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The article clearly explains the importance of culture, values and other societal factors when an organisation steps towards globalization, as, people of each country have their own distinct national character. Therefore, managers need to take into account the local culture of the country in which they wish to market. A consumer's buying decision is largely depended on all these factors especially in a country like India. Here are a few facts from the article-:
Consumption decisions cannot be considered as an independent event
There is a close relationship between consumptions and values, social relationship and cultural allegiance
The behaviour of various consumers has been significantly affected by the concept of "National culture".
Culture varies from country to country
An organisation must clearly focus on the country-specific core values and cultural values in order to ensure a "smooth sailing" into the country
Cultural dimensions play a vital role in brand marketing
In Indian society, there are many different sub-cultures that exist with their own individual norms, beliefs and behaviour. Therefore, people in India are socialized by getting inputs from their cultures and core values. There are many cultural factors like language, religion, rituals and customs, society etc in India that influence the marketing implications of an organisation. There are many examples in the article of the companies, which has succeeded in India because they respected these factors and formulated their marketing strategies in such a way so that people of India could relate to their products. The author in the article has quoted examples like, Mc Donald's, one of the biggest global food chain, has altered its main ingredients to suit the Indian taste, and, since beef is not consumed in India as cow is worshiped in India, therefore, Mc Donald's does not serve its beef burger in India. Though, it is one of their fastest selling products of Mc Donald's.
Therefore, the article says that for the companies to carry on their business successfully in India, they need to put efforts to understand the distinctiveness of Indian culture and its core values, and try to find a brand name that suits its cultural dimension.
This article basically discusses the overall fundamental element of Indian culture and core values that on organisation follow to plan its marketing strategies. According to the article before an organization starts its journey in a country like India, a thorough study of the culture and values is of immense use to brand managers to implement their marketing strategies and to avoid any wrong decisions. In my perspective, the main purpose of the article is to address the managers, in this era of rapid globalisation, that multicultural marketing is the key to success.
Indian culture and core values
Apart from the commonalities, here are certain features which are exclusive to the Indian Culture
India is considered to be very complex for a marketer because of its heterogeneous nature i.e. diverse cultures
The diversity of Indian culture reflects from the existence of many sub-cultures having their own distinct values
There are various cultural dimensions which should not be neglected and it helps create a brand image when it comes to an Indian consumer
When it comes to languages, India is a land with more than thousand languages, Hindi being the prime language spoken by about 40% of the population. Language of a country has a prominent role to enrich its culture , therefore to create a strong impact, the marketers should judge the role of language at the time of communicating with their target audiences
Symbols and signs
In Indian culture non-verbal communications or symbols and signs play a very important role as the country is rich in her customs and ritual greetings
Each gesture has a strong meaning
Therefore, the marketers may use symbols or signs as a cause to find a place in the mind of Indian consumers.
Since, traditions of a society stays and are long-lasting in nature, therefore, it plays a vital role to control the behaviour of individuals
They are either retained or modified to ensure a positive response from their target audience
Rituals and customs
Ways an individual express and practice its identity. They are cultural norms that travel from generation to generation, therefore, for marketers, these rituals play a vital role to anticipate the behaviour of their target consumers
There are also value dimensions of Indian society
Individual and family
Defined as collectivist
Encourages interdependence on family and friends, social connectivity and mutual compromise
In India people search security and esteem within the limits of the near and dear, therefore the marketer may use this Indian sensitivity towards family as a stimuli that their product is not seen as an alien product in the market
Society through conformity
"Indian society is more harmonious, less comparative and not hardcore competitive in nature" , therefore, changes with the right balance between old and new ideas is acceptable
Success and growth
In society, social recognition and acceptability is more successful than individual preference
Age and youthfulness
"Indian culture respects for the wisdom and experience of older generation", old generation is much more socially active and open to renovate their thought process
Happiness and adaptability
In India, person's happiness is fundamental, and worldly gain is not the main route of ensuring happiness
Religion and spirituality
In India people are much more religiously and spiritually involved, therefore, a marketer cannot do much to change the beliefs of people, but can always try and market its products within that consensus
An organisation focussing on such exclusive culture and values, especially the cultural factors, here are the following benefits:
Customers, specifically Indian customers believe in one thing, i.e. our own product, and the main barrier is the Alien Culture, which is handled by such factors. Therefore, by implementing the marketing strategies in accordance with these cultures and values makes it easier for the managers to create a brand image in the mind of the people.
