Making meaning work: How not to localise in SEA markets

Quantum’s Ri An Quek looks at the principles for localisation that brands should adhere to when engaging in multicultural marketing in Southeast Asia.

This article is part of a Spotlight series on multicultural marketing in Southeast Asia. Read more

Winning in Southeast Asia means paying attention to complex cultural diversity within the region as consumers’ everyday life choices and behaviour are caught in a web of cultural meanings they themselves have spun. Thank you, Geertz! (Geertz, Clifford; The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays; New York, Basic Books, 1973).

Here is an example of how it might play out.

Choices rooted in webs of cultural meanings

Imagine you are a middle-class Vietnamese parent with growing kids, aged six to...

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