Strategies for culturally sensitive product categories

Discuss branding strategies for culturally (e.g. politically or religiously) sensitive product categories. To do so evaluate the brand positioning strategies used by specific brand in these product categories with recommendations for a more culturally sensitive branding strategy when appropriate. Cultural brands are a newly developed area of study so to what extent these studies are useful for marketing culturally sensitive products?

This report will begin by defining the term brand and then the different international branding strategies applied by different companies. Then it will come to the main aspect of the topic which is cultural brand and the examples of culturally sensitive branding strategy and how it is important to go through marketing culturally sensitive products by a brand.

Brand means a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or manufacturer. According to Philip Kotler brand is defined as a name, term, sign symbol or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors. (1997:443)

International Branding Strategy

There are different branding strategies applied by different companies and these strategies are:

Product branding strategy

This strategy allows the firm to have its own values, personality, identity and positioning of the product or even its own distinctive brand. This brand strategy can be found in the different industries. Example The Estee Lauder it owns many cosmetics brands such as Estee lauder, Mac, Clinique any many more products under different name.

Product line branding strategy

Here, the products have the same brand name and identity but has different complementary products.

Line brand strategy gives much plus point for a brand to create its own name or the image but by increasing the sales of the brand. It also facilitates distribution for each line extension and also reduces the launch cost. Example Colgate toothpaste it comes with the purpose of cleaning your teeth but it has a lot of dental care products such as Colgate total, Colgate gel, Colgate toothpowder.

Product range branding strategy

A huge number of products or services belonging to the same area and portraying itself under one brand name, with one basic identity is the range brand strategy. The advantage of this strategy is that it can easily come across new products and lye in the same category and the launch cost of these products is also low. Example Heinz there is different products in it like the Ketchup and sauces, meals and snacks and other products these brands combine all their products with a unique principle and a brand concept.

Umbrella branding strategy

The umbrella brand strategy is applied by a single brand level which means the product is not branded individually, they are under one name. Example Mitsubishi sells cars, electrical products and it also sells food under the name of The Three Diamonds as the logo of Mitsubishi is three diamonds it is the example of flexible umbrella brand. Another Example of aligning umbrella brand is Nivea, there are many products of it like creams, shampoos and other products but they all sell in the brand name that is nivea.

Source branding strategy

The source brand strategy means that the product has its own brand identity which means that products are double branded with the corporate brand and then with the product brand. Example Jazz perfumes as it is the product of Yves Saint Laurent but still we recognize with the product name and not the corporate name.

Global Brand

As we have talked about the international brand strategies now we know to enter a market we have to choose some specific strategy with the help of which we can create a brand. To make this brand global we have to undertake some factors which are internal and external factors. Internal factors for a brand to perceive are categorised as strategy-related, performance-related and stemming from the brand’s past.

Among the internal factors we also have to cater in external factors which are categorised as competition, consumers and media. When we look for competition we also come across the role played by a brand culturally. To become a global brand we have to deal with these categories. (Sicco van Gelder, 2002)

Cultural Brand

“A cultural brand embodies a sum total of a group’s cultural identity, including a surrounding myth, a tie to its cultural roots, and associations of its past and aspired future.” (Holt, 2004)

Now to cater the marketing strategy there is a need to undertake the cultural knowledge instead of understanding the consumers.

Examples of cultural sensitive products

The examples of cultural sensitive products are KFC and the Disneyland. How one of them was successful and other was not because of the cultural knowledge of both the brands.


As compared to Mc Donald’s though KFC did not face problems in entering the Indian market still it had changed its menu according to the Indian taste buds and according to the culture of India. According to the research of the Indian market it was noticed that there, 50% of the population was pure vegetarians in the metro cities and so they amended their menu and included vegetarian things like paneer tikka wraps and many other things. It helped the KFC market to come up and it was accepted in India with the vegetarian people also.


Disneyland launched the Euro Disney with its same tried and tested policy and because of that it was not a success. As it did not study the culture of Europe, where wines were not allowed and even the ticket was expensive same as U.S.A, this lead to the failure of the Euro Disney. (Martin Roll, 2010)


However, it is very important to go through marketing culturally sensitive products by a brand as it leads to know much about the culture of the countries and even helps our brand to be globalized successfully. As we have already seen from the examples that cultural marketing strategy is an important aspect these days and helps us to understand the market and the consumers in different countries.