Things to Consider in Building a Global Business Relationship for Your Brand.

Richmond Engel Bennah

The role of Cross Cultural Communication in stakeholder relationships

Any business that seeks to go global and reach a wider network of customers must be willing and prepared to satisfy customer needs based on the demographic factors of culture especially.

Business relationships differ across countries as culture plays a central role in helping business leaders understand how customers from diverse socio-economic, cultural and political backgrounds react to their products, services and business relationships. Service companies especially must tailor their services to suit unique demands of their customers from different backgrounds. Cultural differences must be recognised by business leaders and married into company policies when conducting business or building a business relationship outside an organization’s traditional market or home country. This will help businesses from offending their customers through the delivery of their services. Customer assessment surveys and reviews can be conducted to test the market before penetration.

Also useful feedback from similar expatriate companies in the same industry can be used to understand the consumer behaviours of customers living in countries the business wants to enter in. Entering into a new market with an existing product or service can be tricky because of factors such as customer perception of a product or service. Thus businesses can first visit the countries they want to do business in as tourists to understand local customs and traditions relating to the way of doing business in those countries. Also, identifying key stakeholders and consumer segments that readily identify with the company’s product or service can easily help a business with market penetration in a new market. Essentially, services should be tailored to feedback or results analysed from data on user customization preferences.

Employing a diversified workforce, especially a greater percentage of employees in the new market can help the business scale up quickly and also promote trust in the business relationship between an organization and its local market.
Various communication tools and channels can be used by an organization seeking to enter into a new market. Aside organising hands-on and periodic customer care training for its workforce to meet the different needs of doing business with customers from diverse backgrounds in a new market, face-to-face interaction with indigenes or citizens in the new market will help identify the right questions and factors that businesses must consider. To make this effective, organizations can build local connections in the new market for over a year before entry. This will help them gather all the relevant information necessary to successfully launch and become sustainable in the new market.

Jennifer Wealth

Culture, Ethics and Social Responsibility

Being socially responsible is fundamental to the growth of every organization. Although most business entities see social responsibility as a mere legal chore to avoid a bad name, others actually capitalise on social responsibility to promote brand equity and brand power. Social responsibility does not only help an organization enlarge its market share. It also gives businesses a foothold in their respective markets and indirectly sets them above competition. For example, a business that is highly socially responsible would not have to spend more money on advertising campaigns to push away competitors and promote their products because instinctively, customer perception of brand equity and the socially responsible activities of the business will make customers patronise their products. Socially responsible businesses enjoy more customer goodwill as compared to businesses that are not in their entirety socially responsible.
Ethics is generally what people or society views about being right or wrong in any given situation. What is considered ethical behaviour or as being right and wrong varies across various cultures. For example, a business could require its employees to dress a certain way or give favours to certain classes of customers based on the core values or policies of the business. This specific way of dressing or service approach may be seen as insulting in a different market based on culture. For example, in the USA a customer service attendant may engage a customer using hand gestures such as a thumbs up to appreciate the customer.

This may however be seen as insulting in Asian countries like Japan. Company policies for an organization should differ when doing business in different socio-economic, cultural and political backgrounds. Also, stakeholders such as governments play a key role in ethical decision making for businesses. The way a company may publish its annual reports or findings may be seen as ethical in one country and unethical in another. This may be because of the channels used in communicating the reports or the tone of language in the reporting structure. Global businesses can do well and understand matters involving ethics in doing business across different cultures generally through observation. This is because what may be considered ethical may not always be written down in an “ethical handbook”. With time, expatriate companies in new markets and cultures can analyse and understand issues on ethics generally by observing customer reactions and government behavioural responses to their business activities.

The brand as a means of international communication

The power of a brand is key in determining the useful life of the brand. A brand should communicate clearly what it stands for without creating any room for assumptions or uncertainty in the minds of its target market. “Born-global” organizations are organizations whose structure and business activities are specifically tailored to reach a globally diverse market. Thus, for born globals, marketing campaigns such as advertising and promotion are done differently based on the type of market in which the advertising is being done. This helps the brand prevent any forms of scandals that may tarnish its brand image. For example, in marketing a skin product in western European countries, models used for the advertising campaigns may be allowed to show a bit of skin as they apply the skin products on their body surfaces. This may be seen as acceptable because of lifestyle in those countries. However, the same advertising videos and imaging will not be acceptable in Arab countries where women especially are required to cover their bodies extensively. Thus, a different approach to branding and advertising will be required in this case.
Branding speaks a lot and creates an impression in the minds of customers. Factors like customer care experiences are usually top of the pile on the reasons why customers may patronise an organization’s product or service from another organization. Information on brand perception can be conducted through surveys and mystery shopping.

