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GSBS6009 | Cross-Cultural Analysis in GU | Social and Cultural Factors

University: REGENT COLLEGE LONDON

  • Unit No: 5
  • Level: High school
  • Pages: 13 / Words 3262
  • Paper Type: Assignment
  • Course Code: GSBS6009
  • Downloads: 26
Question :

some of the main demonstrations in this assessment are like:

  • Critically evaluate all the cultural and the social factors which helps in managing the consumer behaviour in context to product and services of GU.
  • Critically evaluate in relation to international market strategy and also all the international expansion for the effective cultural destinations and the other optimised areas with market entry methods GU.
Answer :

INTRODUCTION

Cross culture refers to the aspect that recognises the divergence among people of distinct backgrounds, ethnicities, nations and the significance of bridging them. This concept is dealing with the comparison between different cultural areas. In international businesses, cross culture is a crucial issue as the success of international trade rely on effective interaction of workforce from distinct regions and cultures. This report is the extension of Course work 1 which is done on cross cultural analysis. The selected nations in project are Japan and UAE and it aims to develop an understanding about the cultures of these two different countries along with the impacts of these cultures on marketing activities of a company. For this, the selected company is  GU which is a discount casual wear manufacturer, designer and retailer of Japan. The firm was founded in year 1973 and its headquarter is established in Tokyo, Japan. This report covers cross culture analysis for understanding cultural and social differences between two nations which are culturally different. Apart from this, it examines the way cultural and social factors could influence behaviour of consumers towards products and services of company and its strategic implication on marketing mix. At last, the report covers different market entry strategy options that are available to a firm and supports it to expand effectively with less barriers.

A Cross-Cultural Analysis

Hofstede Cultural Model

Hofstede's cultural dimensions is a model which is developed by Geert Hofstede for cross cultural communication. This framework helps in understanding the divergence in cultures of different nations. Businesses use this model in order to distinguish between cultures of distinct countries, its  dimensions and their influence on operations and activities of business (What is the Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory?, 2019). As per the course work 1, the most appropriate model for cross cultural analysis is Hofstede's cultural dimensions framework which allows organisations and individuals in analysing the influence of cultures of different nations on offerings, values and cultures of a company. It assist in understanding the divergence between norms and beliefs of different nations and their influence on offerings of firms of other nations. Proper understanding of cultural differences and their impact on  products and services is very necessary for GU in order to expand in UAE. As the company is operating in Japan, the cultures of UAE and Japan are significantly different which will likely to influence the offerings of GU. Hence, proper analysis of all the cultural dimensions of Hofstede framework in context of the cultural differences and their influence are mentioned below:

Masculinity Versus Femininity:

This dimension of cultural framework is associated with the society's preference towards prevailing  components and orientation within the country. It includes the attitude of society towards sexuality equality, their preference for achievement etc. For instance, In context of  femininity, the people of society is more concerned towards cooperation, modesty and life quality  of society. On the other hand, masculinity comes from the dimensions that effectively  depicts that people of society is perceptive towards achievement, assertiveness, heroism,  material rewards, wealth building etc. this shows that society is very competitive in nature.

Japan has a highly masculine society in which rivalry amongst different groups is highly evident. High degree of masculinity serves as a motivational components in  business. Hence, the  products that companies are offered are based on competition along with this, firms ensure that the prices set for its products are competitive in order to gain competitive advantage in market and stay ahead in competition. Similarly, in context of GU, the company provides its fashion apparels at low prices in comparison to its competitors in Japan. This enables the business entity to acquire large number of market share. It depicts that the firms operating in Japan are with masculine characteristics and the people of society emphasize on factors like competition, which helps in improving strategies within marketplace.

On the other hand, in case of UAE, when the topic is about femininity and masculinity,  it has a balanced society. Hence, when the society existing in the nation emphasize on  competition or rivalry, it also considers the quality of life. Yet, both the femininity and masculinity aspects indicates the perception of society towards the product offer by GU in the nation. For example,  so far there is minimal competition, the people of  society in United Arab Emirates might perceive the clothings offered by GU as low quality because of the current pricing strategy which is adopted through company in its niche markets. Moreover, since the difference is evident between the cultures and values of both the countries regarding masculinity and femininity aspect, the chances of perceiving the products of company differently are high despite of minor differences.

