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Marketing ls no longer an Isolated function of the organization.

This means that its actrv


ities such as creating markets and satisfying consumers can no longer be realized without
the contribution of the whole organization. The focus of this approach is principally on the
consumer. Marketing is the integrating part of the organization. linking it to its environment.
International marketing Is more complex. It needs not only the knowledge of foreign markets,
but also an understanding of cultural differences among countries.

Concept ll.l goes beyond the boundaries of the domestic firm to examine relationship
marketing management in an international environment, with all the adaptations this
requires, especially in marketing research.

Concept l1.2 focuses on communication in an lntercultural environment, especially advert


isiny. as well as on management of meanings related to brand names for international
markets and to country of origin images.

Lean"ting outcornes
After readinQ this chapter, you should have an understanding of:

,. The cultural differences In marketing management practices in the world.


c The nature of cross-cultural research in marketing and its components.
, The role of communication in international marketing.

Since the new approach to marketing is seen as the most appropriate and effective way of
dealing with consumers within the expanding and increasingly integrated market, there are
a number of problems which marketers must face with crossborder markets. The question
of adapting products and marketing strategies to suit the needs and wishes of the consumer
lies at the heart of the intercultural marketing approach.

:" ' '-tf ,::. t: ::.:: :;.,i,''."


';'..Marketer. within: . '
.

Management Cross-Border Mark et


Communication i

F1qur(c' )i.1 Marketing in a cross-cultural environment 229


Chapter 11 Culture and international m arketin9 management

Marketing is an intt-gral part of a company's il.(tivities. It tries to bala11-:e customer needs


with the aims and resources of the organization. w.11! and Rees l2004} separate out market
ing activities as follows:

1. Market analysis with at least three elements:


1> environmnt analysis, which involves making an inventory of the risks and opportun
ities in the company's environment;
) buyer behaviour: the company needs to establish the profile ofits (potential) customers
and to know how and why they buy;
;. market research: this is the way information concerning the company's customers and
environment is collected.

2. Marketing strategy. Once a market has been scanned using the above tools, the company
has to develop a strategy to give a meaning and direction to its marketing activities. The
following strategies are often used:

-> market segmentation: taking a group of (potential) customers who share certain char
acteristics (such as age or income range or occupational profile)
-:, marketing mix: comprising, apart from the product itself, price, promotional activities
and place.

The various marketing activities are integrated into the organization through plan
ning and management itself. Through planning, market opportunities can be evaluated in
relation to the l'esources of the enterprise with a view to attaining its goals. Management
is intent on running the whole process effectively so that the customers' needs and wishes
are met.
However, this classification of marketing activities in terms of market, strategy, plan
ning and management, as well as the strategy of the marketing mix, has its critics. Some
experts see these approaches as being traditional ones that no longer meet present-day
needs.

Traditional view and new ideas and concepts

As Mercado et al. (2001) note, experts are increasingly questioning the effectiveness of the
marketing mix approach. They argue that market-driven management should be more than
a succession of'ordered functions'. They see a modern concept of marketing with a stronger
customer focus, one that entails not only the notion of anticipating and responding to
customi:r ni:eJs, lmL ahio Lhat of tlt:fi.ning an<l <ldivi:riug 1.uslo1ner value through a market
oriented business strategy. This means that the whole marketing function of a company
should be integrated into all parts of a company. There should no longer be a separate unit
for marketing; the function should be seen as a collective one whereby departments link up
to perform various tasks and processes.
Thi:; prt:scripliun is, ac.:cor<ling to Mt:n:aJu d al. (2001), dosely linked to the develop
m1:nl uf relalionsbip 1muk1:tiug. Ht:rl:, LOo, llit: focus is less on the marketing mix and more
on the development of relationships that firmly link the company to the market. These
relationships comprise not just personal and organizational ones, but also the creation of
networks that the authors define as 'sets of relationships and interactions performed within

230
Concept 11.1 MarketinQ in n crossculturel environment

specific relationships: Relationship marketing management is essentially about connecting


with customers through continual transactions and exchanges whereby the expectations of
customers are not only met but also, if possible, exceeded.
When looking for ways of establishing sustainable relations with and hrrween con
sumers, companies are turning more and im1re to 'social media' for marketing purposes. In
fact, according to marketers worldwide, social network applications now re.ceive priority
over digital advertising and f'mail marketing.. Enterprises arc now set ting up marketing
strategies that bring not only change to corporate communication and marketing but
also a real cultural revolution to the whole company. The switch from the 'mass media' to
'relational media' encourages companies to listen to consumers and to enter into dialogue
with them.

The popularity of social websites


The table below, taken from <http:l/www.dulcene9osyante.com/sodalmarketlnggoldminetop100
socialnetworklngsites> contains a p11rti11I llst of websites which clearly indicates how popular
social websites have become globally. To the sites given below sh-Ould .also be added Twitter, an
international realtime information network.

Table 2 Popular social websites by continent/reqlon/country.

