While writing this paper I will identify some “cultural mistakes” according too articles from Risk Management and the Wall Street Journal. I picked Domino’s pizza from the second article. I will analyze Dominos Pizza’s cultural approaches to foreign markets and discuss how they came to the perspective of cultural decisions. I will explain how Domino’s pizza manages “cultural mistakes” that involve “cultural differences”. I really liked the blurp about Richard Nixon and the “A-Okay” sign that was in the Management Magazine article.
In this article the President of the United States held up the “A-Okay” sign after arriving in Brazil, which is equivocal to Americans as the middle finger. As President of the United States you would think prior to him going into another country his foreign affairs committee would have given him a quick cultural or customs background brief on the country he was visiting. This was embarrassing to not only him but more importantly the United States. We as Americans don’t take gestures as seriously as many other cultures do.
It doesn’t play such a big role in our culture like it does in many other countries. Take for instance, in Europe if you hold the peace sign up with your palm held inward towards you, it means the same thing the ‘A-Okay” sign means to the Brazilians. While visiting Turkey I had firsthand knowledge of another body gesture. This gesture was showing the bottom of your foot or the sole of your shoe. The Turkish and or Muslims in general find this very offensive.
The way I found this out was; I was TDY (temporary duty) in Turkey and I was in a local store, the custom was to have Chi or tea while you shop. Well, while I was sitting drinking some tea I crossed my legs exposing the bottom part of my foot which insulted the owner to the point that he threw me out of his store. I then took it upon myself to get acquainted with Turkish customs and courtesies to avoid future incidents. It is a very good practice to read about countries customs and courtesies while visiting so you don’t insult anyone or get yourself in trouble.
By knowing the customs of a country you wish to do business with and avoiding disrespecting them with mistakenly inappropriate body gestures could benefit not only you but your company. Now let’s analyze Dominos Pizza’s cultural approaches to foreign markets and discuss how they came to the perspective of what cultural decisions to make. When Domino’s Pizza went international, they ran into some cultural problems they needed to straighten out before their company could be as successful as it is today.
Take for instance, Domino’s in Japan, had to adjust the delivery procedures because in Japan the building addresses go by how old the building is, there not like the buildings in the U. S. that are sequentially numbered. In Aruba, Domino’s delivered pizzas on motorcycles but the winds were so bad they kept getting blown over so they started to use little trucks to make their deliveries. In Italy the Italians found that the sauce on Domino’s pizza’s were to bold and had too many toppings.
In Italy, they didn’t take to well to this; it was so bad that Dominos had to withdraw from Italy’s market all together. There is a lot to think about when it comes to going international with your company or franchise. Companies really have to spend some time to set it up correctly so they can be productive and successful all at the same time. I think the fix in Japan and the fix in Aruba were fairly easy fixes. There wasn’t really a fix in Italy. They would have had to change their whole recipe to make them successful in Italy.
If Domino’s did a better job researching what the Italians liked and maybe did some taste tests or asked people on the streets what they liked for pizza sauces they wouldn’t have ran into the problems they did in Italy. If they did their research they wouldn’t have entered their market after finding out that Italians thought their sauce was to bold. Another option could have been to adjust how their pizzas are made, take for instance Pizza Hut in Turkey; they use goat cheese and cut up hot dogs as pepperoni for their pizzas.
I don’t think a company should go against their original recipe to please another country. That is entirely up to that company though. I think Pizza Hut should’ve pulled out of Turkey. In business you need an insider or local you can trust. This is a consideration that will help your company learn about and know the local culture. This will ultimately help you with a smooth transition in that country and avoid little mistakes like Japan and Aruba. Companies will always run into minor hiccups along the way but with a little research they won’t run into anything major.
Heck, they might even find out it’s not worth even showing up. Having a trusted partner from that country will help with smooth these problems and make for a quick transition. I have identified some “cultural mistakes” according too articles from Risk Management and the Wall Street Journal. I have analyzed Dominos Pizza’s cultural approaches to foreign markets and discussed how they came to the perspective of cultural decisions. I then finished with how they managed their “cultural mistakes” that involved “cultural differences”.