Cross Culture Study

Topics: Marketing, Culture, Brand management Pages: 21 (5664 words) Published: March 6, 2013

Instructional Objectives:
After completion of this lesson, the student shall know about: Exposure to other Cultures
Cross-Cultural Consumer Analysis
Application of Cross Culture Consumer Analysis: Relevance for Marketers Strategies for Multinational Companies
Relevance of Culture for a Marketer

As a result of rapid advancement and all-round development, we find ourselves exposed to people from various cultures. There has been a great deal of opening up, and the society has been impacted on all fronts, be it social, economic, cultural or technological. The cultural fabric has undergone a transformation and we see changes in our values and beliefs, customs and traditions, etc.

As consumers also, we have been exposed to other cultures. We have inculcated/adopted values and beliefs, perspectives and orientations that are much different to what existed earlier. The past decade particularly, has seen changes with respect to what we eat, what we wear and how we behave.

All this has impacted our buying patterns and

consumption behavior. There have been changes in demand with respect to our food and diet, clothing and lifestyles, etc.
It is important for a marketer to give consideration to three major issues; i) how do consumers in one culture get exposed to good/services being used by people of other cultures; ii) how should a marketer design/adapt his 4Ps so as to be accepted by people influenced by newer cultures (if he is serving in the home market only); iii)

how should a marketer

design/adapt his 4Ps so as to accepted by people of other cultures (in foreign markets). Generally speaking, as consumers we are exposed to foreign cultures either i) through ones’ own initiatives; or ii) through the marketers’s efforts. Ultimately both these means of exposure lead to cultural transfer and amalgamation.

i) People get exposed and gradually influenced to newer cultures when they travel abroad for

leisure; or live abroad while on foreign assignments; or work with people of foreign cultures while in their native country. They also get exposed through media, i.e. through books and magazines, movies and films, drama and theater, etc.

ii) Consumers also get influenced through marketer’s efforts, who foresee potential and expand their markets by launching their products and services into newer geographical segments (often across national borders). They go in for promotional measures that lead to awareness and develop consumer interest for trial and adoption of newer products and services.


The marketer needs to go in for a study of the socio-cultural fabric of the respective country where he intends to enter and serve. He needs to have an understanding of the consumption pattern and the consumption behavior across people from different cultures. He needs to assess the needs and wants as well as priorities and orientations of the people that he desires to serve.

Schiffman defines cross cultural consumer analysis as “the effort to determine to what extent the consumers of two or more nations are similar or different.” The marketer must understand how consumers in targeted countries are similar and dissimilar from each other. It is important for a marketer to have this understanding as it helps him assess the social and cultural similarities and dissimilarities so that he can design appropriate marketing programs and strategies for such segment(s).

A cross-cultural consumer analysis helps the marketer assess the market potential and customer reaction for his product and service offering. People’s values and beliefs, customs and traditions, as also perspectives and orientations have a bearing on customer’s needs, wants and priorities, finally translating into their desire for...
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