Continent/region Dominant social websites

Africa HiS (Angola, Central Africa). facebook (Egypt)

America (North) MySpace, facebook. YouTube. f'lickr, Nex.opia <Canada). Netlog


(Canada)

America (Central Orkut <Brazll), Migente. HIS, Sonico, Facebook (Panama)


and South)

Asia frlendster (Southeast Asia). Orkut (India, Pakistan), Xianonei


(China). Xing (China). Cyworld CS. Korea), HiS (Thailand). YouTube
(Japan), Mixi (Japan). HiS <Mongolia)

Europe 6adoo (UK, Europe), Bebo (UK, Ireland}, friends Reunited (UK),
facebook (UK), HIS (Portugal. Cyprus. Romania}. Tagged. Xing,
Skyrock (France. French speaking region}, Studivz <Germany),
Hyves (the Netherlands), iWiW (Hungary), Naszaklasa.pl (Poland),
IRCGallerla (Finland), LunarStorm <Sweden). Netlog, Nettby
(Norway), playahead (Sweden. Denmark, Norway), Odnoklassnlki.ru
<Russia, former Soviet republics), v Kontakte (Russia)

Middle East Facebook <most Arab countries)

Pacific Islands Bebo (including New Zealand)

Source: Kim et al. <2010).

., ...,.
:hapter 11 Culture and lnteroatlonal marketlnq management

This fresh approach to marketing is seen as the most appropriate and effective way of d
ing with consumers within the expanding and increasingly integrated markets, Europe be
a prime example. There remain, however, problems for marketers and market research
Mercado et al. (2001: 394-395) define them as follows:

t> Language barriers. Language poses a real problem when it comes to identifying be
viours common to different nationalities. Translating from one language to anothe
one problem, but also assessing the differences between countries when it comes to
mearii ng of the translated words.

e Sens!!!,v$ofquestionjng. Europeans show differem;es in th information they choost


communicate.T'fle Greeks, for example, may not be worried about revealing informati
on their income, whereas the British are.

El Research techniques. Most of marketing research techniques emanate from the l


Theyfocus on the ability of individuals to express their sentiments and feelings. Sor
customers, whether in Europe or Asia, are reluctant to talk openly about such mattt
and prefer instead to be asked questions on more practical issues.
e Cul ral di erences. When surveys are being carried out across cultures about the w:
people ve, e ovc and think, It is important to take into account the cultural conte
when responses to questionnaires are being analysed. If this is not Jone, the resear<
findings may be misinterpreted and the real meanings undiscovered.

e Son. People in certain countries are becoming increasingly suspicious about wh<
happens to information gathered through marketing surveys. They are, therefore, increa
ingly reluctant to participate in such .surveys.

Statistica1:fi!parisons. Cross-country comparisons of statistics are difficult to pe1


form since e data is established locally and is f r betwee1
based on practices that dife
countries. Demographic information, educational qualifications and social groupin
may be different, as well as the relative amounts spent on promotion and advertising.

What is behind the question?


'
In his .artlcle on lln9 u1stic sensitivity in cross of this kind will not necessarily 'capture the
cultural organ izational research, Gales (2003) nuances of work life and J.ob satisfaction within
refers to the differences between France and a given culture' (Gales, 2003: 135). A question
the US wi th regard to th e centrality of work In such as 'How satisfied re you with your .salary?'
one's life. translated Into Fre nch may not adequately reflect
, He refer to research into job satisfaction the concern that the French give to the quallty
across cultures. Reseil;rhers have used well-tried of life. Job satisfaction . wlll probably have a
survey Instruments Jo Enollsh, translating them different meaning to thOse livlnQ In a culture -
Into the tanou.ages of the cultures In question. such as that In France - where work does not
However. as the author points out. a translation play such an important role In self-fulfilment.

232
Concept 11.1 Marketin9 Jn a cro ss cultural environment
-

c; Fragmentation. Many multinational concerns have decentralized structures whereby


operad'i\'g companies enjoy considerable autonomy. Research done by a local company
across different countries and markets may Jack a consistent method, be fragmented and
inconclusive.

An illustration of the problems defined above is given in Spotlight l l .2.


j

International marketing

According to Wall and Rees (2004: 306), 'international marketing r11n be simply defiut!d as
marketing activities that 1.russ national borders'. They do add, however, that these activities
occur at three levels in line with the focus of a company's operations:

c. Companies whose sales for the most part are made in the domestic market and consider
exports to be less important.

c:, Multinational companies selling throughout the world that consider their country of
origin or host country in the same way as the other market environments in which they
are involved.

e Those companies - usually multinationals - that want to adopt a glohal marketing


strategy by idntifying products or service with certain si111ilarities in certain markets,
and pursui.ng a single, global marketing stratt>gy for them (Coca-Cola being an obviou:;
t!.Xamplc). Consumer products as well as industrial products are all potential candidates
for the global market, particularly when there is little or no need to adapt them for local
consumption (telecommunications and pharmaceuticals are examples).

