Trade-offs vary from one culture to another

Buy 1, Get 2 FreePublished by Ray Poynter, 22 March 2022

I was recently looking at some results for a client which contrasted the results for two countries. One of the stand-out points was that the trade-off between brands and offers was quite different between the two countries. This seemed reasonable to me, but I did what I often do and looked for verification. Here are two pieces of evidence that were suggested to me.

A BCG report from December 2020 showed that Australia, USA and China are more motivated by value consciousness, while Japan, Germany and France are less motivated. – See

An older study by Ipsos looked at the importance of saving money, for example looking for deals and using coupons. This study highlighted Italy and the USA as being more likely to say ‘Very Important’, In contrast Netherlands, Germany and France less likely to say very important.

My general point is that when we think we know why something is happening in the data it is still good to look for data that will confirm or disconfirm our hypothesis. For underlying cultural trends (e.g. the value/quality trade-off) I am more happy to use older data than when I am looking at behaviour or intentions.

This example also highlights the wisdom of the quote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. The same strategy can result in very different markets, because of different cultures.

One thought on “Trade-offs vary from one culture to another

  1. It’s also a good reminder that while brands and products change quickly, culture changes slowly. “Old” data, particularly if it’s slow data, can be extremely relevant!

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