An organisation can get access to untapped markets in the later stages of their business because of the fact that India is a land of diverse cultures and there are still many segments in the market that have not been previously used before to the fullest. Therefore, there is a lot of scope in the market, just that an organisation should know the ways of grabbing it.
Mastering the culture factors can lead to mass customisation because of the fact that you have so many cultures and values to offer and different kind of people viewing the products in their own way. Therefore, organisations have the chance of selling the same products just by modifying it in a way that it is easily acceptable by the people of a specific culture. For example, cartoon network, some it shows which are broadcasted in English in all the western countries, but to tap the Indian market they started broadcasting the same shows in Hindi in India.
Accelerated growth in:
Market share- if sales will be increasing by taking all the steps to suit the culture and values, the market share of the organization will automatically increase.
Profitability- once the organisation have capitalised the market and their product is no more viewed as an alien product, the profitability of the organisation will boost up.
Market Value- because of substantial increase in market share and profitability, the value of the organisation in the market will increase automatically.
Organisations can identify their needs and aim to provide those needs with exceeding customer expectations
Organisations can maintain better establishments and standings in those respective markets. Once the organisation has tapped the market to the fullest, it should make extra efforts to maintain their standing in the market.
An organisation, despite their commitments and aims to achieve establishments, there are some challenges faced by them:
No matter how much culturally strong the product may be, customers may always have an insecurity of a foreign organisation trying to alienate the market. There is not much an organisation can do in this matter as it a perception which changes slowly and gradually.
Government regulations will always remain a barrier and would be discriminating with the organisations i.e. the barriers to entry and exit. The government regulations play an important role in the success or failure of organisations. Such barriers are normally imposed to protect local firms from foreign competition.
Approaching the markets, may prove very costly and may not be feasible as it requires a lot marketing campaigns and hard work.
Making the products culturally strong also requires lot of costs because sometimes you have to modify the product to a great deal or sometimes the product is just not in the culture. For example, Kellogg's, one the big companies of U.S. did not do well at all when it entered the Indian market because Indians like to have their milk luke or warm and moreover, the industry for breakfast products in India is not very big.
First impression is the last impression, there is a lot risk involved on striking satisfaction with the customers in the first chance.
From the above analysis, we may conclude that inbuilt mixture of culture and values of a country make it hard for a marketer to opt for a standardized strategy to beat competition.
In this era of rapid globalization, different consumers from different cultures have different attitudes, perceptions, tastes, preferences and values, and remain hesitant to purchase foreign products as it is not very easy to trust foreign organisations that quickly.
Since, it is a very complicated relationship between consumers and brands. Therefore the organisations should make considerable efforts to make the consumers trust their products. A consumer's buying decision is largely depended on its country of origin and wok in accordance to their norms, culture and values. Further, there are some codes and beliefs that stretch across countries while there are others that are culture-specific.
A right identification of country-specific cultural and value dimensions and proper consideration of the same in brand marketing play a vital role in ensuring success in the highly competitive market scenario. Inputs about Indian culture and its value dimensions can be of immense use to brand managers to formulate their marketing strategies to minimize chances of wrong decision-making.
Therefore, right management of Indian culture enables organization to ensure competitive edge and minimizes chances of erroneous decision-making decrease. At the time of starting its journey in a new country like India, the best approach a firm can adopt is to accept major issues involved with culture and values.