The application of international marketing depends not only on the target market but
also on the marketing orientation of the company. There arc five common marketing
orientations: production, customer, strategic marketing, sales and social marketing. The
last two are described below.
Companies with a sales or ientatio n try to sell the same pro<luct domestically and i n a
large number of countries where consumer characteristics are similar and, os Daniels et al.
(2011: 640) point out, 'where there is also a great deal of spillover' between countries when
it comes to product information.
increasingly, however, exporting companies are having tl"l adopt a social marketlnq
orientation. This entails not only knowing how a product i'> bought, but also l1uw it is disposed
of, not only kJ1uwing why a product is hought, but also how it could be modified in some way
to make it more socially desirable. Furthermore, for their international marketing to su<:ceed,
these companies have to take into account the effect of their products on all stakeholders - such
as con1mmer associations - so ll1at they have regard for the concept of social responsibility.
A change in orientation may be necessary because of legal, cultural or even economic
reasons. Such a change may compel the enterprise to modify its products to meet the needs
of local consumers. The real reason for a change in orientation is often a cultural one. A
switch from one product to another, a change in colour preferences or choice of materials
is difficult to predict. Marketers just cannot determine in advance what the consumer is
going to buy - not even when they are surveying their home country. Making such pre
dictions in foreign markets is as difficult, if not more so, when it comes to selling new
products, or at least products that are unknown to the consumers there.
:hapter 11 C ul t ure and international marketing management

The intercultural marketing approach ' .

The question of adapting products and marketing strategies to suit the needs and wishes
of the consumer lies at the heart of the intercultural marketing approach. According to
Usunier and L ee (2005), intercultural marketing is as much to do with localizing as with
globalizing. The intercultural marketing approach takes account of criteria related to geo
graphy and nationality while, at the same time, using criteria to do with consumer attitudes,
preferences and lifestyles related to age, class and ethnicity, as well as to occupation.
Intercultural marketing is made easier if the conditions for identification with the pro
ducts are present in the target market. If consumers are to buy a certain product they need
to identify with it in some way. Usunier and Lee (2005: 232) also maintain that consumers:

buy the meaning that they find in products for t h e purpose of cultural Identification,
based on the desire for asslmllatlon in a certain civlllzation.

The elements involved in the process of cultural identification are, according to the authors,
twofold:

<!, the notion of id1mtity (the need to reproduce the national culture such as it is, the desire
to feel at home}

the notion of o:oridsm (the desire to escape from one's culture and to experience other
values, other ways of living).

These notions are closely interlinked in a rather ambiguous way in the identification pro
cess, so a straightforward description of the approach is difficult to make. That is why it
is preferable to make clusters of countries or consumers who share 'meaningful cultural
characteristics'.
There are, in their analysis, 'geographical cultural affinity zones' which, to a large extent,
resemble national cultural groups; and 'cultural affinity classes', which are formed using
different kinds of segmentation. Usunier and Lee {2005: 232) give an example of such a
class composed of people between the ages of 15 and 20 from Japan, Europe and the US:

They have a tendency to share common values, behaviour and Interests, and tend to present
common traits as a consumer segment; their lifestyles converge worldwide Irrespective
of national borders.

Such cultural affinity classes can be an ideal target for standardized products because they have
a sense of belonging to a common age, gender or income group across different countries.
They may also share a common channel of communication, particularly the web and satellite
television.

Cross-cultural consumer behaviour

A certain understanding of cultural differences is indispensable for.effective communic a


tion with consumers from different l>ackgrounds. However, according to Kaynak and Jallat
(2004), the importance of geographic frontiers and politics will gradually diminish because
of changes in the economic enviro1iment and the e\olution of COn$umer behaviour. Europe
offer5 an example of such changes, as do the young generation of rnnumers in more and

234
Concept 11.2 Marketing communication across cultures

more countries. They increasingly behave in the same way. Even in China there is evidence
of the influence of the Confucian system of values retreating among the young to make way
for a more individualist attitude in their buying habits.
Although differences in the cultural and economic environment remain, there is increasing
uniformity in consumer taste and consumer behaviour. This already appeari; to tie having an
effect on the markc:Ling suategis Qt companies operating at an iulernational lvel.
Nevc11!idess, tluuie r and Lee (2005) maintain t hat there are limitations to the way
behavioural intentions are determined. Significant differences in consumer behaviour may
be determined and the need to ildapt a prouuct established, bur this is not sufficient in itself
beause the intentions ot the consumers need to be established. Models of behavioural
intention, which were once assumed to be applicable universally, show different weightings
between attitudes and norms.
To what extent, therefore, is it possible to talk of transposing theories to do with consumer
behaviour? There are certainly similarities between cultures, but t o really understand con
sumer behaviour, account must be taken of the characteristics of the consumers' culture
and their underlying models.
Marketing is also a process in which communication plays an important role. Consumers
buy not only the product but the meaning that goes with it. This idea will be developed in
Concept 11.2.

.
Branding ...
f"- ..
"'

:
...
f
.. .
+ .

Some say that the brand often sells better than the product. Among many products on
the market, the buyer recognizes 'his' or 'her' brand before actually buying the product.
The seductive power of the name seems therefore to count as much as the way the product
is made.
How can we define what a brand is? Well, for a start, it is the brand that identifies a
product/service or range of products/services. In a legal sense, provided it is registered, this
form of identification becomes a trademark. As such, the brand (eventually) becomes instantly
recognizable and can to a certain extent market itself, so reducing promotional costs.
According to Daniels et al. (2011: 654), every producer and marketer working in an

international environment must be very careful when making decisions about brands.
They must decide 'whether to adopt a worldwide brand or to use different brands for a
variety of country markets: Using one uniform brand internationally makes economic
sense, but problems can arise as a result, particularly when it comes to language. A name
()rigin.illy d1oscn for one pnl'licular market with a particuhi r language may have <l ditfrrent
associati on in other language are.s. Ai. Daniels et al. ( 2011) r ightly point mil, problems with
promoting bnrnds internationally <1re exacer bated br the lack of some sounds of a brand
name in other languages. The name chosen may also be difficult to pronounce because the
pronunciation of the name may create a meaning different to the original. Such problems
may be all the greater if the brand is promoted using a d ifferent alphabrt.
Chapter n Culture and international marketin9 management

