In 2003, an Xbox game received an incredibly vocal and negative reaction due to religious content deemed offensive. Kakuto Chojin: Back Alley Brutal, contained verses from the Qur’an chanted within the background. Since the vast majority of Muslims believe the Qur’an ought to be handled with the utmost respect since it is the literal word of God, there was considerable outrage among many groups for the perceived lack of deference afforded to the Qur’an in the Xbox game. Because of this, the game was recalled as well as the companies involved alienated many prospective customers and experienced a lack of sales.
When the companies involved with creating and distributing this game had taken the time to conduct the essential research and when they had understood the significance of culture when selling a product or service in foreign markets, than the situation might have been avoided. They might have realized the value of Islam to many people throughout the Middle East and they could have been capable of tailor the video game when selling for that particular market.
What is Culture?
Culture is composed of a variety of elements which have been passed down for generations, including knowledge, belief systems, experiences, values, attitudes, religion, art, ideas, laws, morals, customs and ways of perceiving the entire world. Some elements of culture are visible, including the way people dress or even the food which they eat, while other aspects of Culture are invisible, like the significance of religion, beliefs surrounding the role of family inside a society, or perhaps the way people think and feel about certain issues. Whilst the visible facets of culture are frequently easy to understand straight away, it always takes much more effort and time to know and appreciate the significance of the invisible. It will always be the invisible elements of culture, however, that have by far the most influence on the way in which people view the world, and for that reason, how people view your marketing strategies and whether they accept or reject your product or service.
Just How Much Does Culture Really Affect My Business?
Understanding the significance of culture and respecting the role it plays in the lives of potential customers in foreign markets is essential towards the financial success of the company and could mean the real difference between the success or failure of your overseas ventures. Forget or trivialize this important ingredient, along with your advertising campaign or website runs the risk of failing to attract possible buyers at best, or at worst, alienating or offending thousands of people and experiencing an enormous loss of sales. In a nutshell, cultural appreciation and sensitivity should impact the decisions you will make, your interactions with customers, your advertising strategies, along with your website localization.
Companies which do not understand and appreciate cultural differences may implement marketing strategies which can be doomed to fail right from the start. Marketing strategies in one country usually do not always translate into success in another country. It really is therefore important to be culturally sensitive and aware when producing, naming, selling, and advertising products.
Consequences of Failing to Consider Culture in Localization Projects
The value of the potential outcomes of your own marketing strategy, product release, or website necessitates constant vigilance and consideration from the culture of the potential audience. If you fail to accomplish this, you might experience any combination of the following consequences:
– Consumers lose faith and confidence in your product and company
– Customer backlash and highly visible, negative public reactions
– Negative public relations and the erosion from the brand you may have worked tough to build
– Lack of revenue, sales opportunities, and customers
– Possible punishment in the form of retaliatory legislation or lawsuits
Important Next Steps
If you are interested in entering and succeeding in foreign markets, then you must consider culture in every facet of your product development, website design, and marketing strategy. For web content translation, you are encouraged to employ a professional, highly-experienced, and well-qualified translator that is certainly indigenous to the language and culture mrfogj your potential audience and will be able to take into consideration cultural considerations involving expressions, slang, concepts, idioms, and other unique phrases. For your web development, it may be beneficial to use an internet designer acquainted with the concepts of localization and also the cultural needs of the target market.