Global Business: Why Culture Matters

When it comes to business, there is more than one important facet to creating a successful and productive company. Most importantly, is the part culture plays. Think about it. Culture, defined, is an integrated system of learned behavior patterns that are characteristic of the members of any given society, and culture is thus shared through various groups of shared interests. Essentially, it’s the things people share together; language, social cues, behaviors, religions, and even various attitudes and manners that are accepted. In order to produce a successful business globally, you must learn these special aspects of culture, otherwise, you risk not only embarrassing yourself, but loosing an important deal.

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How does “Gangnam Style” become a success? –- new international marketing strategies

A Korean music video “Gangnam Style”, despite of its entire Korean lyrics, topped international music charts from Korea K-Pop Hot 100 Chart to American iTunes charts and has received 50 million views and counting on Youtube. The singer — Psy, a Korea pop star, does not have the traditional pretty face and skinny appearance customary among other popular Korean singers, but instead looks more like an “average Joe”.  So what accounts for the global hit song?

A recent article of Harvard Business Review suggests three main lessons from the song’s social marketing campaign:

  1. Make your product or brand more ownable”
  2. Crowdsourcing but in a controlled way
  3. Universal “emotional denominator that resonates across cultures”

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