Jif and Cif

Unilever developed a liquid cleanin9 product ever, Unilever decided to use Just one brand
that was first sold in France under the name name for the product across Europe - Cif.
Cif. When It proved to be successful, It was Although It seems logical to have the same
introduced In other markets. For the British name for the same product for marketing pur

and Dutch markets it was renamed JU because, poses, the change may also reflect the fact
the story goes. the manufacturers were con that syphilis is no tonger a common subject of
cerned that the name 'elf' might be associated discussion ln the UK.
with syph'. the slang word for the sexually The name Jif is still used in Australia. New
transmitted disease syphilis. The word 'jil' Is Zealand and Norway. In Canada, it is called
found In English phrases such as 'See you in Vim, which was the name given to a similar
a Jif' or 'This won't take a jif' - implying that product first manufactured by Lever Brothers

something will happen qulckly. In 2001, how in the UK in 1905.

"")\. Brands and national Images

As we have seen, the brand name can provoke assodation.s of ideas and emotion in
such a way that consumers are not just buying a product but also the image it conveys.
In terms of a consumer's purchase criteria, image is an important facet of the product,
along with quality, innovation, design, and ease of use as well, of course, as .price. In tenns
of international marketing, how do consumers perceive products from countries other
than their own? What is the relationship between tht: nationality of a product and the
image it evokes?
A number of authors, including Usunier and Lee (2005) see this relationship as a very
important one, not only in terms of the 'made in' label, but also in terms of other elements
that contribute to the consumer's perception of product nationality. These include:

e The image of national products as compared with imported or international products.

f.' National images of generic products.

If. The national image of the manufacturing company.

11> The image diffused by the brand name.

Such elements are not necessarily related to one country (e.g. pasta to Italy), but to several

countries (e.g. wine), or even to a geographical area (yoghurt to the Balkans). Moreover,
there are many perceptions of products which are not shared by consumers from different
national cultures; consumers from 0111: country do not iilways have the same image of a
'
product from their own country as do consumers from another country.
Usunier and Lee (2005: 289) note the role of stereotypes in associating a product with
the national image of a country. There are, they maintain, a small, but important number
.
of consistent stereotypical images:

... toe Image of the robustness of German products, the Image of France as associa ted I

.f
with luxury goods, the Image of Korean products as being cheap.

236 f
Concept 11.2 Marketing communication across cultures

Skoda transformed
The perception of brand name Skoda has undergone a Nevertheless, through clever marketing campaigns in
massive change since the early 1990s. Skoda was origin Europe (and parts of Asia and Latin America), consistently
ally the name of a Czechoslovakian car manufacturer positive review from the motoring pres and multiplying
nationalised by the 11ew communist regime after World wordofmouth' recommendations from satisfied buyers.
War II. The cars it made before the 1(}89 'Velvet Revolution' sales started rising rapidly.
were available In western as well a east Europe. Although In the UK, marketers found It particularly difficult
behind the Iron Curtain they were considered to be to shake off the old Slloda Image. Commercials were
superior to cars from other communist countries. they made, however; that faced up to this image in an honest
were seen In the West as cheap but poorly made and but humorous way. In onP. of these. for example, d Skoda
unrAllabte. Jokes ilbout the car - along with those made driver returns to his car where a parking attendant is
by the Russian eQuivalent Lada - were heard freQuently: waiting. The attendant says: 'I'm afri'lid some little v<>ndal
has stuc.k a Skoda badge on the front of vour car'. The
'How QO you double the Value Of a 511oda7 Answer; Fill It
commercial ends with the picture of the handsome.new
with petrol.'
Skoda (Fabia or Octavia) and, beneath I t . the sloQq .n 'It's
'Why does a Skoda have a heated rear windscreen?
a Skoda. Honest!'
Answer: To keep your hands warm when you push it.'
Market researchers found that this and other similar
Once the German car maker Volkswagen had taken a commercials. in which the 'new' image played with the 'old'
30 per cent stake in the company in 1991 (eventually taking Image, had a very positive effect on consumer awareness.
total control of the company in 2001). things changed. They helped boost sales during the 18month promotion
Through Intensive training and extensive investment In period. Moreover. the percentage of British consumers
the plant, research and product development, the qual who said they would not consider buyinQ a Skoda fell by
lty of Skoda products Improved considerably. The cars more than a third after one year into the campaign.
were soon earning high praise from the motoring press.
Source: 'Skoda ooes from trash to treasure: American
However. the accolades the company received were Merketlnl} Association, 18 F'eoruary 2002: accessed 1 June 2008
not immediately reflected In sales figures in the West. (Www.marketlnc;rpower.comfcontent16161S1.php).

