Vogue – It is not just style, it is culture

Example for particularism-strategy of an international  company

vogue china
What do  USA, United Kingdom, France, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Turkey, India, Russia,  Brazil, Italy, Australia, South Korea and China have in common? Not too much,  indeed, but all of them – and some more – have their own Vogue. The company, founded in 1892 and  still based in the US, started the international exploration in 1920 with  independent editions in GB and France. In 2013 people in Thailand and Ukraine  had received their own Vouge, in 2012  Vogue had to stop publishing in  Greece. Vogue as a mirror of  politics? Not only! Vogue is also a mirror of cultures! The genius decision made  about 100 years ago to let the local editors create their own issues, especially  content, made it possible that every issue has a close connection to readers in  every different country. It is also a beautiful visual example for different  cultures for me as a trainer and lecturer for intercultural competence. And that  always up to date!

Every globalizing company has to make the decision, how much  competence the branches and affiliates in the local markets will have. The  cultural dimension particularism versus universalism can be understood not only  for national cultures but also for the cultures of organizations. Vogue, as described above, is a good  example for the particularism-strategy. The opposite example – for universalism  – can be named IKEA: The same products, the same design of stores, the same  communication rules (First name and informal style between colleagues and with  customers, regardless of cultural preferences).

What  is always “universal” is compliance: It must work in any and all parts of the  company’s “universe”.

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