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 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. Because of this, the game was recalled and the companies involved alienated many potential prospects and experienced a loss of sales.
In the event the companies involved with creating and distributing this video game had taken the time to conduct the required research and in case they had understood the significance of culture when selling a product or service in foreign markets, then this situation might have been avoided. They would have realized the value of Islam to many people through the entire Middle East and they might have been in a position to tailor the game when selling for that particular market.
What is Culture?
Culture includes a number of elements that were passed down for generations, including knowledge, belief systems, experiences, values, attitudes, religion, art, ideas, laws, morals, customs and means of perceiving the world. Some facets of culture are visible, like the way people dress or perhaps the food that they eat, while other elements of Culture are invisible, including the need for religion, beliefs around the role of family in a society, or perhaps the way people think and feel about certain issues. While the visible aspects of culture are often easy to understand right away, it always takes far more time and energy to understand and appreciate the significance of the invisible. It will always be the invisible components of culture, however, who have the most effect on the way people see the world, and as a result, 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 value of culture and respecting the role it plays inside the lives of prospective customers in foreign markets is important for the financial success of your own company and can mean the difference between the success or failure of your own overseas ventures. Forget or trivialize this important ingredient, and your marketing campaign or website runs the chance of failing to attract potential buyers at best, or at worst, alienating or offending huge numbers of people and experiencing a massive loss of sales. In a nutshell, cultural appreciation and sensitivity should impact the decisions you are making, your interactions with customers, your advertising strategies, and your website localization.
Companies that do not understand and appreciate cultural differences may implement marketing strategies that are doomed to fail from the beginning. Marketing strategies in one country tend not to always translate into success in another country. It is actually therefore vital that you be culturally sensitive and aware when producing, naming, selling, and advertising products.
Consequences of Failing to Consider Culture in Localization Projects
The importance of the potential outcomes of your online marketing strategy, product release, or website necessitates constant vigilance and consideration in the culture of your own potential audience. Should you fail to accomplish this, you may experience any blend of these consequences:
– Consumers lose faith and confidence within your product and company
– Customer backlash and highly visible, negative public reactions
– Negative public relations as well as the erosion from the brand you might have worked tough to build
– Loss of revenue, sales opportunities, and customers
– Possible punishment as retaliatory legislation or lawsuits
Important Next Steps
In case you are 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 employ a professional, highly-experienced, and well-qualified translator that is indigenous to the language and culture mrfogj your target audience and will be able to take into account cultural considerations involving expressions, slang, concepts, idioms, as well as other unique phrases. For your website development, it is a great idea to hire an internet designer familiar with the concepts of localization and also the cultural needs of your target market.