Getting Culture Right

Brands need to establish deep connections with consumers, at a level they feel the brand uniquely understands them..

“The days of general audience and general marketing are gone. People want to see themselves, and to see brands with points of view – that is what is going to connect with people.”

Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at P&G

What is Culture?

Is the characteristics of a particular group of people, including language, religion, social habits, music, food and art.

Pop Culture

is a constant ever-changing force which is strongly influenced by society’s cultural trends, including lifestyle, food, music, media, and fashion.

Organizational Culture

is defined as the underlying beliefs, assumptions, values and ways of interacting that contribute to the unique environment of an organization.

Connections start with representation but require rich authentic cultural portrayals for people to feel included and respected

Cultural Markers

Cultural Markers are the aspects of a culture that create a feeling of belonging and identity. They can apply to any culture, whether it’s a nationality, ethnicity or even a corporate culture.

Cultural Values

Cultural Values are the “norm” of a culture. Values dictate what’s important and serve as a guide for the ideals and behavior of the community members.

Cultural Insight

Cultural Insights help us understand why people from certain communities and backgrounds think and behave in particular ways. They track, measure, highlight, and explain human psychology through a cultural lens.

Cultural Cue

Cultural Cues are phrases, nonverbal behaviors, or other idiosyncrasies that have been normalized and adopted as commonplace within a particular culture. It is common for these cues to vary across cultures and communities.

Cultural Nuance

It’s about context and authenticity, less about language Cultural Nuance accounts for the variation among cultural cues as well as the differences among cultural markers, values, and insights. This can include, but not limited to, ways of greeting or methods of eating.

Cultural Relevancy

Cultural relevancy is authenticity in messaging. It’s showcasing positive reflections, good role models and cultural values. It’s showing respect for segments and identities – cultural pride. It’s celebrations of who segments are authentically – not who we want or expect them to be.


The act of a culture adopting elements of another culture, insensitively. In doing so, valuable cultural practices or symbols are overly simplified, stripped of their meaning and significance, and can trigger stereotypes and feelings of cultural subjugation.

Brand Monologue

Artificially builds top down

Strategy is unilateral

Promotes one voice

Appropriates segments’ nuances

Cancels reciprocity

Homogenizes diversity


Using elements of a culture while honoring the source from which they came. Appreciation involves respect and value, having a genuine or authentic interest in culture, in learning about the history, the people and their perspectives.

Brand Dialogue

Organically builds ground up

Strategy is co-created with segment

“Shares the microphone”

Appreciates segment’s nuances

Encourages reciprocity

Embraces diversity

Difference between Cultural Exchange & Cultural Appropiation is RESPECT