Culture: A System of Values and Beliefs
A bride in India has her hands painted with henna two nights before her wedding. In Chile it is socially acceptable and preferred to arrive late to events. In Japan the number four is avoided at all costs for the similarity in sound to their word meaning “for death.” Being interrupted while speaking is common and not considered rude in Brazil.
No culture is the same. Each has its own certain quirks and standards that have been around for centuries. Whether you are talking country to country or even region to region, culture is something every person in business needs to be familiar with.
Culture is the beliefs, customs, and arts of a particular society, group, place, or time. If you have an international business then culture is certainly something to take into consideration. In South Africa only men shake hands, while women kiss each other on the cheek when greeting one another. Being aware and knowing customs of the country you might be conducting business in can give your company a leg up. It shows that their way of life is important to you and many countries will value that.
Before traveling to another country consider these tips:
- Do some research on the country you are traveling to
- Look into their greeting customs
- See what is considered rude/not rude in their culture
- Find any words that may be offensive in their language
- Become familiar will the food and times of meals
- Read about their values and beliefs
Take the United States for example. We are a huge country with 50 different states. Within each of those states is different counties and cities. Think of all the people and groups and beliefs that we must have. New York is known for some great pizza while barbeque is huge down south. In rural areas trucks are very common automobiles, whereas in cities people prefer more gas efficient, smaller ones. These are all cultural differences that exists right here in the United States.
When preparing for business, whether it be international or not, knowing the culture and customs of the region is extremely important. Marketing to those certain cultures can be difficult and if you are not experienced, you might end up with a mess on your hands. So let us help!
Marketing Eye has 12 years of experience and operates internationally. We know how different cultures can be and can surely help your business when it comes to marketing to a new region, city, or country.
Written by Ariana Przybyszewski Intern at Marketing Eye Atlanta