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Cultural Awareness


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  • One of the most quoted example for a classical marketing failure is the attempt of GM to sell their car "NOVA" in Central and South America. In Spanish it mean nothing you would expect of your brand new vehicle:"It doesn't go"!

  • "Mist Stick" was the splendid name of a curling iron which Clairol wanted to sell in Germany. Not very tempting to use a product which carries the German expression for "manure".

  • A similiar success was reported when a scandinavian vacuum manufaturer approached the American market with the slogan: "Nothing sucks like an XYZ."

  • A German manufacturer of satellite dishes floundered by calling his product "Sat-An". He didn't took into account how suspicious Europeans can be ...

  • A lack of market research was responsible for the failure of a German biscuit product in France: It was reported that the use of cinnamon as an ingredient for biscuits is nearly like touching a taboo.

  • A banker from Texas spoiled the business with his French partners in the last moment. Invited to celebrate the big deal in a fancy restaurant he shocked them by having beer at the dinner - straight from the bottle.

  • A frustrated sales agent of a German mechanical engineering manufacturer waited for his return fligth in Ghuanzo. One week of negotiations with his Chinese counterparts and no results. All kind of subjects were discussed but not to mention a contract. Short before his departure a Chinese delegate approached him and confirmed the order of two engines: Due to his patience and his respect they were convinced both, of his reliability and the reliablity of his products.



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