Global Marketing

Culturally Sensitive Packaging Can Make All the Difference

For a universally needed product, you would think the packaging would not make a do or die difference in the success of the product. However, as discussed in class, something as simple as toothpaste can be the source of much corporate controversy. In the case of the Colgate Max Fresh rollout in the early 2000’s, Colgate knew that advertising breath strips in the Chinese market would not be as effective as advertising breath strips in the United States. So, Colgate adjusted their advertising accordingly in order to get their Max Fresh toothpaste into China successfully.

In order for packaging to effectively speak to a certain culture, the packaging must resonate with that culture. By doing market research, companies can figure out how big the market is and how fast the market is growing or shrinking.

For example, UK based co-working space, Hana, has gone international and has done so by entering similar markets in order to promote standardization in their business model, or their customer facing packaging.

Image result for hana workspace

Starting out in London, Hana has expanded to major cities across the United States, such as New York, Dallas, and most recently, Irvine, to promote professional and chic flexible workspaces for up-and-coming professionals.

By expanding to culturally similar major cities, Hana enjoys the benefit of generally standardized spaces and advertising methods.

It would be interesting to see how Hana would intend to enter a culturally different market, like the Latin American or Asian markets. How much would they adapt? Would they stay standard in order to promote continuity in their brand?

As we saw in the Colgate Max Fresh case, it can be extremely expensive to adapt packaging to appeal to a new market with significantly different culture.

Most major cities in the world today are extremely diverse. If Hana sticks to its plan of expanding into these major cities, where high profile and up and coming professionals are located, it will likely not need to adapt too drastically in order to thrive. However, perhaps regional consultants would be a beneficial investment before any official plans are made to jump into a new market.

How do you think an English flexible workspace would need to adapt in Latin American or Asian markets? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

-Cassity Brown

One reply on “Culturally Sensitive Packaging Can Make All the Difference”

Hi Maria and Cassidy,

Very interesting article. I read up a little bit about workspaces in Asia, and it seems like more open-collaborative spaces are booming. This makes me think that the flexible workspace would work in Asia. I do believe that Hana would need to be mindful of cultural differences, as we saw in the Disneyland case study where a feng shui master was consulted in order to make sure that there is the proper location and design.

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