It is understandable that a company whose brand or brands have a huge notoriety would prefer to change as little as possible when trying to penetrate foreign markets. But it could be disastrous to transplant a product from any cultural context to another without carrying out certain adjustments. This is particularly true in India. Kellogg’s learned this when it wanted to launch its product Corn Flakes a few years ago in a country where it is common to eat a bowl of warm vegetables for breakfast, and where the minority who do eat cereal for breakfast prefer to eat them with warm milk. The flakes could not stand up to the heat, became soggy and much less appetising. Paired with a very high price, the product did not experience the success that was expected.
He who wants to win, wants the ball…
Who could have believed that McDonald’s, whose main product is a hamburger, would succeed in a market where the vast majority of people don’t eat beef and a quarter of the population eat no meat at all? Yet, there are currently 160 branches across the country! This is because McDonald’s adapted its products to match local taste in a distinct menu, with no beef or pork but lots of vegetarian options. In fact, more than 70% of the menu is indianized (compared to a general average of 33% in Asia). Besides, they were able to keep their branding and link it to an image of quality, impeccable services, cleanliness and world-wide values.Read More
No matter which one you chose, you guessed well!!! In fact, both words mean “medicine”. The one on the left is simplified Chinese whereas the one on the right is traditional Chinese. The simplified script is used by Chinese from mainland China, whereas the traditional style is used by people from Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as the first Chinese immigrants. Today, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese and other dialects) is the third most spoken mother tongue in Canada, after the two official languages.
There is a larger linguistic diversity among South-Asians. In the last census, over 75 maternal languages were counted. Nevertheless, among the people who only have one mother tongue, the languages most currently used are Punjabi (29% of the community), English (27%), Tamil (10%), Urdu (8%), Gujarati (6%) and Hindi.Read More
Remarkably homogenous in terms of ethnicity and language, Koreans are becoming more and more diverse and are eager for new things. Collectivist values from the Confucian heritage coexist with traits of individualism. This is what professor Dae Ryun Chung describes as the “we/me” paradigm. These seemingly unsympathetic values are reflected in the market and mutually influence the purchase decisions of consumers, hence creating a particular dynamic. According to Chung, certain decisions like choosing a specific house or car over another are often motivated by a desire to conform to a group. This is why, for example, the majority of luxury cars sold there are black and apartments tend to look fairly similar. Yet, the choice of beer, coffee or hair colour is dictated more by the desire to express one’s individuality. These particularities have strong implications on a product’s lifecycle, making it difficult to predict what brands and colours will be adopted by the group. It is important to take this paradigm into consideration when developing branding and marketing strategies targeted at this country.Read More