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You are here: Step 1: Considering exporting > The various environments you will encounter abroad > The sociocultural environment > Aesthetics  

A culture's aesthetics refer to its ideas concerning good taste and beauty as expressed in the fine arts - music, art, drama and dance - and in the appreciation of colour and form. Insensitivity to aesthetic values can not only lead to ineffective advertising and package design for products, it can also offend prospective customers.

The significance of different colours may vary considerably from one culture to another. For example, in many societies, colours are often associated with emotions: "to see red", "to be green with envy" or "to be feeling blue".

Green, a popular colour in many Moslem countries, is often associated with disease in countries with dense, green jungles. It is associated with cosmetics by the French, Dutch and Swedes and increasingly with an environmentally world.

Various colours represent death. Black signifies death to Americans and many Europeans, but in Japan and many other Asian countries, white represents death. (Obviously, white wedding gowns are not popular in parts of Asia.) Latin Americans generally associate purple with death, but dark red is the appropriate mourning colour along the Ivory Coast. And even though white is the colour representing death to some, it expresses joy to those living in Ghana.

In many countries, bright colours such as yellow and orange express joy. To most of the world, blue is thought to be a masculine colour but it is not as manly as red in the United Kingdom or France. In Iran, blue represents a bad colour. Although pink is believed to be the foremost feminine colour by Americans, most of the rest of the world considers yellow to be the most feminine colour. Red is felt to be blasphemous in some African countries but is generally considered to be a colour reflecting wealth or luxury elsewhere. A red circle has been successfully used on many packages sold in Latin America. but it is unpopular in some parts of Asia. To them, it conjures up images of the Japanese flag.

(Source: D A Ricks, Big Business Blunders)

Aesthetics also embrace people's dress and appearance, i.e. their outward garments and adornments or accessories. Distinctive national attire, for instance, includes the Japanese kimono, Dutch clogs, and the Englishman's bowler hat and 'brollie'.

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Step 1: Considering exporting
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Learning to export... The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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