Monday, 29 July 2013

Intercultural Knowledge in Marketing

How many articles have you seen enlistening "funny" marketing blunders not taking note of some local sensitivity or other? How COULD they possibly call the car Boobie, when everybody knows that in the local Thai dialect this has a double entendre...etc etc.

After all that tediousness here's a real corker, though:

Domino's Pizza, the British take away pizza franchise operation, opened in Germany and found.... that it wasn't popular. Not totally surprising, is it?

One profit warning later, the CEO maintains that stores had now got the hang of it and "understood the German consumer". Maybe they should have done a little more intercultural research before plunging into a market that - no doubt- they thought would be profitable purely on the size of its population. ("80 million Germans, Barry.. we goddagun for it!!")

FACT: In Germany, even a small village will have a local pizzeria. Well established, Italian family-run, producing top-quality pizzas of any size, description and flavour. And of course they will drive them round for free. In towns, there will be one of those every two blocks away from where you live. There is such a vast choice, such speedy reliable service, and most people will  oben very familar terms with their local pizza deliverer, having used their services for years.

Might it not have been an idea to look into this very obvious and well-known scenario before plunging in with the dubious promise of an English company offering such tantalising options as "Meateor" with a mouth watering description such as: "A slice (?) with pork meatballs, ground beef, sausage and bacon".

Appealing to the German consumer who the company claims it knows so well? Laugh out loud as they say in intercultural marketing.

FT article on the subject

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