INB 300 McInnis-Bowers
May 1, 2009
Spring Final Exam
1.0 Learning Goals
1.1 Cross-Cultural Business
I learned that it is extremely important to be culturally literate (and not at all ethnocentric), if a business wishes to expand internationally. According to Wild (2008), the definition of cultural literacy is "detailed knowledge about a culture that enables a person to function effectively within it." Knowing the culture of the target market helps when trying to open a new sales office there or looking for foreign investors. Also, knowing the nation's preferred components of culture, (like aesthetics, values, customs, religions, etc.), helps when designing products, brand names, and suitable advertisements. It is crucial to avoid any language blunders plus a company can increase demand if the culture is taken into account and their products are adapted accordingly.
One of the cases used in class that illustrates cross-cultural business is the "Gillette Indonesia" case.
Gillette had difficulties advertising because there were over 250 regional languages and dialects in Indonesia at the time of the case in 1996. Also the consumers were not as wealthy as their other average customers which affected prices and product distribution. In general, in Asian countries they don't shave as much because their ethnicity doesn't grow hair as quickly as others (Long, 1998). I didn't realize how all these cultural differences greatly influenced the important business decisions Gillette makes as a company.
Another example of cross-cultural business is the "Henkel KGaA: Detergents Division" case. This case is an excellent representation because it even says, "laundry and home cleaning are very culturally grounded activities." One of Henkel's main problems was the north-south divide within Europe. The target market's culture affected the consumer preferences such as powder vs. liquid, performance vs. care, big boxes vs. compact, and even the color...