Analysis of Cultural Differences: McDonald’s in Japan

In looking at the post, Cultural differences:  McDonald’s in Japan, there was much that stood out making it an effective blog.  From the very title of the blog the reader is able to tell that the post will be interesting and is most likely going to call something to the attention of the reader that they did not know before about something common to everyday life in America. The blog was also easy to relate to for the readers.  She gives examples of what we all know we look for at McDonald’s such as the standardization of food and the fast pace of receiving it as well as the best customer service around.  Everyone knows how McDonald’s typically operates in the United States so the topic was most likely interesting to a majority of people who assume that chains such as this are the same in other places like Asia.

The first thing that is noticeable when reading the blog is that it was effective in giving background information on what she would be discussing throughout the post.  This included information on how Americans view McDonald’s and what the strength of the company as we know it are.    The blog goes beyond this knowledge that readers can relate to and gives specific examples such as the guiding principles listed from the McDonald’s website.  It may have been helpful to compare these goals to the goals of all Japanese fast food restaurants so that the reader may understand how the organization is functioning and not just the differences in the food served.

Also, before beginning the comparison of McDonald’s to another culture,  the blog also gives specific examples of Japanese culture and food including what most of their diet is made out of and explaining types of meals such as obentōs that the reader may not know about.  By giving this background, the reader can more easily compare to the organization of McDonald’s from the United States and Japan.  In addition to this, a visual was given to compare the overall culture with the United States and Japan so that it can be seen how the culture as a whole effects both types of organizations.  Overall, the blog gives a good description of how organizations with common goals can have very different ways of achieving them depending on the setting they are in.


3 Responses

  1. it is a very good lesson for businessmen,..before they will put up a business in a particular country, they should first consider the cultural differences because this will greatly affect the performance of the business in the future.

  2. Apple is another great example of a company that has engages in cultural analysis in their operation globally. Specifically, Apple had to restructure some of their advertisements to better address their Japanese market. While their PC Vs. MAC commercials were very successful in the US, the Japanese consumer base actually responded negatively to some of the ads because they perceived them to display a youth (the MAC character) disrespecting one of their elders (the PC characters). As a result, Apple restructured their ads so that the Mac character seemed less confrontational and mocking. Showing that companies like Apple have to analyze different cultures as the operate globally to ensure that they address the consumer values correctly.

  3. In originally writing this, I didn’t think about how companies would have to change marketing as well of make adjustments to the their product as in the case of McDonald’s. Apple is a great example and it also made me think about the case of Google in China. What do companies do if their product as a whole, in this case the free flow of information that Google provides is controversial? There is much to consider when expanded business into different cultures and as we realize with all of these examples, it’s not an easy thing to accomplish.

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