By Marcela Jenney
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?
This column will discuss various aspects of cross-cultural branding that should be considered as we develop our brand across cultures and in diverse environments. Topics will include language, communication styles, social interactions, traditions, rituals, aesthetics preferences and value systems.
The watchword of this past decade has been, without a doubt, “globalization.” Globalization not only means the evolution of economies and technologies across borders but it also embraces the migration of beliefs, cultures, languages and philosophies among nations and people of the world.
As Thomas Friedman explains in his book The World is Flat, we are living in a network that is connecting “people to people”, “companies with companies”, “people with companies” and “more people with more different places.” As we become more interconnected in this global environment where technological advances in communication allow us to offer our products and services to the entire world with a mere click, we are faced with a plethora of new obstacles that are not just based on legal, monetary or language differences.
Why culture matters?
Everyone in this world is in one way or another influenced or affected by culture. Thus, we have to take into account the role that culture plays in how we develop our value proposition for our market.
Resulting from our diversity we each have different interpretations of the world’s cultures, races and even physical locations. By nature, we often develop these views or images by observing one individual from a particular culture. This, in turn, affects our perception of that entire culture, albeit positive or negative, and shapes the way we communicate our personal brand to various groups. It is critical that we are aware of our own engrained mindsets in addition to those of other people in order to avoid cultural mishaps. The “one size fits all” mentality is no longer valid.
Culture is a colorful spectrum of differences that dictate our identity, values, behavior, norms, communication style, relationships and perception from others. We live in an interconnected world where the common denominator is cultural diversity.
Let’s celebrate our differences for a better world!
Marcela Jenney is an international entrepreneurial marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. She partners with language service providers as well as professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.