In 2003, an Xbox game received an extremely vocal and negative reaction due to religious content deemed offensive. Kakuto Chojin: Back Alley Brutal, contained verses from the Qur’an chanted in the background. Since nearly all Muslims believe the Qur’an should be handled with the utmost respect as it is the literal word of God, there was considerable outrage among many groups for the perceived absence of deference afforded to the Qur’an in 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 enough time to conduct the necessary research and when that they had understood the significance of culture when selling a product or service in foreign markets, then this situation could have been avoided. They could have realized the importance of Islam to a lot of people through the Middle East and they could have been in a position to tailor the video game when selling to that particular particular market.
What exactly 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 means of perceiving the world. Some aspects of culture are visible, such as the way people dress or the food they eat, while other components of Culture are invisible, such as the significance of religion, beliefs surrounding the role of family in a society, or the way people think and feel about certain issues. As the visible elements of culture are frequently easy to see straight away, it usually takes far more time and effort to know and appreciate the value of the invisible. It is usually the invisible elements of culture, however, that have probably the most effect on just how people see the world, and consequently, how people view your marketing strategies and whether or not 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 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 the overseas ventures. Forget or trivialize this important ingredient, as well as your marketing strategy or website runs the risk of neglecting 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, as well as your website localization.
Companies that do not understand and appreciate cultural differences may implement marketing strategies which can be doomed to fail from the beginning. Marketing strategies in one country tend not to always result in 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 Neglecting to Consider Culture in Localization Projects
The significance of the possible outcomes of your marketing strategy, product release, or website necessitates constant vigilance and consideration of the culture of your potential audience. Should you fail to do this, you might experience any mixture of the subsequent consequences:
– Consumers lose faith and confidence in your product and company
– Customer backlash and highly visible, negative public reactions
– Negative pr and the erosion in the brand you have worked tough to build
– Loss in revenue, sales opportunities, and customers
– Possible punishment by means of retaliatory legislation or lawsuits
Important Next Steps
If you are serious about 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 native to the language and culture mrfogj your target audience and will be able to consider cultural considerations involving expressions, slang, concepts, idioms, as well as other unique phrases. For your web development, it may be beneficial to hire a web designer knowledgeable about the concepts of localization and also the cultural needs of your own potential audience.