Culture and Marketing

Culture influences every aspect of marketing. A marketing oriented firm should make decisions based on customer perspectives. Customers’ actions are shaped by their lifestyles and behavior patterns as they stem from their society’s culture. Thus, the product that people buy, the attributes that they value, the principles whose opinions they accept, are all culture-based choices. As a matter of fact, it is not an overstatement to say that a person’s perspectives or resources, problems and opportunities to a considerable extent are generated and conditioned by culture.


A practical example of cultural impact is illustrated by the foods that people prefer. Of all the cultural universals that constitute “culture,” few, if any, are so ingrained and consistently reinforced as are food habits. The daily physiological requirement of nutrition in some form exists for every human inhabitant in any society or culture—there is no escape from eating for any extended period. Food consumption, acquisition, and perception also are interrelated with many of the other universals of the culture, including religious observances and ceremonies, feasting, folklore, and the division of labor.


The human perception of edibility has little to do with logical nutritional fulfillments. Culture creates the system of communication among humans about edibility, toxicity, and repleteness. Cultural pressures easily overrule physiological necessities; therefore, it becomes even more difficult for an individual alien to a culture to predict that culture’s preference for or rejection of certain food habits.


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