By: Richmond Engel Bennah & Jennifer Wealth

Richmond Engel Bennah (Writer, Business Developer, Brand Evangelist)
Contact:richmondbennah@gmail.com

http://www.amazon.com/richmondengelbennah

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Ghanaian Culture and National Development!

6213Culture is Lifestyle as manifested by a particular people or society. So it is man-made, not genetically inherited. It is evolved for the purpose of living. It is socially taught and learned. It originates as human response to the local physical and biological environment. Cultural traditions look to the past for their mandate, authority and authenticity as cultural traits are regarded as society’s norms handed down the generations.
 
However, culture is dynamic and is often affected by local and external influences and stimuli.
 
Culture is expressed in intangible or non-material form, for instance in terms of languages, dialects, philosophical thought, cosmology, morals and ethics, religious beliefs and rituals oral traditions, folklore, festivals, political ideas, music and dance, social customs related to birth, puberty, marriage, family life, work, death etc. Culture is also manifested in tangible or material form, in terms of types of food procurement and preparation, diverse technology and crafts clothing, body decoration, visual art and symbols, secular and religious architecture, monetary medium of exchange, transport systems etc.
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Africa is enriched with a lot resources to help develop our continents. Resources like diamonds, salt, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum and cocoa beans, but also woods and tropical fruits.
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Bars Of Gold

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      Our Ghanaian Economy

The economy of Ghana has a diverse and rich resource base, including the manufacturing and exportation of digital technology goods, automotive and ship construction and exportation, and the exportation of diverse and rich resources such as hydrocarbons and industrial minerals. These have given Ghana one of the highest GDPs per capita in Africa.[12][13] Owing to a GDP rebasement, in 2011 Ghana became the fastest growing economy in the world; differences with neighboring economies are likely to be overstated due to underfunded statistical agencies in surrounding countries.

The Ghanaian domestic economy in 2012 revolved around services, which accounted for 50% of GDP and employed 28% of the work force. Besides the industrialization associated with minerals and oil, industrial development in Ghana remains basic, often associated with plastics (such as for chairs, plastic bags, razors and pens).[14]

Ghana embarked on a currency re-denomination exercise, from Cedi (¢) to the new currency, the Ghana Cedi (GHc) in July 2007. The transfer rate is 1 Ghana Cedi for every 10,000 Cedis. Ghana embarked upon an aggressive media campaign to educate the public about what re-denomination entails. Value added tax is a consumption tax administered in Ghana. The tax regime which started in 1998 had a single rate but since September 2007 entered into a multiple rate regime. In 1998, the rate of tax was 10% and amended in 2000 to 12.5%. The top income tax and corporate tax rates are 25%. Other taxes included with value-added tax (VAT), are national health insurance levy, and a capital gains tax. The overall tax burden amounts to 12.1% of Ghana’s total domestic income, and the budget of Ghana has fallen to the equivalent of 39.8% of GDP.

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Since its return to multi-party system more than two decades ago, Ghana has made major strides towards consolidating its democratic achievements. Its judiciary has proved to be independent and has generally gained the trust of Ghanaians. The Ghanaian Parliament is vibrant, and despite inherent challenges and the dominance of the two leading political parties, has created the avenue for debate and vigorous legislative activity.

Ghana is constantly ranking among the top three in Africa for freedom of the press and freedom of speech. The broadcast media is the strongest, with radio being the most far reaching medium of communication. While all these put Ghana in an enviable political position, and provides it with formidable social capital, Ghana’s economic course over the past couple of years raises many concerns.

The main threat to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is discontent at the rate of improvement in living standards and an ongoing energy crisis. The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has requested a new voter registration system from the Electoral Commission after claiming that a number of irregularities have been found. The NDC has disputed the claims put forward by the NPP, further stating that there is no need for a revised system.

