The Indian soldiers revolted since it was against their religion to eat pork. Hundreds of people were killed before order was restored.
Social Norms and time: A telephone company tried to incorporate a Latin flavor in its commercials by employing Puerto Rican actors. In the ad, the wife said to her husband, ” run and phone Mary. Tell her we will be a little late.” This commercial has two major cultural errors. Latin wives seldom dare order their husband around, and almost no Latin would feel it necessary to phone to warm of tardiness since it is expected. *The Sociocultural Dimension of Buyer Behavior Culture does influence Consumption to a great extent. Consumption patterns, living styles, and the priority of need …