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Customs and Taboos

13 May, 2016 - 13:23

All cultures have their own unique set of customs and taboos. It is important for marketers to learn about these customs and taboos so that they will know what is acceptable and what is not for their marketing programs.

Consider how the following examples could be used in development of international marketing programs:

  • In Russia, it is acceptable for men to greet each other with a kiss, but this custom is not acceptable in the US.
  • Germans prefer their salad dressing in a tube, while Americans prefer it in a bottle.
  • In France, wine is served with most meals, but in America, milk, tea, water, and soft drinks are popular.

McDonalds's Corporation has opened 20 restaurants in India. Since 80 per cent of Indians are Hindu, McDonald's will use a nonbeef meat substitute for its traditional hamburger. The likely beef substitute will be lamb, a very popular meat in India. In anticipation of its restaurant openings, McDonald's conducted extensive market research, site selection studies, and developed a relationship with India's largest chicken supplier. McDonald's has opted to market its product in India, largely because India's population of more than 900 million represents one-sixth of the world's population.