Culture is the concerted programming of mind which differentiates the members of one category of people from another (Hofstede, 1984). Culture is described as the consistent patterns of behaviours and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. When consumers consider a product, they may choose a familiar one instead of an unfamiliar one. Other consumers who have the same cultural background may deem the same on account of the cultural preference. Moreover, cultural differences result in distinct values. Conflicts and misunderstandings may occur when people with diverse views make decisions together (Phatak et al, 2009). For example, when people are considering whether to purchase a food item, they usually take into account the cultural factors, consumer tastes, habits and income level. Corporations have to consider these in their decision making for introducing products.
Furthermore, people seem to be subjective to their cultural programming. They are exposed to diverse cultures and even the global culture through Medias, travels and consumption experiences (Ghantous, 2008). He proposed that consumers don’t belong to only one group representing one unique cultural identity, but has distinctive cultural forms through adapting to different consumption situations. It shows that consumers are seeking for differential experiences. Ghantous (2008) also argued that consumer’s behaviours are widely influenced by the cultural differences. Therefore, it may be inappropriate to establish a standardized way of marketing strategy on a global scale. Since consumers may understand the corporation’s marketing actions based on their cultural backgrounds and lenses, the company perception by the consumers diverges. As a result, cultural adapted products may be more familiar with customers.
In contrast, Rau and Preble (1987) argued that multinational firms deemed that the world markets are becoming increasingly homogenized, and thence they can standardize their cross-country marketing practices. Product standardization could be viable when nonspecific variables take place among consumers. Likewise, Badier and Rousset (2007) found that centralized control and product standardization can be regarded as two critical components of a firm’s long term strategy. They argued that a firm should ease its global development through owned subsidiaries and franchises with a product standardization strategy across cultures. Standardization is regarded as a marketing strategy which is appropriate for global market segments in which the consumers have relatively similar needs and wants, cultural backgrounds and using conditions.