Global Marketing

Personality within Cultures

When expanding into a new market, it is important to determine how it is different than the home-culture. Will the new market be receptive to the product as-is or do changes need to be made? How do you market the product? A starting point is Hofstede's Cultural Insights, where you can compare the Power Insight, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, Long Term Orientation, and Indulgence across countries. However, many Western Countries describe themselves in terms of personality traits. This lead to the development of the Five-Factor Model, also known as OCEAN. The five traits are: Openness to Experience (O), Conscientiousness (C), Extroversion (E), Agreeableness (A), and Neuroticism (N). This model is the most popular model to determine personality.

  • Openness to Experience: depth and complexity of an individual's mental life and experience. This refers to a person's willingness to try new things and think outside of the box.
  • Conscientiousness: ability to control impulses and actions in a socially acceptable manner.
  • Extroversion: extroverts vs. introverts. This is based on how a person draws energy and interacts with others.
  • Agreeableness: how well people get along and interact with others.
  • Neuroticism: based on how confident a person is in their own skin.

A key difference between the OCEAN Model and Hofstede's is that OCEAN can map individual people's personalities, not just the country's identity as a whole. In addition, it can aid in determining the demographics of the people who buy a product.

Heat maps of the geographical distribution of personality in Great Britain by.

(A) Regional differences in Extraversion. (B) Regional differences in Agreeableness. (C) Regional differences in Conscientiousness. (D) Regional differences in Neuroticism. (E) Regional differences in Openness. For each personality trait, the areas in blue are comparatively low and the areas in red are comparatively high.

Hofstede focuses on culture, whereas OCEAN focuses on the personalities within the culture. The more individualist look of OCEAN will allow for more insight, and can aid in determining if different parts of the country have different personalities, as viewed above with Great Britain. The OCEAN model can be used in conjunction with Hofestede's model to get a more in-depth view and allow for more focused marketing.