Importance of Culture in Global Transactions

Posted on: May 9th, 2013

The United States became a world power through domestic economic growth and prosperity. With recent changes in the dynamics of the current economy, the continuation of our position revolves around the ability to adapt to the global environment. Appleton Creative has experienced this first hand with a growing demand for international advertising in multiple languages for our clients. Here are some concepts to keep in mind to create positive relationships with foreign businesses:

  1. Cultural Themes: Every nation and society has its one unique beliefs and values which creates its own “cultural theme.” It is carried out through all aspects on their daily life, especially in business. For example, Chinese cultural themes consist of piety, thrift, endurance, trustworthiness, and Confucian philosophy. Knowing, understanding, and adapting to these themes will make a substantial difference in the outcome of the business interactions.
  2. Communication: Observing and understanding the subtle characteristics of language is critical to achieve business objectives in a cross-cultural setting. Eastern and Western cultures tend to be polar opposites on this subject. East Asian cultures are indirect and subtle in their communication while Westerners tend to be direct and confronting. This difference in communication can easily lead to misunderstandings and even insult.
  3. Group Dynamics: This aspect can be especially important in the sales arena. There are two different types group dynamics–individualistic and collectivistic. In United States, decisions are based on an individual basis (individualistic). However, collectivistic cultures have great emphasis in consensus with family, friends, partners, or community at large.
  4. Glocalization: It is simply not enough to be multi-lingual in advertising messaging for multiple nations. The language must be localized to a language that is culturally fluent with the target audience.
  5. Time Orientation: The concept of time is varied among different cultures. In the United States, time is viewed as a commodity. (there is an origin for the phrase, “time is money”.) However, two-thirds of the world believes in flexibility and long-term orientation. As a result, business interactions are never rushed. Corporate planning is often anticipated for the next decade or even longer.

According to several Accenture studies, cultural observance and understanding through practice and training can increase productivity of your company by 30 percent. The statistic is no surprise considering that the PwC forecasts for GDP growth for nations all over the world. India’s real annual growth is at 8.9 percent. Vietnam is at 8.8 percent. China is at 5.9 percent. The United States is set at 2.4. The true potential for economic growth in our nation is through global business.

If you would like your business to appeal to a global audience, we can help. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service advertising agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to provide marketing strategies through print, web, social media and video production – all in house. At Appleton, we want to learn about your business, empower your marketing team and be your creative resource. Your marketing goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 orinfo@appletoncreative.com.