Such shared perceptions, however, do change, as Usunier and Lee (2005} conclude from
their investigations, and seem to do so rapidly. This is particularly the case for products
from Japan and the newly industrialized countries of Asia. This applies also to countries
that have cultural and language similarities through their colonial past, but which have very
f ring perceptions of the meaning of products.
dife
Another factor that can change shared percepti ons is t he matter of countr y of origin'. '

As Usunier and Lee (2005) indicate, multinationals sell the same products under the same
brand worldwide. These products may, however, differ considerably from one economic
zone to another, containing components from the c ompany s country of origin as well'

as from the areas where they are sold. For example, how 'French' is a Peugeot that has
been assembled in the UK or Spain, containing parts from difef rent European counoies -
including France - as well as from Asia?
Some multinationals underpl ay the cou .gf,pigin and focus on the 'coui:_itry-ot !md'.
So, Daimler-Ren?. talks in its c:orpo ratt> 11dvertising <if the c ompa n y 'being hoc,;"fthf_ mon
th an 200 countries' (Usunier a n d Lee, 2005: 29;!).
Related to t his change of foct1s is the increa sin g. appearance of p rodu c ts that are 'made
in the European Union: What sort of associations are this label expected to evoke among
consumers wit hin the EU - and those bu y ing t he pr oduct outside the EU?
:hapter 11 Culture and international marketinq mana9ement

Changing cultural habits in India: Cadbury to raise India's role


By Joe Leahy In Mumbai

Co:idbury Is lookinq to build on Its dominant position In lndla's e:hocolate market by making the country a regional
centre for cocoa production. The UKbased producer of brands such as Cadbury's Dairy Milk and Bournville said India
was provinQ one or its most resilient markets, with profit continuing to grow at about 20 per cent a year and sales
at 30 per cent In spite of the global recession.
'Cadbury should be In a position to sustain the growth we have had In the last three years: said Anand Kripalu.
president, Asia and managlno director of Cadbury India.
The challenge for Cadbury, which has been In India for 60 years, has been to change cultural habits In a counry
thllt hll!'. tr;:idlt.lnn1111y not P.iltl'n ehOcolate.
Cadbury has also been forced to become more selfsulticlent In cocoa beans in India than In other countries
because of a 30 per cent Import duty on the commodity, mostly grown In Ghana and Ivory Coast
The company hopes to source all of its bean:. dumestically by 2015 rattler than from the traditlvnill uwrseas
markets, which are also less polltlcaily stable. Cocoa seedlings orow along side coconut palms in southern India and,
therefore. do not require fresh cle<irlng or forests for plantations.
Cadbury believes that, if it r.nn persuade 20 pwr cent of Indian coconut farmen to include co.coa trees In thlr
plantations. It could increase national output of the beans from 10,000 tonnes to 150.000 tonnes a year, or 3 per
,P.nt of world production, hy 2070.
'As a company, we believe we want to derisk cocoa,' said Mr Krlpaiu.
Cadbury controls more than 70 per cent of the chocolate market In India with a presence in 1.2m stores while
Nt!sll tuntrul al.Juul 25 ptir cent. Annual revenue is about E200m, small compared with the UK but growing rapldly.
This orowth has come partly through extensive advertising campal9ns, includln9 'Celebrate with Cadbury Dairy Milk'
in2004.
This was aimed at convincing Indians to eat chocolate alongside traditional sweets, known as mlthai, which are
made of milk, suQar and flavouring. They are eaten by lndlans to celebrate or to mark an event.
Cadbury's lighthearted ads In India show a mlddleaged man who Is celebrating after finally passing his final
grade at schoot. '8rinr;iing a cultural context to chocolates by associating with traditional sweets & occasions' Is how
Cadbury describes the message of the ads.

Source: from Cadbury to raise Jnala's role. The Financial Times, 01/06/2009, p. 19 (Lea hy, J.), Copyright The Financlal Times Ltd.

Questions
1. Why does Cadbury want to persuade Indians to eat chocolate?

2. How did Cadbury proceed In order to reach Its goal?

Communication: advertising

To communicate with the customer and the outside world - whether the focus is on the
organization in question or on its products - marketing uses advertising as its principal
channel. Internet technology offers a number of opportunities for international marketing.
Being on the Web, however, also creates a number of st rat egic challenges for global com
panies. Company websites allow not only information to be given about the produc ts
or services sold, but also online advertising and sales promotion worldwide. However,

")'lQ
Concept 11.2 Mar ket i ng communication across cult ur es

despite these advantages, dealing in the same way with all the markets and consumers in
different countries still remains a difficult task.
Advertising is often defined as the channel of communication used not only to inform
the public, but also to persuade the consumer to buy a product or service. Some consider
advertising as a universal phenomenon, an indispensable part of everyday life; others focus
on its power. the power not only to persuade people to buy, but also to create a need. In
any case, advertising in its simplest form is information intended to create a link between
the producer and consumer. But there is clearly a purpose behind this, namely to sell!
Its essential purpose is to publicize a product and so create a demand fur it. And wheu a.
product has become known, advertising maintains the recognition and reputation it has
acquired while maintaining the consumer's wish to buy the product.
In the end, of course, it is all about Ila: consumer. Those busy with international market
ing must go beyond questions of language ann behavioural differences to try and !im1
out the meanings that consumers in different cultures give to products, brands, messages
and behaviours. Even 'lifestyle' research and other invesigations to determine market
segmentation pay increasing attention to the way culture affects conuuu::rs' perception of
products and services.
Using cultural valuP. to examine a product concept is what Hoed<lin proposes. Taking
a cultural approach in marketing and :1dvertising gives ilddcd value in th sense that it pro
vides indispensable information to the marketers. From Hoecklin's viewpoint (1995: 106):

. . t he more the marketers understand about the way a particular culture tends to view
status, expressions of emotion, friendship. rules, humour, enjoyment, public llfe versus
private life and so on, the more control they have over creatlnQ an ad that wlll be Inter
preted In t he way In which they want.

