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Main Topic: Learning Values Through Local Education

Hosts: James Stanworth , Clyde Warden

Guest: Mark Forman

Consumers Learn Behaviors at School
Many foreigners move to Taiwan or China and hit a phase of culture shock. For some, the environment is too alien and they choose to leave--especially if they have children. Others start the whole process of localizing and working the system to maximize benefits. Mark Forman fits this profile perfectly in that he has learned how to thrive in the Taiwan environment, and through his son's local education, learned a lot about where local values come from and just how important they are. Mark runs a business ( and also blogs at ( The business keeps him busy and the rest of his life is occupied with his family. In this show Marks into details about how he makes his family life work well to compliment his business life.

Getting ready for crunch time, Mark's son is preparing for high school exams. Clyde has a daughter doing the same and two kids already through the system. What does this mean for marketers? Values, values, values, that's what. Every basic marketing textbook starts out stating how important it is to get close to the local consumer and understand their values. Those values, in every culture, are learned in school, when consumers are children! In a Chinese cultural setting the school system is tough going for everyone, but especially for foreigners. Mark, Clyde, and James discuss the values learned in school and what the implications are for businesspeople, as well as the business links to education in this market.

Good students stay late after school, and even average students are lugging two or three heavy book bags--this is where self discipline and an emphasis on interdependency is learned.

You have to buy into the whole thing... if you try to attack one piece you know the whole thing will fall apart.

The Show:

Length: 61 minutes. Download MP3 28.64MB (Right click->Save As).


Show Links:

Bottom Line:

  • Textbooks and the practice book market are a huge business throughout Asia.
  • The workloads in school are often heavy, but parents can decide how much they want to take on.
  • Young people learn their collective values at school, where they do nearly everything together as part of the class.
  • The Asian education system makes businesspeople not only competitive but resilient.
  • Chinese managers differ from their Western counterparts in company values.
  • Yahoo is an example of how a Chinese mentality of the founder (from Taiwan) may have influenced decisions.
  • Western managers would move on and simply reorganize while Chinese managers would try to find a solution to help existing employees.
  • If you want to succeed in a Chinese market, you need to look at the values that develop in school.
  • While it is hard going, young students also have fun--and this group emphasis on fun is an important clue for Western firms to key in on if they want to succeed in marketing to Chinese consumers.
Category: Podcasts

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