communication adaptation

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Communication adaptation is the process of changing marketing communications programs for each local market.

 Further discussion on communication adaptation:

Companies who enter international markets, often change their communications in advertising and other media vehicles to accommodate the customs, beliefs, and language of the host country.

Two available communication adaptation strategies, when entering an international market, include; 1) Using the same marketing message, but altering the language, name, and color (see note on color below) of the communication piece, or 2) the message and creative theme can stay the same, but the communication execution changes. As an example, people in advertisements may look like people from the host country’s nationality.

Note on Color:

Color in communication vehicles is significant, especially if the company is crossing cultural borders. The color white may signify purity in the western countries, however, in India, it represents mourning. Companies advertising and adapting communications for other cultures should consider taboo colors in those cultures.

As a side note, when a company adapts its communication for a specific country, this is known as communication adaptation, as discussed above. However, if a company adjusts both its communications and product, it’s known as dual adaptation.


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