The product or service is therefore no longer presented to the public as it is, but presented
in a symbolic way to create adhesion. The advertising presents the product in such a way
as to .attract the consumer and when doing so, focuses its message on the benefit the
product brings the consumer, not on its qualities. Advertising and other promotional
campaigns adapted to the local market allow the image of the product in question to be
directly associated with the product concept in the mind of the consumer.

Sensodyne toothpaste
To Illustrate t his 'glocal' strategy, consider the information sensitive teeth and prevents the pain from returning.'
to be found on a tube of Sensodyne bought in Holl and The French tube gives the followlng message in Frenc h:
and on a tu be bought In France: 'If used daily, It prevents the sensitivity from ret ur ning.'

Same product: both tubes show Identical ingredients On


The difference: on the Dutch tube: 'Brushing twice a oay
Engllsh) and the same product description ('Sensodyne
brings a lasting result.' On th e French tube: 'After three
for sensitive teeth') In their respective languages.
weeks' use you will be able to notice !tie improvement in
Sarne message: the Dutch tube gives the following your Clental sensitivity and regain the pleasure of savour
message in Dutch: 'Daily use of Sensooyne p ro t ec ts ing everything you like:

239
:hapter 11 Cu lt ure and international ma rketinq management

Managing the meaning of brands across cultures

Incorporating understanding of a consumer's culture takes into account the emotional


clement, necessary if a product is to be successfully launched in a new market. As HoeckJin
(1995) observes, companies operating internationally are managing the meaning of brands
across cultures while building the strength of their brand and extending the number of
markets in which they are selling and promoting their brand. Their attempts to adapt to
the cultural differences in communkation ii!nd product use have reached a sophisticated
level: companies are increasingly intent on making sure that the intended meaning of the
brand coincides with the perceived meaning of the message.
This approach underlines the importance of the notion of perception. In psychological
terms, perception is a complex act whereby the individual is not just observing but also
reconstructing his environment. He is not just discovering, hut iilo intPrpretine it by
applying shapes or patterns. If cognitive theories of perception are applied to advertising,
they indicate Lhal a product must always involve the receiver to a sufficient degree. lf this
does not happen, the infol'mation given will not retain the consumer's attention, even if the
information is considered shocking. Generally speaking, consumers will avoid everything
that contradicts their system of thought, or will reduce its importance when interpreting it.
One can deduce from this that differences in cultural systems also determine what is seen
and how it is perceived.
According to Hoecklin (1995: 1I1 ), for effective communication to take place,'consumers'
perceived meaning of a product or service must coincide with the advertiser's intended
meaning' (Figure 11.2).

Intended meaning
of the brand

Perceived meaning
of the message

Figure 11.2 Effective communication


Concept 11.2 Marketing communication across cultures

From a cultural viewpoint, this means that 'the intended meaning of products brands'
must coincide with 'the perceived meanings' of consumers who come from different culrures.
The most cost-effective way of ensuring that this happens is to standardize the product
or service concept globally, but at the same time allow for local adaptation of the message.
Figure 11.3 illustrates this approach.

Local
'Glocal'
advertising ,,. .
Local concepts
massages

adaptation Quadrant 2 .:..:.
- .. Quadrant 3
(03)
Message -k
Global concepts
and messages Ouadrant4
Standardi:zalfon
Quadrant 1 (04)
(01)

Same Different
Proouct concept

Figure 11.3 The managing meaning matrix


:>n11rr.r.: Hoe,lllir;, 19?5: 101.

1n Figure 11., quadrant 1 contains truly global products and services. The product
concept is the same everywhere and the advertising is standardized. This approach allows
considerable economies of scale and cost savings in the marketing of the product.
Quadrant 2 contains products and services where the brand concept is globalized (as
in quadrant l) but the message - the promotion - is adapted to the local culture. Sales
are increased globally by matching the perceived meaning and intended meaningin each
particular country/culture.

The success ofthe approach in Q l is limited: few products and services can be marketed
this way. Hence the tendency to go for the 'glocal' approach in Q2, as indicated by the
upward arrow from Qi. The arrow from Q3 to Q I shows the move by producers of local
.product concepts to create a larger market through standardizing the product concept but
using differently coded messages to ensure its success in different countries/cultures.
The approach in quadrant 4 applies to products for which the global message is the
same, but which contain different ingredients corresponding to the particular preferences
of a country. An ex.ample is a soft drink that is promoted using global marketing, but which
contains a different amount of sugar in a certain country where local taste differs slightly
from the 'mainstream' taste. Spotlight 11.6 illustrates the unfortunate consequences when
it is assumed that a product with the same name and function is assumed to be the same
in one country as in another.

