Good Essay On Doing Business In Asia
For any business to succeed in the contemporary increasingly competitive markets, specifically for the organizations doing business internationally, cultural awareness is one of the imperative factors to master. Cultural factors influence the success potential of the competition. It is imperative to learn about the numerous cultures around the world prior to doing business in other nations. All the nations around the world have their unique cultural backgrounds that determine the consumer behavior, advertising strategy to be used, and branding. Thus, the cultural differences between nations strongly influence the world of business. The differences between national cultures determine the performance of the organizations in the international markets (Tihanyi Griffith, & Russell, 2005). Thus, learning about the cultures of different nations helps in reducing the risk of failure. Ideally, becoming aware of the various styles of communication, greetings, body language, dress, social events, and tactics of meetings and negotiations will ensure that one has excellent business relationships with the citizens of the other countries. In addition, it ensures that one markets a product efficiently. The present paper centers on the subject of undertaking business in the Asian countries. Specifically, the paper elucidates the way different orientations among the Asians might affect how one markets a product to the Asian consumers.
Before explaining how the different orientations among the Asians might affect the way one markets a product to them, it is important first to examine these cultural orientations to get a clear understanding of their overall culture. Any business person willing to market a product in the Asia countries needs first to get a good understanding of their cultural orientations. In essence, the awareness of the Asia cultures will help one in designing the necessary marketing strategies for promoting a product. Asia comprises immense cultural variety (Redding, Bond, and Witt, 2012). It has a multitude of religions, languages, and races. One is supposed to learn about the various cultures among the Asians to succeed in doing business in their countries. Individualism among the Asians is low. Compared to the other Asian countries, the Chinese rank lower in individualism. There is a sense of connectedness among the Asians. An individual is viewed as being a part of a much bigger family or group. Indeed, the Asians are said to be highly group-oriented with a strong emphasis on the family connection as the main source of identity, as well as the protection against the life hardships. They place huge importance on the group’s well-being even at the individual expense.
The family model among the Asians is extended as it includes the immediate family members and relatives. The Asians highly discourage the independent behavior, which might disrupt the family harmony. Thus, this implies that Asians value family loyalty. By being more group-oriented, the Asians are dependent on one another, and they endeavor to maintain harmony within the group. In fact, they place a great deal of importance on the relationships hence there exist firm and stronger relationships among them. Their culture is collectivist, and their identity is grounded in the social organization to which they fit (de Mooij, & Hofstede, 2011). With regards to the social status, the Asians are known to be more concerned with it. The culture in many Asian countries especially the South Asian countries is high in embeddedness and hierarchy and low in egalitarianism and autonomy (Schwartz, 2008). The individuals are expected to obey those in the roles of greater authority or status. On the other hand, those in the inferior roles are expected to be obedient and humble.
The cultural value orientations form the basis for which the cultures of different people vary (Schwartz, 2008). The cultural orientations of the Asians describe the specificity of their markets. Thus, marketing a product to the Asian consumers is affected by the cultural orientations described above. Ideally, the orientations play a crucial role in both the development and execution of the advertisements to be used in marketing a product to the Asian consumers. The above discussion has established that the Asian culture is collectivist (in-group oriented). For this reason, one is required to make advertisements that build relationships and trust when marketing a product to the Asian communities. In fact, one ought to make advertisements that will help in building trust and relationship between him/her and the consumers. The advertisements should be able to induce positive feelings instead of just providing the information.
As a collectivist culture, the Asian culture is a high-context communication culture, implying that its style of communication is indirect. The individuals in a high-context communication culture internalize most of the information hence this explains why the preferred communication style is indirect. In fact, in a high-context communication culture, very little information is presented in the explicit and coded form (Lin, Koroglu, & Olson, 2012). For this reason, this affects the way one market a product to the Asian consumers since he/she is supposed to advertise a product through indirect communication that would induce positive feelings. The paper has established that Asians are more family oriented. Consequently, this also affects how one might market a product to the Asian consumers. As a result, the advertising appeals should be designed in such a way that they center on family harmony and in-group benefits. In the collectivist cultures, the use of the celebrities in advertising is aimed at giving a face to a certain brand (Chang and Chieng, 2006). For this reason, a person marketing a product to the Asian consumers will be required to use the celebrities in the advertising since such advertising is associated with collectivism.
