By Marcela Jenney-Reyes
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?
The Gender of Culture: How it May Affect Your Brand
What is popular in society is always changing. This includes not only music and fashion but also commonly held beliefs, values, attitudes, and interests.
An interesting and notable attitude change that has been occurring in the United States in the last century has been that of the roles of men and women. Moreover, because of the strong influence that the U.S. has over the culture of the rest of the world, similar trends can be found internationally. In other societies, products and services once marketed for a specific gender are becoming increasingly gender-neutral as the social roles of men and women become less defined.
The role that gender plays. What is normal for a particular gender is in an ongoing state of change. But this is not limited to just specific roles that each gender plays. In some countries, there is some evidence that the consumer behaviors of men and women differ, and that there is a long way before the two will be totally the same. Men and women are not viewed as equals. There are nations that tend to be either more masculine or feminine regardless of the gender of the consumer. The masculine and feminine dimension of cultures plays a very important role in respect to the consumer values and how they affect behavior.
Masculine vs. feminine cultures. Masculine cultures value success, competitiveness, achievement, and accumulation of wealth. Feminine cultures, on the other hand, are more people-oriented; relationships and the quality of life are more highly valued. Wealth or material possessions are not as important to them.
What does this mean for your brand? If you want to reach markets beyond your borders, the role that gender plays in your target market is crucial. Where is your market located, and what is the norm there? Keep in mind that what may seem gender-neutral to you may appear highly masculine—or feminine—in some countries.
Marcela Jenney-Reyes is a global marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. Her clients include language service providers, entrepreneurs and business professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.