Religions, Christmas, and International Marketing

[ File # csp1391347, License # 1242676 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / karenr

Historically, the religious tradition in the United States, based on Christianity and Judaism, has emphasized hard work, thrift, and a simple lifestyle. These religious values have certainly evolved over time; many of our modern marketing activities would not exist if these older values had persisted. Thrift, for instance, presumes that a person will save hard-earned wages and use these savings for purchases later on. Today, Americans take full advantage of the ample credit facilities that are available to them. The credit card is such a vital part of the American lifestyle that saving before buying seems archaic. Most Americans feel no guilt in driving a big SUV or generously heating a large house.

Christmas is one Christian tradition that remains an important event for many consumer goods industries in all Christian countries. Retailers have their largest sales around that time. However, Christmas is a good illustration of the substantial differences that still exist among even predominantly Christian societies. A large U.S.-based retailer of consumer electronics discovered these differences the hard way when it opened its first retail outlet in the Netherlands. The company planned the opening to coincide with the start of the Christmas selling season and bought advertising space accordingly for late November and December, as retailers do in the United States. The results proved less than satisfactory. Major gift giving in Holland takes place, not around December 25, Christmas Day, but on St. Nicholas Day, December 6. Therefore, the opening of the company’s retail operation was late and missed the major buying season.

From a marketing point of view, Christmas has increasingly become a global phenomenon. For many young Chinese, Christmas is not regarded as a religious holiday but simply represents “fun.” Fashionable bars charge up to $25 for entrance on Christmas Eve, and hotel restaurants charge $180 for a Christmas Eve function. The week around Christmas is the top grossing week for movie theaters in China, as young Chinese head out to theaters together instead of watching pirated DVDs at home. Santa Claus is increasing in popularity in the predominantly Sunni Muslim country of Turkey. In Istanbul shopping centers, children stand in line to sit on Santa’s lap and ask for gifts. Stores sell Santa suits and statues.

With billions of people celebrating Christmas and exchanging wishes of peace, perhaps we will see at least some of the inspired and faithful take personal steps which reduce the barbarities which humanity commits against itself in the many ongoing wars. Also, a time of remembrance of the difficult travels of Joseph and Mary, with Jesus soon to be born, might help us soften our stance against refugees and migrants in the world. Remember, we all – but for the mercy of God- could be the ones looking for succor and support.

Here is a holiday greeting from Prof. Czinkota and Prof. Skuba.

Merry Christmas!

Georgetown First Year Seminar – Editorial Board

Students in FYS develop an editorial which tackles an institutional trade issue relevant to them. These editorials can take any form of dissemination ranging from print instruments, social media, or Youtube films. The work can include an assessment of government and taxpayer expenditure on a trade related measures. Or it can represent the impact of government actions on corporate trade conditions. With help of a course specific editorial board, each student will write a draft editorial during the semester, to become a final public editorial due on the November 29th session of the course. The first editorial draft is handed in for comment by and discussion with the instructor and the editorial team. Subsequently, after discussion, the goal is to produce one cohesive, brief and insightful commentary which is postable or publishable for mail-out. Each student will collaborate with the editorial board, the coaches and professor. A typed, double-spaced editorial will be presented to the instructor and the board and submitted as an online copy together with a one sentence personal bio and a personal professional picture. The instructor and the coaches will work with students and talk in class about rules for editorials and their improvements.

IMG_5062This year, we have 5 amazing editorialists: (from left to right)

Molly Fleenor
Assistant Director of Communications
Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Joana Godinho
Guest Producer
CGTN/CCTV News

Nicolette Hurd
Consultant
The McCormick Group

Jennifer Boettcher
Business Information Consultant
Georgetown University

Glenn Morel
CEO & Founder
AVID Productions

Thank you all for the help and your great thoughts! Looking forward to seeing the students’ products!

 

Professor Michael Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) teaches international marketing at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in Washington D.C. and the University of Kent at Canterbury, U.K. His key book (with Ilkka Ronkainen) is International Marketing, 10th ed., CENGAGE

 

 

Auto Kartels in Germany

Has the German emissions scandal affected US consumers?

In Germany, many consumers have been shocked by allegations of widespread emissions cheating. But in the United States, there is little awareness of events unfolding within Germany’s car industry. I explore these issues in my interview with Deutsche Welle.

Interview

 Click here for the Video Clip: http://p.dw.com/p/2hXVM?em