Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Politics, cultural domination and marketing How Nike Figured Out China -- Oct. 25, 2004 Meet the new strategy : same as the old strategy of aspirational marketing through selling a piece of Americana. This is why worldwide cultural domination is important for America : Nike, Levi's and Coke would cease to exist if people around the world stopped buying into the Great American Image. Makes you wonder what'll happen if America is not so cool anymore. Well, for starters, you get the Anti-Coke, doh!

-- Mahashunyam // 10:25 PM // 2 comments


This is a very interesting post. I see a trickle down global theory of marketing happening - ie, what worked in the US in 1984 now works in India/China/etc in 2004. But adding cool along the local dimension is thought-provoking...
// Blogger umair // 12:09 PM

Actually, I am not sure if I'd read it this way. Growing up in India, I saw practically every MNC fall flat on its face when it tried to "port" marketing campaigns from the US or Europe. It took them many years to hit the right forumla, which was to utterly Indianize themselves, most often by using Indian movie stars and cricketers to endorse their products. Other companies heavily Indianized their products, for example, the Tandoori chicken Pizza is a best-seller at Pizza Hut in India. This is why I don't think Nike would succeed in India by repeating what they did in China : I think the Indian national identity is way too strong for that strategy to work. Also, Indian culture sees itself as a peer and/or superior to the US culture, not as a subordinate one. So I think a better way to model this would be to actually correlate the strength of a country's culture (measured by cuisine, art, movies, languages, sports, media discourse ...) and the general impression of the US culture in that country with the success of a selling Americana type of strategy. In general, I think the USian cultural dominance is in decline, a process that's been particularly accelerated by the US losing moral legitimacy after the Iraq war. This will have very interesting consequences to marketing strategies for US companies and their global rivals, especially those selling lifestyle products. I wouldn't be surprised if the Arab-style boycott of US brands becomes more prevalent worldwide.
// Blogger Mahashunyam // 10:14 PM

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