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Doing Business in Different Cultures
From the case study, `The Globalization of East Asian Pop Music`, this memo makes the following observations.
Shared culture and language makes the Asian market somehow homogenous. Some Asian singers and bands have managed to succeed in foreign fellow Asian countries because several people in the region have shared customs, culture and history. South Korea, Japan and China have close cultural ties especially in the teaching of Confucianism. This means that cultural products such as music, films and TV programs can be shared across borders. This differs very strongly with other bands and singers from other regions such as the West given that the cultural distance between the East and the West is very large. This means that cultural products from the West cannot perform very well in the Asian market.
Immigration amongst Asian countries has created niche markets in various Asian markets with roots in their parent countries. This creates a ready market for cultural products from their home countries. On the contrary, very few people from the west have settled in Asia to form significant niche markets for cultural products from the west.
The Asian culture and especially in Japan calls for conformity as opposed to individuality. Therefore, the market favors Non-threatening, non-controversial idols readily provided by Asians singers and bands as opposed to the controversial western singers and bands whose cultural products are based on individuality.
Some Asian films and music are produced with a number of cultures in mind. This makes sure that the products are culturally and socially relevant to a wider market.
The Asian music companies should address both the Eastern and Western markets. However, majority of their efforts should be directed towards the East where there is cultural understanding and a larger market. The West`s market is shrinking and piracy is growing courtesy of the digital technology. The western market however still holds potential fuelled by increased immigration of Asians to the west especially Chinese people. There is a growing Asian diaspora in the west powered largely by education tourism and search for greener pastures among other factors.
Siegel, J. & Chu, Y. (2010). The Globalization of East Asian Pop Music. Harvard Business School 9-708-479.
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