Many businesses see new market integration as one of the most effective ways to grow profits. The companies often decide to introduce existing product to a new country but not always bare in mind cultural differences that exist between the native market and the new one. One should answer a question, why market integration has to be supported by profound analysis of cultural settings. Consumers needs have a similar structure in the majority of countries. Still there are many differences that have to be taken into account when introducing the product to a new country. The basic consumer need may be a necessity to eat, to calm down hunger. Still the this habit differs from country to country, and even more from one geographical zone to another.
Research on specific cultural settings have been long at a scope of large companies that have potent financing, adapt and integrate their products and services to close by and faraway markets. Studies of particular cultural settings cost money and the more in-depth they are, the higher the price gets.
Obviously, small size and medium size businesses can hardly afford invest thousands to make a profound market analysis and for many businesses that is a good excuse. Underestimation of complexity of cultural settings is not the right strategy to deploy as it may cost the company complete business failure and some heavy financial losses.
Targets and Culture: the Synergy of Marketing Research
Companies in any industry are in need of marketing research, but many neglect the necessity to conduct it. Those that do, enthusiastically concentrate on target groups analysis and draw a profile of an ideal customer. Small, medium and big businesses use the data to see the ideal client profile. Such an analysis is often scoped to basic marketing data, that states the social status of consumers, age of target groups, basic preferences. Classic marketing analysis plays its core role when it comes to new market integration, but in modern days it is not sufficient.
The companies that aim to be successful on new territories should put efforts in analysis of new cultural settings and project their product/service adaptation in those settings. This is when ultimate success comes.
Culture And Purchasing Decision-Taking
Much was written on the interdependence of cultural preferences and final consumers behavior. Still for many businesses it is not evident that before entering the market unique cultural settings have to checked. The businesses have make “the match” which happened on several levels:
- Package of the product. One can be amazed but shapes, colors can play a key role at the point when the customer decides to buy well-known product or go for a new one. In the majority of cultures colors have far different significance, so in one culture white color can bring positive emotions when in the other it has a negative meaning.
- Slogans and brand names. Specific words and phrases bring in consciousness of consumers images and culturally set meanings. Hard to believe but the same words have far different meanings and if in one country they have a meaning a company wants to be associated with, on the other they may have a negative meaning. Consequently, sales of the product in the second case get down or never happen.
- Habits. People all around the world have basic needs which are similar for countries and communities but ways the people are taught to satisfy those needs quite often are different. Again, the company that brings a solution to new market without checking this will fail.
- Product structure. Some instruments, gadgets and appliances work differently in distinctive countries. The companies that integrate the market have to check the customers’ preferences straight away before the actual market penetration.
Those are some of the cultural settings that may play a crucial role in the final success or failure of the product or a service. The failure to conduct an analysis of cultural settings may have far more negative consequences that simply the loss of market share or regular financial losses. They damage the image of the company.
The Failure to Adapt
The companies that strive to enter the new markets are usually the firms that care about the brand and the corporate values of the company are quite important for them. Any mistake for such business cost far too much. Most importantly, the failure to integrate the product into the new market may result not only in failure of the overall strategy but also this may hardly damage other types of business activities. These are explicit examples of what may happen in case the well-established business will not correctly integrate the new market:
- Damage of brand value. The brand value is largely formed by the recognition the brand has among the consumers, the loyal clientele and the trust the clients have to the specific brand. The trust in this formula plays a very important role as it is quite hard to evoke trust but quite easy to break it. Consumers trust is dependent largely on the quality of the product/service they know is good and on the corporate value they are able to share with the company.
- Banning of purchase of the product/service. If the company hardly fails to adapt the product/service and deeply damages the feelings of the consumers, those may ban and stop buying the products/services of the company. This particularly the tendency on certain geographical areas where the community spirit is much developed. In such a case not an individual client bans purchases buy the whole community in support of him/her does it. That is one of the worst scenario that may happen for the company that comes to a new market
The necessity to conduct market research is equally important to small, medium or large businesses. The companies that want to sell need to understand the consumer perfectly well, and their marketing analysis should go beyond basic statistical data. The success of sales depends much on how well the company ‘feels’ its customer.