Culture in Business: It’s Personal

Cultural street market 1

You may have heard the catchphrase, “Nothing personal – it’s just business.” Coined by Otto Biederman in the early 20th century, it was popularized by The Godfather, and is now used prominently by anyone and everyone. Fortunately, this phrase is no longer relevant.

The power of social media combined with the rise of emerging markets propelled the globalization of business. Billboards and TV ads, that used to dominate public opinion and consumer trends decades ago, no longer provide the same influence or credibility.

Today, it’s about personalized content. Customers want brands to talk to them – in a language they understand, a language relevant to their reality. Trends such as influencer marketing have made it imperative for businesses to communicate in the local language of their marketing-savvy customer base. Understanding their culture and inherent codes is also essential.

A fitting example of “business” successfully becoming “personal” is Coca Cola’s “#OrgullosoDeSer” campaign. The campaign honours Hispanic Heritage Month by featuring Hispanic surnames on their cans. Coke celebrated the Latino culture and hit the mark by considering the importance of last names, family and culture among Latino-Americans. Along with its hashtag, #OrgullosoDeSer, the campaign was a hit on social media and in stores, with Coke selling 130,000 such personalized cans.

Food for thought: What can you do to better communicate “culturally” with your target audience?


Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

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