241
Chapter 11 Culture and internatlonal marketing management

Vicks inhaler
British skier Alan Baxter finished in third place to declare his use of the product. Unfortunately
at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in for Alan, the US product differed signlficantJy. It
2002. Two days tater, when he was still celeb contained a substance that is on the proscribed
rating his victory, he was told by the Olympic list of the International Olympic Committee:
authorities that he had tested positive for levmetamphetamine.
drugs. He was eventually dfsQualified and had Despite his appeal that he had no idea that
to return his bronze medal. AU this because the US stick contained the substance - and that
he used an American inhaler rather than a the substance itself would not have improved
British one. his performance anyway - the IOC stuck to its
White preparing for the big event. Alan decision: the substance was detected end an
bought a Vicks inhaler stick to help him breathe offence had been committed.
more easily and so improve his sleep. The pack
Source; 'The Highran<!er laid tow by Steven Downes.
aging and the product looked exactly like the
Scotland ()fl Sune!ay. 10 Marctf 2002, accessed I June
one he used regularly in the UK. When he went 2008 (http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/
for the doping control it did not cross his mind sport.cfm?id=2bt:!B02002J.

Managing the m ean in g of brands across cultures is not so much to do with presenting
the pro ducts themselves, but the value they communicate. The basic values attached to the
products are supplemented by values specific to each cultural group.

This chapter presented ideas about international marketing management and pointed out
problems involved i n cross-border marketing research. The focus is more on the consumer
than on marketing methods, because it is the consumer who first presents the most import
ant cultural differences. Even If there is a certain standardization i n consumer behaviour,
manufacturers still continue to adapt their products to suit the consumer markets where
they are sold.

Another element of international marketing which deserves special attention is com


munication. To succeed. communication through the various channsls of advertising
needs to create a balance in the relation between the product itself. the message and the
perception that people in a certain country may have about this product.

1. The cultural differences in the behaviour of the consumer appear to be diminishing.


competition is becoming more global than national, the marketing function of an
enterprise involves not only the complete organization but also its environment, and
multinationals are selling their products under the same brand,
Is it necessary, as marketer, to make a choice between global marketing and Inter
cultural marketing?

242
Further reading and References

2. Although advertising has been around for a long time, techniques have certainly
evolved and the channels used have multiplied. with websites now playing an important
role alongside television and radio, the press and posters. Nowadays consumers - in
Western Europe at least - seem to appreciate advertising more than they used to. This
is because it reflects the expectations of the consumer: more and more advertising
is less to do with pushing the consumer i nto buy i ng a product or service at any cost
and more to do with keeping the consumer uptodate on new products and services,
providing more information and, most importantly, actin g as a form or buying guide.
The messages given are also clearer. more relevant and beltevable.

How do you account for this change? Use the concepts to support your arguments.

How Is advertising perceived In your country? Oo you see the same evolution as that
described above?

further reading
usunler. J.C. and Lee, J.A. (2005) Marl<etinq Across Cultures. 4th eeln, Harrow: Pearson Education.
The first edition of this book, written by the French professor JeanClaudP Usunier with tht- lltJe
Commerce entre cultures was publistied h' 1992 and translated Into several ranc;:uagPs. The author's
cultural approach offers a major contribution to i11ternat1onat marketing. The influence of culture on
relevi!nt aspects of marketing in an international environment is given a comprehensive analysis ln
the book. The fourth edition updates the subjects anti crosscultural cases. but more Importantly the
book dears more thoroughly with the phenomenon of globalization, thanks to the contributions oi its
Australian coauthor Jil Ann Lee.

References
Browaeys, M.J. and Trompenaars, F: (eds) (2000) Cases Studies on Cultural Diiemmas, Breukeren.
Netherlands: Nyenrode University Press.

Daniels. J.D.. Radebaugh, L.H. and Sullivan. D.P. (2011) International Business: Environments and
Operations, 13th eeln. Upper Saddle River. NJ: Prentice Ha lt.

Gales, L.M. (2003) ' Lingui sti c sensitivity In cross c ult uraJ organizational resea rch: posit iv ist /post
positivist and grounded theory approaches'. Languaqe and lntercultural Communication. 3 (2):
13H40.

Hoecktrn. l.. (1995) ManaginQ Cvltur.1/ Clifffrcncts: Sl1atet}ies for Competitive Advantage, Wokinqham:
AddisonWestey.

Kaynak. E. a nd Jallat. f'. <2004l 'MarketinQ in western Europe: a monOlith or a multidimensional marllet',
m Kaynak. . and Jallat. F. (eds), M11rlleting Issues in Western Europe: Changes and Developments.
Bin9hamton. NY: International Business Press: 1-14.

Kim. w.. JeonQ. o.R. and Lee, s.w. (20t0l on social Web sites', Information Systems. 35 (2): 215-236.

Mercado. s., Welford, R. and Prescott, K. (2001) European Business. 4th edn. Harlow: Pearson Education.

usunler, J.C. anCI Lee. J.A. (2005) Marketing Across Cultures. 4th edn. Harlow: Pearson Education.

wall. s. and Rees. B. (2004) /nternatlonal Business. 2nd edn, Ha rlow: Pea rson Educat ion.