The Asian cultural orientations have an impact on communications hence this also affects how one might market a product to the Asian consumers. The marketing managers are required to comprehend the way to conduct business in various cultures (Guang & Trotter, 2012). Ideally, the ability of both the international consumers and the marketers to communicate freely is vital for the success of a business (Hooker, 2012). Marketing a product to the Asian consumers is a two-way interactive communication. A marketer is required to deliver information about his/her product to the Asian markets. In addition, he/she is required to collect, interpret, and put the gathered information to use. The sale of a product being marketed to the Asian consumers fails in the event of lack of establishment of a two-way interactive communication between the consumers and marketer as required as a result of unfamiliarity with the Asian cultural orientations. Therefore, the failure of a marketer in establishing a two-way interactive communication between the Asian consumers and him negatively affects the international marketing.
The Asian cultural orientations also affects the way one markets a product to the Asian consumers through the attributes such as self-concept, personality, identity and image, and attitude. Regarding the concept of self, the self in the Asian culture cannot be disconnected from the others as well as the surrounding social context since the cultural members are said to be family-oriented, group-oriented, and more concerned with their social status. Thus, the self in the Asian culture is an interdependent entity that belongs to an encompassing social relationship. In addition, self-esteem is not connected to the self but it is connected to the relationship with the others. In essence, this is different for the individualistic cultures where the individual behavior varies from one time to the other and from one individual to another (Chirkov et al., 2003). For this reason, an individual marketing a product to the Asian consumers will be required to consider the concept of self when designing the marketing strategy.
The other attribute that affects the way one markets a product to the Asian consumers is personality. Personality is essentially described in terms of sociability or autonomy traits. The Asian’s ideal individualities vary by social role, being from a collectivist culture (Church et al. 2006). In addition, their behaviors are influenced by contextual factors. The Asians mostly use the elements of collective self when describing themselves, which is opposite from the way the individualists describe themselves. Thus, when marketing the product to the Asian consumers, one is required to establish which personalities that these consumers attribute to the brand. When marketing a product to the Asian consumers, the marketer should be aware of the reality that consumers attribute personalities to the brands, which only fit their cultural values as stated by De Mooij & Hofstede (2011). Identifying the personalities of the Asian consumers will help the marketer in the formulation of brand positioning statements that will facilitate communication.
The Asian consumers evaluate themselves in terms of their capability to sustain a harmonious relationship among themselves. The identity of these consumers is the family, group, neighborhood, school, place of work. The Asian consumers being from the collectivist culture prefer to conform to the others. The collectivist put the group’s interest before their interests (Voronov & Singer, 2002). Thus, the Asian consumers would view a product as being part of a larger whole. For this reason, the marketer should emphasize on the corporate product rather than developing a product with unique characteristics. In addition, the marketer ought to display corporate identity logos in the television adverts.
In the collectivist cultures, there is no a dependable relationship between the future behavior and attitude (Triandis, 2001).Thus, one cannot predict the behavior of consumers from their attitudes towards brands, services, and products. In this culture, behavior comes beforehand and then defines the attitude of a consumer, implying that the usage of a product comes first and then defines the attitude. Thus, an individual marketing a product to the Asian consumers must understand that he/she cannot measure the attitude of the consumers towards the advertisements in an attempt to measure the effectiveness of advertising. Additionally, the marketer should understand the variations of what motivates the Asian consumers to facilitate the positioning of the product in different markets within different Asian countries. When marketing the product to the Asian markets, one should control negative emotions through displaying only the positive emotions.
The Asian cultural orientations might also affect the way one market a product to the Asian consumers through the mental processes such as abstract/concrete thinking, categorization, information processing, and decision-making. The Asian consumers are more interested in the concrete features of a product than in abstract products since they are not much used to conceptual thinking. According to Praet (2008), the people from the collectivist cultures do not add abstract personal characteristics, but instead they link the brand to the concrete persons that in Japan are called talents.
In addition, the person marketing a product to the Asian consumers should recognize that collectivists (in-group oriented) pay attention to the relationship between objects and view the product in terms of the general trust in the business or reputation of the business. Thus, he/she should first build a relationship with the consumers prior to marketing the product. Moreover, an individual marketing a product to the Asian consumers ought to understand that the collectivists (in-group oriented) in high-context cultures mostly use signs, symbols, and indirect communication hence such consumers do not process information like the individualists. For this reason, he/she should find ways of making them understand the information about a product easy.
Conclusively, the paper has exhaustively described the cultural orientations of the Asians and the effect of such orientations in the way an individual market a product to the Asian consumers. It is important for a person first to understand the culture of a country before doing business there to facilitate the design of a necessary marketing strategy.
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