Cultural Awareness in Globalized World | Ralph Strozza | TEDxNorthernIllinoisUniversity
I am really really happy to be here and very proud as an NIU alum to have been invited to the first ever TED event here at NIU in DeKalb it's it's so much more meaningful for me because 37 years ago I was sitting where you're sitting and I had classes in this auditorium in fact the class was called Monday night at the movies I don't think they have it anymore it was it's too easy it was a lot of fun it was one of those gen Ed's that you just took to to get credit and didn't have to study for but anyway very happy to be here and we're going to shift gears a little bit from robots and fruit flies and plants memories and all these other great presentations to talk about
awarenessokay so we're going to talk about the importance of
awarenessfor organizations companies entities that want to interact across
culturalboundaries okay I'm going to talk a little bit about the importance for these organizations to do market research in order to understand their target audience because without that they're not going to be successful and I'm going to provide some examples of companies that didn't do it right and some examples of how we are evolving in our thinking because of our interconnected and
worldlet's hope this works it works our
worldhas changed rapidly in a very short period of time geopolitical orientation has created vast new markets which twenty five years ago didn't exist for all...
practical purposes Russia the People's Republic of China Vietnam these were all closed markets for us and in the past 25 years through a variety of reasons they are now open markets for us mass migration has played a big part in globalizing our
awarenessvery very important I don't know if any of you have seen the movie Peggy Sue got married it's back from 1987 when you guys were probably not even born so Peggy Sue is a she falls at her high school reunion and she is transported in time or she thinks she's transported in time back to her high school years in the early 60s and she is talking with the school nerd about time travel and the guy's name is Richard and Richard is explaining his theory of time travel which is Richards burrito that you know time folds over one another but the funny thing is he feels that he has to explain what a burrito is so he starts telling Peggy he says well a burrito was this and she says I know what a burrito is you know but in the early 60s who knew what a burrito was who doesn't know what a burrito is today sophisticated communications obviously the internet have facilitated instantaneous communications around the
worldand this is added to the importance of
awarenessculture I think this cartoon does a pretty good job of projecting how two different cultures arrive at the same conclusion but for very different reasons of course you've got the Western woman here who says you know...
everything covered but her eyes what a cruel male-dominated culture and then you've got the Muslim woman here saying nothing covered but her eyes what a cruel male-dominated culture I think it does a really good job of depicting how we really are all the same but we're different at the same time the Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede a defined culture as the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes one category of people from another and I think that's a very good depiction because there are a lot of different definitions of it culture impacts on buyer behavior which makes it absolutely essential for organizations to understand culture in order to be successful economically and these organizations need to develop separate customized marketing programs if they're going to reach their target audience and be economically feasible why is understanding
culturaldifferences so much more important arguably than it has been in the past well the stakes are very high according to the US Department of Commerce US global companies exported 2.3 trillion dollars of goods in 2013 and that does not count the hundreds of billions of dollars in services that our companies have exported it also estimates that 95 percent of consumers Americans consumers live outside of our borders and for every additional billion dollars of trade that we have it supports an additional 5,000 US jobs so the stakes are very high indeed the due diligence process that companies...
have to go through you know need to include
awarenessalong with political legal and economic and other considerations and this is required in order for an organization to formulate a successful marketing strategy it must take into consideration the values etiquettes attitudes of its target audience and what happens if it is not successful well you're going to fail to reach your target audience and to engage them you're going to offend people which in turn is going to damage your brand and it's going to waste valuable time resources and money what makes up culture or what are the indicators of culture well you've got language which is probably the most visible form of of culture so linguistic bonds such as Spanish language Spanish formulates a Hispanic culture Japanese Korean Chinese formulate an Asian culture so language is very closely identified with culture religion defines many cultures as well many Arabic speaking countries are identified with Islam whereas Italy France Spain are associated with Roman Catholicism values make up an important part of culture some cultures highly value individualistic thinking whereas other cultures really admire conformity to a group and many European cultures will put a high value on taking a long time lingering over a nice meal with lively conversation whereas here in North America you know wolfing down a snack while surfing the internet or watching YouTube or checking your email is not uncommon if I mention...