/41.
Read the case and answer the questions that follow.

Coping with variables: a comparison of Indian and European hauliers

Hauliers in India and Europe both face a competitive environment. and buying the best lorry for the job is
just half the battle. Both have to contend with o number of varlobles if they ore to gcncrotc a healthy profit.
And the variables for the Indian haulier are very different. from those faced by his European counterpart.
The main difference between these haulage sectors is the room to manoeuvre which these variables
afford. In European countries, ma ny variables are tlxed: some are set by government regulations and others
offer almost no choice. In terms of infrastructure, for example, when it comes to road conditions and speed
limits, there are very few variables to be found. Equally importantly, every competitor can take fult advant
age of these facilities. so they offer no competitive advantage at all. In India, however, the road network
sh ows many differences: some four lane highways are avai lable in the urban areas, while single lane pot
-

holed dirt roads are the only option fo r trucks in rural areas.
Figure 11.4 indicates the dlfferem:.t-l> i11 m<:H1 agement tools for llle hauliers lli:.>lWl:.'!:!11 oult1 <.:Ulllilll:.'lll. Ti ii:.'
'crossed' variables are fixed in the market. These clearly limit a huulier's management decisions regarding
investment In one area of varfability to edract greater economies from another.

'Driver
Road
lnfr,atrtlcture
Financial
condition
I Driver
Road
lnfrastnroture
Financial
condition
(cost and (condition 011 (Joans and (cost and (condition or1 (loans and
pli'rformance) .and speeas down- pertormance) and speeds down
onihe roads) payments) on the roads) payments)

Logistical Logistical
Fuel efficiency situation Fuel efficiency situation
Transportation Ttansportatlon
(costs !or luel
rates
(regular versus (costs for fuel
rates
1 (regular versus
per km) flue1uating per km) fluctuating
transport) transport)

I ReliablUt)i ol Reliability of
.vehicle Govemment vehicle Govemment
Payload Payload
(rri111ntenance regulations (maintenance regutatiOns

I
capacity capacity
a(ld brilal\down and police and breakdown and police

! ;costs) costs)

(West) Eur.ope India

Figure 11.4 Differences; In hauliers' management tools

There are. for example. many variables attached to the truck driver in India. A haulier could decide to
employ either a trained and experienced truck driver (who knows the ins and outs of the truck and how
to use it profitably), or to hire an lnel<perlenced driver (who has only worked as a co-driver and knows little
about profitable truck use). Either driver could be put to use in Europe and India, although the European

244
Chapter 11 Culture and international marketing management

Table 11.5 Marketing in Europe and India

Europe lndla

The flow of marketing communication starts with and is The communication flow is comparable to Europe, with
directed by the manufacturers. They set the marketing manufacturers controlling the process. Dealers might be
boundaries witt'I which an importer has to comply; the less proactive than in Europe, but this is certainly no
importer in turn controls a large part of the mar11etin9 longer the case for all dealerships. The main difference
flow of a dealer. Manufacturers and importers are mainly is that. In the Indian truck market. the focus is more on
responsible for mass communication, whne dealers new prospects and first-time users, and less on existing
account for most relational marketing activities. They customers than In Euroi:e. Indian sales brochures focus
visit their 'accounts' (as they are called) and organize on functionalities. while European brochures focus more
test drives and demonstrations. The marketing strategy on visual aspects
of European truck brands focuses on existing customer
relations rather than on new prospects

When it comes to launching a product In another cultural environment, there are obstacles, even when
the country In Question seems to have a business culture similar to that where the product is already
being sold. Read the case and answer the questions that follow.

Product launch in Uruguay


A few months after an Argentinian food manufacturing company had launched a number of product categories In
Uru9uay, It decided that the next launch would be cake and dessert mixes. The sale of these products would help to build
the brand rapidly and would contribute high volumes to the company's operations.
It was entering a market where there was only one competitor, and it had a 90 per cent market share. The company
thought the launch would Cnteratly) be a 'piece of cake': the country's culture was simllar to Its own. so what could go
wrong? The products were launched together with a TV commercial where the onlv cllange was to give the volceover a
Uruguayan accent.
About three months later. the products were stlll on the shelves. The distributor was not sending any new orders t>ut
calling instead to ask what should be done next.
The company decided to run focus groups to find out what was happening. What it discovered was surprising. Con
sumers. women aged twenty to forty-five. mlddle class mothers who were the purchase decision-makers for this type of
product, explained that it was a disgrace to buy a prepacka9ed cake or dessert. The true identity of a mother or a wife
was only proven when she could cook something delicious for her loved ones. These women even prepared gelatfne at
home out of chicken bones (a very time-consuming and disgusting process). Making cakes from packets was out of the
question: only the housewives could give them the right flavour and ingredients - and cakes were easy to make anyway.
There was a market for pre-packaged ingredients, but only a small one, for those occasions when the housewives had no
time to prepare cakes In the normal way.
The company was not prepared for this feedback and started wondering whether Its main competitor was aware of
this. It was time to start a campaign to educate the customer.
Source: adapted from Srowaeys ond Trompenaars C2000): case 6.

Questions
1. Analyse the case using Trompenaars' framework (see Chapter 5).

2. What should the company have- done to make the launch of Its cake mixes a success?

246