Anke Scherer, Nicole Nawrat and I just published a Working Paper entitled "Cultural Product Design Matrix".
This working paper addresses the issue of cross-cultural innovation and asks how companies can adapt successfully to culturally different markets in the design of their product. The focus is on the physical product characteristics such as color, size, flavor, and form that vary across cultures and where the culturally different preferences for and meanings of these features are an important factor in marketing and sales of the products. After a general introduction about the influence of culture on production design, the article presents the Cultural Product Design Matrix that serves to guide the product development process in a way that avoids cultural blunders and leads to the creation of products that are culturally adequate in foreign markets. This matrix is then applied to several case studies from the consumer goods industry, in particular the beauty and home care sector, to test its usability as an instrument that can help producers to hedge against culture-related problems in the conception and launch of their products in new markets.