sushi tempura and Saki it evokes a specific culture and a specific country if I tell you where's Maria Vienna schnitzel sauerkraut and apple strudel that puts to mind another culture and country and of course who can not know who introduced hamburgers Big Macs and Twinkies to the
worldthe image on the left eye you guys okay we're getting closer to to our time here to 2014 in 2002 the movie scooby-doo was released and this on the left was an official promotional shot of the movie when they went to market it in the Middle East they weren't allowed to use this until they doctored it up ok because many Islamic cultures either frown upon or just flat-out forbid any skin to be exposed on females and this is part of culture so these are some of the challenges that companies or organizations need to take into consideration when they're going to market their products overseas who does not recognize this right those of us old enough to have children everybody's bought Gerber products and so very familiar brand but if you're unfamiliar with your market things can go wrong okay when gerber moved into africa they did a very poor job at trying to gauge the culture of their target audience and they did not know that in Africa because of low literacy rates companies often put a picture of the ingredients contained within the container so the marketing department and management were astounded that sales were so slow until somebody pointed out you know when it when...
some of these housewife is going down and a mother is going to go down to buy baby food they're not going to buy a Gerber product as they think that that's what's in the container Gerber also is this is that Gerber's fault okay Gerber has an unfortunate corporate name in some french-speaking cultures because Gerber is spelled exactly like the French verbs jailbait & gell obey means to vomit so in certain in certain french-speaking countries Gerber goes under their corporate umbrella of Nestle understandably another component of culture involves values and and what do certain cultures value well in China they do not tolerate advertising that is not truthful in Germany it's against the law to slam your competition or to or to even imply that your competition's product is inferior so when Toyota embarked upon an ad campaign in China they thought they were being very clever and they translated an ancient Chinese proverb but they did not do it well they didn't use InterPro translation solutions they it came out as on every road there is a Toyota and the Chinese government said you can't use this it's not truthful we can point out that not every Chinese Road has a Toyota driving on it in Germany Goodyear wanted to advertise that its tires were stronger than chains and showed chains breaking and the German government would not allow it because it inferred that the quality of German chains were subpar now this is after these companies spent...
millions and million of dollars on these campaigns so had they done a little bit of
awarenessresearch ahead of time they would have understood that they couldn't have done that and they would have done something differently hopefully a culture
worldhas prompted organizations to think in a new way an example is breast cancer and the American Cancer Association which runs a lot of ads promoting that or advocating that mammograms will help fight breast cancer so they've got a lot of different ads and you've seen them all and you've seen the pink ribbons and they do a good job at it and they came up with a really beat concept one time in one of their ads and but they wanted to roll this out in two different languages for North America into French for Quebec into Spanish for both the US and Latin America then they had a hard time doing this those of you who speak foreign languages will understand this and I'll try to explain for those who don't but you know breast cancer itself is very easy to translate you know in French it's concealed usana in Italian that's conquer that's a no it's it's very simple except that when you go to a concept like this so in English it's very easy to just block out the R and the s to spell beat cancer this doesn't work for other languages okay and so they have to think of a different way to project the same idea because they can't use this you can't use...
this in French you can't use this in Japanese you can't use this in in Italian and I don't know if there's a language that you can use it in but being able to adapt this message to a target audience has spawned a new practice in the
worldand it's called trans creation so where as companies used to translate their message from one language to another try to translate the word sum which is very difficult we had one campaign that was this is the new black and it was going to Europe and we spent days trying to figure out how to do that so companies are you know ad agency and translation companies are no longer translating they are trans creating and it's it's really open up a new practice for a lot of companies in the PR sector and in the translation sector but kind of shows that our thinking is evolving a little bit because of our interconnected and
worldpoor research can be costly so it's great that companies do the research but they have to do it correctly there was a fast-food company and they did a study in Italy I think it was in Milan and they wanted to open up a new fast food facility in a high-traffic count area so they did all the right things they went they engaged a consulting firm they did the research they said you know these three out of these three locations this is the one with the highest traffic count this is where we want to build our new facility they're purchased the land they bought built the building and...
they opened up and sales were abysmal and no one can figure out why well we did all the right things well what happened well they went back and they saw that the traffic counts were accurate except that all the cars were going to a local bordello the drivers didn't have fast food on their minds so it's really important that companies do the research number one and that they do the research correctly I am going to end to say that you know there's enough failure in communications between the same cultures and but when you get to trying to communicate with different cultures the possibilities for miscommunication and damages are multiplied but the point of what I'd like to try to get across to you all today is that