In 2003, an Xbox game got an exceptionally vocal and negative reaction because of religious content deemed offensive. Kakuto Chojin: Back Alley Brutal, contained verses from the Qur’an chanted in the background. Since the vast majority of Muslims believe the Qur’an should 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 within the Xbox game. As a result, the game was recalled as well as the companies involved alienated many potential prospects and experienced a loss of sales.
If the companies involved in creating and distributing this game had taken time to conduct the required research and in case that they had understood the value of culture when selling a product or service in foreign markets, then this situation could have been avoided. They might have realized the significance of Islam to many people throughout the Middle East and they also would have been able to tailor this game when selling to that particular particular market.
What is Culture?
Culture is comprised of a number 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 world. Some facets of culture are visible, including the way people dress or the food that they eat, while other aspects of Culture are invisible, like the significance of religion, beliefs around the role of family inside a society, or even the way people think and feel about certain issues. While the visible aspects of culture are often easy to understand immediately, it always takes a lot more time and effort to comprehend and appreciate the value of the invisible. It will always be the invisible components of culture, however, who have by far the most effect on the way people look at the world, and as a result, how people view your marketing strategies and whether they accept or reject your product or service.
Exactly How Much Does Culture Really Affect My Business?
Understanding the significance of culture and respecting the role it plays inside the lives of potential customers in foreign markets is important towards the financial success of the company and may mean the real difference in between the success or failure of your own overseas ventures. Forget or trivialize this important ingredient, and your marketing campaign or website runs the risk of failing to attract possible buyers at best, or at worst, alienating or offending huge numbers of people and experiencing an enormous lack of sales. In short, cultural appreciation and sensitivity should impact the decisions you 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 that are doomed to fail from the beginning. Marketing strategies in one country do not always translate into success in another country. It is therefore essential to be culturally sensitive and aware when producing, naming, selling, and advertising products.
Consequences of Neglecting to Consider Culture in Localization Projects
The value of the possible outcomes of your online marketing strategy, product release, or website necessitates constant vigilance and consideration in the culture of your target market. If you fail to do this, you may 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 publicity and the erosion of the brand you have worked tough to build
– Loss in revenue, sales opportunities, and customers
– Possible punishment as retaliatory legislation or lawsuits
Important Next Steps
Should you be seriously interested in entering and succeeding in foreign markets, then you certainly must consider culture in every facet of your product development, website design, and advertising campaign. For web content translation, you are advised to hire a professional, highly-experienced, and well-qualified translator that is certainly native to the language and culture mrfogj your target audience and should be able to take into account cultural considerations involving expressions, slang, concepts, idioms, along with other unique phrases. To your web development, it is a great idea to hire an internet designer acquainted with the concepts of localization as well as the cultural needs of your target market.