Ghana made a significant progress in poverty reduction, and met the Millennium Development goal of halving poverty rates by 2015 to 24% in 2013 from 52% in 1991. Real GDP growth is projected to fall to 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014. Nevertheless, Ghana’s long-term growth prospects are positive. The growth rate is projected to rebound to 5.9% in 2016 and 8.2% in 2017, assuming that energy rationing will be resolved in 2015, and planned fiscal adjustment remains on track to achieve the 2017 objectives with the support of the IMF and other development partners.

Recent Economic Developments

Ghana’s fiscal consolidation program, which started in late 2014, is on track, as the fiscal deficit narrowed more than the budget projections in June 2015. The primary balance, estimated at 0.6% of GDP (against the target 0.6% deficit), represents a significant improvement from the 1.4% deficit in June 2014, while the overall fiscal deficit was reduced to 2.2% of GDP from 4.3% during the same period.

The current account deficit narrowed to 2.6% of GDP in June 2015 from 5.2% for the same period of 2014.

Ghana experienced net capital outflows in June 2015, partly driven by deterioration in perceived risk in the midst of global market volatility. As a result, gross international reserves were down by $1.1 billion by end-June to $3.2 billion (equivalent to 2.1 months of import-cover), and the Ghanaian cedi lost 21% of its value against the US$ by September, 2015. 

Inflation has remained high, despite the tighter monetary policy stance and slowdown in economic activity. Inflation rose to 17.3% in August from 16.4% in January, reflecting the sharp currency depreciation and fuel price adjustments.

Real GDP growth is projected to fall to 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014, as energy rationing, high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation continue to undermine economic activity. Ghana expects to receive large capital inflows in the coming months: a possible Eurobond issuance up to $1.5 billion (of which only $1 billion to be issued with the World Bank guarantee to restructure its debt); and disbursements from development partners. Ghana’s long-term growth prospects are positive.

 

        National Development

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Development- this is the progress that is made or being made in everything, be it social, economic, political and ones physical being.

The economic development of Ghana has grown steadily, but that does not mean to say that Ghana is developed in its economic sphere. Ghana’s economy must grow to a limit that it will be able to increase the standard of living of the people in the country with a sustained growth from a simple middle income economy to a modern high-income economy. Economic development also depends on the technological level of the country, economic development actually involves improvement in a variety of indicators such as, literacy rates, life expectancy and poverty rate. Ghana’s economic development must really be on the health and education of its citizens. Youth development should be adopted in order to arrive at the full face of development. In Ghana the youth form the larger population of the country and therefore they must be equipped with cognitive, social, and emotional skills and abilities required to navigate life as well as jobs, and through this the youth will be able to positively affect the country. Some of the youth of the country are unemployed and the fact is that a few of them are not educated, the rest without gainful jobs and the others because of bad behavior and attitude towards work and so on. When these youths are not given these necessary requirements of live, they turn to other things that they claim are jobs. When this happens the development pattern of the country changes, which results in making lives unbearable for the most. Thank God for the National Youth Employment Program (NYEP), this has been the hope for the youth in recent time. Another aspect that Ghana need to think about as far as development is concern is the personal aspect of development, personal development is not by accident but it is by nature, purposeful and guided from within. Personal development starts from the mind, when Ghanaians are able to build up a type of mindset that will not attack development but rather aid development there will be the assurance that Ghana will keep climbing the development ladder and will never descend. Considering that fact that a Ghanaian drinks a sachet of water and then litter the streets of Ghana with the sachet instead of placing the sachet at the right place. Most Ghanaians do things that they know retards development and yet still they do it with the reason that “the government is the one responsible to the task of cleaning the country.” Development can not get to the highest level if the government works in isolation. Development in Ghana as been very sustained in the past decade of years, the resources of the country has been used judiciously to meet human needs and also to preserve the environmentso that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. Ghanaians must learn to preserve the trees and other natural resources as well as the water bodies.

The actors in development are the government, individual, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)s, private companies, household and the like. A strong point is that until Ghanaians develop a new mindset that will help their personality and the country there can be no development, the various actors need to ensure that they work together in order to achieve success in development. The non-governmental agencies and other actors must come to the aid of Ghana in terms of development, for in isolation development comes to a stand-still.

Alfred Lamptey Political science

Click on the link below to read more on Ghana’s Long-Term National Development Plan:

Long-Term National Development Plan for Ghana (2018-2057) : Progress Report

 

Source: National Development