In 2003, an Xbox game received 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 within the background. Since nearly all 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 insufficient 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.
In the event the companies involved with creating and distributing this game had taken time to conduct the necessary research and if that they had understood the value of culture when selling a product or service in foreign markets, this situation could have been avoided. They might have realized the value of Islam to a lot of people through the Middle East and they also would have been capable of tailor this game when selling to that particular particular market.
Precisely what is Culture?
Culture includes many different elements which have been passed down for generations, including knowledge, belief systems, experiences, values, attitudes, religion, art, ideas, laws, morals, customs and methods for perceiving the planet. Some aspects of culture are visible, such as the way people dress or perhaps the food they eat, while other aspects of Culture are invisible, such as the importance of religion, beliefs surrounding the role of family within a society, or the way people think and feel about certain issues. As the visible aspects of culture tend to be easy to see straight away, it always takes far more time and energy to comprehend and appreciate the significance of the invisible. It will always be the invisible aspects of culture, however, which have the most impact on the way 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 value of culture and respecting the role it plays within the lives of prospective customers in foreign markets is essential for the financial success of your company and can mean the difference between the success or failure of your own overseas ventures. Forget or trivialize this important ingredient, as well as your marketing strategy or website runs the potential risk of neglecting to attract potential buyers at best, or at worst, alienating or offending millions of people and experiencing a huge 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 that do not understand and appreciate cultural differences may implement marketing strategies which are doomed to fail from the beginning. Marketing strategies in one country do not always result in success in another country. It really is 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 value of the potential outcomes of your marketing strategy, product release, or website necessitates constant vigilance and consideration in the culture of the target market. Should you fail to do so, you may experience any combination of the subsequent consequences:
– Consumers lose faith and confidence within your product and company
– Customer backlash and highly visible, negative public reactions
– Negative publicity as well as the erosion of the brand you may have worked difficult to build
– Loss in revenue, sales opportunities, and customers
– Possible punishment as retaliatory legislation or lawsuits
Important Next Steps
If you are seriously interested in entering and succeeding in foreign markets, then you certainly must consider culture in every aspect 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 which is indigenous to the language and culture mrfogj your target market and should be able to consider cultural considerations involving expressions, slang, concepts, idioms, along with other unique phrases. For the website development, it is a great idea to hire an online designer knowledgeable about the concepts of localization and the cultural needs of the target audience.