Recently, a limited edition Iron Man-themed Samsung Galaxy S6 was bought for $91,000 (almost 100 times its retail price) by a Chinese bidder. Surprisingly, the geek branding wasn't what raked in this abnormally high bid. The reason for the bid was its serial number of 66. The number 6 is a lucky number in China, and so 66 was considered "double lucky," according to Android Authority.
Why is that story important for you to know? Because it's just one of the many instances where cultural traditions and have affected the outcome of a marketing strategy. Even though the serial number choice was accidental, this single sale yielded more profits than the sale of four of the Iron Man S6 cellphones combined.
In today's extremely globalized world, it is imperative to consider any marketing and sales strategy from a cultural perspective.
Thomas Friedman, in his book The World Is Flat, outlines three stages of globalization: "In Globalization 1.0, which began around 1492, the world went from size large to size medium. In Globalization 2.0, the era that introduced us to multinational companies, it went from size medium to size small. And then around 2000 came Globalization 3.0, in which the world went from being small to tiny."
The world is indeed tiny. With access to different countries' consumers with the click of a button, it is now more important than ever to consider cultural influences that could affect businesses. Marketing strategies that aim to target large groups of people should be tailored to be culturally relevant. Businesses that operate in more than one place—be it through global Internet platforms, outsourcing, or a global clientele—would be wise to consider cultural implications of their campaigns, so as to succeed in terms of profits as well as user satisfaction.
Your Specific Audience
What works for one set of people may not necessarily be the best tactic to follow with another set.
That fact seems obvious at first glance, but a surprising amount of companies will try to replicate a past successful campaign in another country without considering cultural implications in a different country.