Cultural differences and the implication on marketing
The cultural gap that separates the East and the West is profound. As consumer behaviour is strongly influenced by culture, international advertisers face big challenges when developing their communication strategy. Some researchers have studied the difference between American and Taiwanese consumers towards advertising. For example, as elsewhere in Asia, Taiwanese society has been strongly influenced by Confucianism, it is thus always dominated by men on the whole. This variable has an impact on the way that advertisers can promote their product. For instance, Tao (2003) explains in his thesis how an advertisement that promotes a cosmetic product focusing on the importance of having young-looking skin to please one’s spouse has a lot more chances of success in Taiwan than in North America. Another of his findings is that the Taiwanese tend to boycott a product mentioned during a TV show that they don’t like, or because they don’t like the advertisement. This is why it is important to be particularly prudent when engaging in media planning.
Sources : CHU, K-M et CHANG, H-C (2008). “Cross-cultural Consumer Behavior of General Merchandise for Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, Taiwan”, The Business Review, Cambridge , Vol. 11 , No. 1
TAO, S-P (2003). “Life Style and Consumers in Taiwan and the United States; A cross cultural comparison of Activities, Interests and Opinions (AIOs)”, Thesis, University of Minnesota.