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Individualism Versus Collectivism:

This dimension of the framework is associated with the extent to which people are incorporate into groups and their interdependence on society. This is related to the way individuals discern their self image. Individualism depicts that attaining personal goals is highly important for individual whereas, collectivism shows the significance on goals along with well being of group. For example: The people of individualistic societies tend to look on themselves and their family members. On the other hand, people of collectivist societies have a strong interactions in groups that encourage them to consider the society first before their own interests.

The society of Japan is given  preference to individualism as it is more inclined towards having their own opinion on the way they lead their lives. But, they consider society while taking decisions as a sense of society is exist within decisions that directs them to choose the right path and take sensible decisions in their life. The offerings  of GU could be well reflected this as it as one of the trending Japanese companies. The fashion clothing of company are popular and accepted by females of nation. This shows that although females wear traditional attires, they accept modern apparels too at an effective level.

On the other hand, the society of UAE is highly collectivist as that they are inclined towards the society and groups exist within nation. The attitudes, norms and beliefs of the society are considered  by them and they are loyal towards those. The fashion clothings of females are prohibited strongly within the country as these are not acceptable according to their belief, religion and society's perception. However, there are transformations coming in the same, but the company like GU can be affected because of this factor. Due to unacceptable fashion clothing in UAE, the company could face difficulties in selling fashion apparels as these are against the cultural and social norms of society of UAE. Apart from this, these are  also distinct from the values and norms of Japan.

Uncertainty Avoidance:

The uncertainty avoidance dimension considers the degree to which ambiguity and uncertainty are tolerated. This aspect deals with the degree to which people within a nation feel inconvenient in context of ambiguity or uncertainty. It emphasizes on the practices which a nation requires to consider in order to avoid certain obstructions in future and taking risks.

The  country in which GU is currently operating its  business operations and activities, i.e., Japan has a highest index of uncertainty avoidance in the world. The companies and societies existing within the nation are tending towards taking preventive course of actions beforehand. It also takes effective and appropriate steps in order to eliminate any kind of accidents that can impact sustainability and offerings of company in an adverse way within the market place. Therefore, the business  entity mainly emphasize on investigating the environment and examining the future so that it is able to produce its offerings in such a way that these can be  accepted and adopted within the markets in an appropriate way.

On the other hand, in context of United Arab Emirates, the society and organisations are highly inclined towards having a rigid codes of belief and behaviours which are preventive towards their culture, moral values along with their social beliefs. Apart from this, the culture of nation and the society existing within it are quite intolerant of maverick ideas, concepts or behaviour which might impede with their beliefs or attitudes. Therefore, this sort of difference in the cultures between both the countries could have an impact on GU as well as its fashion clothing while operating in UAE, as the society exist within the country is resistant towards experiment, innovation and change which is different in comparison to the social and cultural beliefs of Japan. In addition to this, individuals in UAE does not tend to change their preferences in context of apparels in order to avoid any kind of uncertainty, as fashion clothing offered by GU challenges the cultural norms along with social beliefs of people as there is significant difference exist.

Hence, as per the above analysis, it can be stated that the cultural and social beliefs of UAE are different from that of Japan. These differences are in terms of masculinity, individualism and  uncertainty that needs a elaborated insight for crafting strategies that closes  the gap.

Social and Cultural Factors and the Marketing Mix

Marketing mix consist of tactics or set of actions that a business entity utilises in order to  promote its product or make the people aware about its brand. It is reasoned as an effective  tool employ by business in order to influence purchasing behaviour of buyers. Different combination of elements are included in it like promotion, product, price, place, people, process and physical evidence which supports an organisation in gaining competitive advantage in market. At the same time, the influence of culture is depicts over the offerings of business  entity along with distinct determinants of the framework. Compliance with norms and code of conduct in United Arab Emirates have an  influence over the offering. From the analysis, it is also determined that the life quality of society is high in UAE that impacts the  promotional and pricing strategy of company. There are various factors and determinants are present in the country which are completely distinct from that of Japan and having notable effect over each particular element of marketing mix tool. So, in order to attain success in UAE market, it is crucial for GU to make  changes in each element of marketing mix as per the culture and norms of nation so that  it can enable to establish its business successfully in the new country. All the elements of marketing mix in this  context  are mentioned below:

Product: GU will target the people of UAE by introducing ethnic fashion wear for females of all age groups. By analysing the prevailing trends of the market that  restrict females to wear fashion apparels, this has been decided by the administration to introduce ethnic clothing. This will render support to the business entity in order to effectively appealing to potential buyers and creating a strong brand image there.

