In 2003, an Xbox game got an exceptionally vocal and negative reaction as a result 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 because 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. Consequently, the game was recalled and the companies involved alienated many potential customers and experienced a loss of sales.
If the companies associated with creating and distributing this video game had taken enough time to conduct the essential research and in case that they had understood the value of culture when selling a product or service in foreign markets, than the situation could have been avoided. They might have realized the significance of Islam to a lot of people through the Middle East plus they would have been capable of tailor the video game when selling to that particular market.
Precisely what is Culture?
Culture is composed of many different elements that have been passed down for generations, including knowledge, belief systems, experiences, values, attitudes, religion, art, ideas, laws, morals, customs and means of perceiving the entire world. Some elements of culture are visible, like the way people dress or the food they eat, while other aspects of Culture are invisible, including the need for religion, beliefs around the role of family within a society, or even the way people think and feel about certain issues. As the visible facets of culture are often easy to see immediately, it usually takes far more time and energy to know and appreciate the value of the invisible. It is almost always the invisible elements of culture, however, who have by far the most impact on the way in which people see the world, and for that reason, how people view your marketing strategies and whether they accept or reject your product or service.
How Much Does Culture Really Affect My Business?
Understanding the importance of culture and respecting the role it plays inside the lives of potential prospects in foreign markets is important towards the financial success of your company and may mean the difference in between the success or failure of your overseas ventures. Forget or trivialize this important ingredient, as well as your advertising campaign or website runs the potential risk of neglecting to attract potential 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 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 tend not to always result in success in another country. It is actually therefore essential 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 possible outcomes of the online marketing strategy, product release, or website necessitates constant vigilance and consideration in the culture of your target market. Should you fail to accomplish this, you may experience any blend of the following consequences:
– Consumers lose faith and confidence inside your product and company
– Customer backlash and highly visible, negative public reactions
– Negative publicity as well as the erosion from the brand you may have worked hard to build
– Lack of revenue, sales opportunities, and customers
– Possible punishment in the form of retaliatory legislation or lawsuits
Important Next Steps
Should you be interested in entering and succeeding in foreign markets, then you must consider culture in every part of your product development, website design, and advertising campaign. For web content translation, you are encouraged to employ a professional, highly-experienced, and well-qualified translator that is native to the language and culture mrfogj your potential audience and will be able to take into account cultural considerations involving expressions, slang, concepts, idioms, and other unique phrases. To your web development, it is a good idea to hire a web designer familiar with the concepts of localization and the cultural needs of the potential audience.