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Tiffany & Company's Global Marketing

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North Americans are superstitious about the number 13, and Japanese feel the same way about the number 4. Shi, the Japanese word for four, is also the word for death. Knowing this, Tiffany & Company sells its fine glassware and china in sets of five, not four, in Japan.

Companies can learn from this example, Cultural symbols are things that represent ideas and concepts. Symbols and symbolism play an important role in cross-cultural analysis because different cultures attach different meanings to things. By adroitly using cultural symbols, global marketers can tie positive symbolism to their products, services, and brands to enhance their attractiveness to consumers. However, improper use of symbols can spell disaster.

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YouSigma. (2008). "Tiffany & Company's Global Marketing." From http://www.yousigma.com.
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