Price: It is decided by the administration of GU that it will going to set high prices for its  ethnic wear. The main reason behind setting high prices is that will target high class people who  wants ethnic wear with high quality without concerning about prices. This helps company in earning high revenues and profits by fulfilling the needs of target customers.

Place: Online platform is the appropriate place through which firm can sell its ethnic fashion apparels to customers and reach to large number of people. By the use of technology, GU will sell its products through online medium so as to reach large consumer base. It will also sell its clothes  through physical stores in UAE that will assist GU in earning high revenues and profits.

Promotion: In order to promote its ethnic wear  in market, GU will use various promotional tools like advertisement. Apart from this, the firm will adopt its own promotional technique when expanding its business in UAE. The company will also utilize IOT and digitalisation along with seasonal discount so as to promote its product effectively and provide benefit to customers. All these activities will help company in gaining attention of more  number of people in UAE towards its offerings.

People: This  aspect is associated with  employees of company who will contributes highly in making the business successful in UAE. The management is concerned towards providing training to employees so that they enable to serve customers in more better way. It will also provide cultural training to its employees, so that they can  be  familiar with the culture of UAE and enable to work effectively. All this will help company in running its business activities appropriately.

Process: As people are more inclined towards using digital technology, by looking upon this trend within UAE, the administration of GU has decided to use high end technological processes in delivering products to customers. The company will provide an option to customers  of making payments through any digital medium. They can pay  by online banking, credit and debit cards etc. By this, the company will enable to satisfying customers and operate business successfully.

Physical evidence: The company will provide receipt to customers of what they purchase. Also, the brick and mortar style outlets of GU serves as its physical evidence whereby ethnic fashion wear  will be made available to consumers. Apart from this, the ambience and interior of its outlets is designed in such a way that will attract customers at large and firm enable  to earn high revenues.

Market Entry Strategies

Market entry strategies refers to the planned delivery and distribution methodologies of products and service to new markets. The company  which plans to expand its business operations in foreign or international market will adopts distinct market entry options. Different types of international market entry options available to the company that assists it in entering into new country or nation with minimal risks. Some of the marketing strategies includes Direct exporting, Strategic alliance,  Joint venture, Franchising, Licensing etc. Adoption of appropriate market entry option helps firm in expanding its business in new market successfully. It is crucial for GU to select appropriate market entry option so as to execute their business activities and  operations effectively and efficiently with less number of hurdles. Some of the market entry options that can be utilize by GU for expanding its business in UAE are mentioned below:

Franchising: This is  the strategy in which the owner given right to franchisee for using  its brand name for some particular period of time and in turn takes some amount of money.    In  comparison to the other market  entry modes, Franchising is the most appropriate route for GU. It this entry mode, one organisation provides right to another individual to use the name of its business under some special specifications so as to produce and sell some product or service. One of the main advantage of adopting this strategy is that it enables business to earn high profitability as compared to some other newly established businesses. The main reason behind this is good brand image as well as goodwill of the business entity. Apart  from  the  advantage, there are  some disadvantages also. The  drawback of this entry mode is that it requires high initial investment in completing paperwork, initial formalities and many other legal formalities which makes it disadvantageous for firm to make use of it.

Franchising is the most appropriate and feasible strategy for GU for  expanding its business in UAE.  The market of UAE is good enough for women fashion apparel which supports company developing strong image and brand name in new country. The control level is  high for franchisees for  GU as it is  dealing with customers directly.

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CONCLUSION

As per the above mentioned report, it has been concluded that expansion of business is an effective method which is utilised by company in order to capture large number of market share and improve its profitability ratio. Before entering into new market, it is necessary for company to analyse  social and cultural norms of that particular country in which it wants to enter. Hofstede cultural framework is determined as the most appropriate technique for this which is useful in examining the cultural differences among distinct nations along with their impacts on   performance of the business. Marketing mix is essential tool that helps firm in attaining high profits. Franchising is one of the most effective market entry mode that can be  utilize by company for entering into new market with minimal risks.

REFERENCES

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  • Davidov, E., and et. al., 2018. Cross-cultural analysis: Methods and applications. Routledge.
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  • Rohm, A.J., Gao, T.T., Sultan, F. and Pagani, M., 2012. Brand in the hand: A cross-market investigation of consumer acceptance of mobile marketing. Business Horizons55(5), pp.485-493.
  • Soldatenko, D. and Backer, E., 2019. A content analysis of cross-cultural motivational studies in tourism relating to nationalities. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management. 38. pp.122-139.
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