across the world?
HOW DOES MARKETING DIFFER
ACROSS THE WORLD?
• Differences in culture and beliefs affect customers across the world and how they
perceive a certain product.
• Race and culture have to be considered by marketers while targeting international
• This is because certain products while accepted in one country may have adverse effects
in another country.
• For example manufacturers have to keep in mind the beliefs associated with certain
colors and symbols while designing a global product as they might have varying symbolic
meanings in different countries.
• Similarly, religion and language play a huge part in determining how one markets a
• Advertisements of food can’t be shown in Muslim majority countries during the month of
Ramadan whereas such advertisements are widely broadcasted during Thanksgiving and
Christmas in countries where Christianity is widely accepted.
REASONS FOR DIFFERENCES IN
MARKETING ACROSS THE GLOBE
• Colors and Symbols: In Western cultures, white symbolizes purity, elegance, peace, and
cleanliness; brides traditionally wear white dresses at their weddings. But in China, Korea, and some
other Asian countries white represents death, mourning, and bad luck, and is traditionally worn at
funerals. Thus companies like apparel manufacturers have to keep these factors in mind while
manufacturing products in such countries.
• Consumer Behavior: Perhaps one of the biggest challenges that marketers face while designing
their products is understanding consumer behavior. Marketers need to understand how consumers are
influenced by their immediate surroundings, family members, friends, co workers and so on. There is a
huge difference between the Eastern and Western Cultures which are also influenced by the age group
of consumers, income range, lifestyle and geographic location. Such diverse factors have to kept in
mind while preparing the marketing plan and as such will be different for different areas.
• Religion: The role that religion and race play is very crucial in the marketing strategy. Advertisers
have to keep in mind the prevailing customs and religious laws while showcasing the products. An ad
displaying a hamburger might be a hit in Western countries while the same ad will bring serious
repercussions if shown in India where cow is sacred. Similarly apparel ads showing scantily-clad
women is banned in Middle-Eastern countries and would only bring negative publicity and legal
implications to the company.
• As the name suggests, multicultural marketing
is an approach recognizing that different ethnic
and cultural segments have sufficiently different
• It is an important part of demographic
• Requires targeted marketing activities and also
the mass market approach is not refined
enough for the diversity of the marketplace.
• Marketers need to factor the norms, language
nuances, buying habits, and business practices
of multicultural markets into the initial
formulation of their marketing strategy rather
than adding these as an afterthought because
these factors also have implications for their
Some Companies that understood these
differences and applied the Multicultural
Marketing approach and how it helped them
create better marketing strategies
• Multinational Furniture Company.
• Many of IKEA’s products are sold uniformly throughout the
world, but it also caters to local and regional tastes.
• After IKEA managers visited European and US consumers
in their homes, they learned that Europeans generally hang
their clothes whereas Americans prefer to store them
folded. Consequently, IKEA designed wardrobes for the US
market with deeper drawers.
• After visiting Hispanic households in California, IKEA added
more seating and dining space to its California stores, as
well as brighter color palettes on showroom walls.
• In China, IKEA set up its showrooms in small spaces to
accurately reflect the small size of apartments in that
country and also stocked 250000 plastic placemats with
rooster themes during their New Year which quickly sold
• IKEA changed its core DIY delivery and assembly business
model in Asian countries where DIY is less common and
added home delivery and assembly services leading to a
significant increase in sales.
• Parent Company is Beiersdorf.
• Manufactures skincare products for both men and
• Started off as a product that kept the skin protected
and as white as snow which was the ideal of female
beauty in Europe in the early 1900s.
• During the mid 1900s, Nivea changed its positioning
strategy and the new product allowed consumers to
get a healthy suntan to reflect the changed ideals of
• Nivea expanded into the Asian countries with a
series of local product adaptations. Facial products
sold better since they contained ingredients
promoting a fair complexion which was the accepted
standard of beauty there.
• In the Middle-Eastern countries, Nivea formulated its
products to add local fragrances like musk in
keeping with the culture of those places.
• Nike Inc.- A Multinational corporation engaged in
development of sports accessories and clothes.
• Nike adapted its “Just Do It” campaign across cultures to
appeal to the audience of different countries.
• Nike used the following table to shape its advertisements
for the “Ideal Man” which would be featured across
advertisements of different countries.
• These ads were a huge success as people all over the
world were able to relate to this ad and this increased their
motivation to buy Nike’s product.
• Firstly this study is applicable to Qrius in the sense that it will help Qrius to expand its activities
• As a company, Qrius will always be looking forward to grow into more territories and areas.
• Consequently, the company has to learn how to market itself in those places.
• Analyzing the aforesaid points, Qrius has to conduct an extensive research about the mindset
of the people and how they will react to the new issues placed by Qrius.
• This will give them a better understanding about the tastes and preferences of the end
• For example, an issue covering a political situation might be accepted well by a certain group
of people but there will always be a group that will belittle it.
• Understanding those aspects, Qrius will then understand which areas it should target for better
responses and how they can improve upon the current predicament.
• Being a digital magazine, understanding how marketing differs across the world will further
help Qrius to know which institutions can be better targeted for improving its online presence,
since Qrius will now know which bodies have a better say across people of the world and how
these bodies affect the people concerned.
• Ultimately, since Qrius’ objective is to deliver the truth to the curious minds, this study will help
understand how it can devise the best strategy to do so by understanding people across
different cultures and present the facts accordingly.
• This presentation was created by Sourav Sen, St. Xavier’s College,
Kolkata as part of the consulting thesis done during an internship
under Qrius(formerly The Indian Economist).
• The information has been taken from the internet and the book
Marketing Management by Philip Kotler and Kevin Lane Keller.