Marketing Products Using Caribbean Culture

Author: Sonja Dumas

Marketing Culture

The marketing mix is a time-tested guideline for ensuring that the marketing efforts of businesses – from microenterprises to corporations – have covered the major areas of operation. The mix is composed of four Ps that comprise central business activities – product, price, placement/place and promotion.

“Product” refers to either the product or service that you’re offering. This includes the processes by which the product is created and/or manufactured, the look and feel of it, and its intrinsic value. “Price” is the dollar value assigned to the product or service.💲 “Placement” is the distribution strategy of the product or service 🚚. Let’s say all of those are in place for the most part. That leaves promotion. 🔊 “Promotion” is the marketing activity (including advertising, strategic alliances, etc.) that gives the product visibility and endorses the brand profile in the target markets. Good promotion can make your product. Bad promotion? Well…

So let’s now look at some products made in the Caribbean on a mass scale and how they’re marketed in the region and beyond using aspects of Caribbean culture as their anchor (COVID restrictions or no COVID restrictions). We expect a Caribbean product to reflect the area from which it comes, so no real surprise there.  But because they’re Caribbean-born products using Caribbean culture, how can we asses whether they’ve promoted themselves effectively and used the cultural identity in a way that has enhanced both the product and the culture? The answer lies in the approach.

Since we just left the Christmas season and are heading into the Carnival season (at least, in Trinidad and Tobago) where liming and drinking 🍾 are the order of the day (again – COVID restrictions or no COVID restrictions), we’ll look at how major alcohol companies use “de cultyah” in their advertisements to anchor their brand in Caribbeanness. We’ll use a rubric with four elements:

  1. Authenticity – how accurate and culturally sensitive is the use of culture in the promotion?
  2. Innovation – what new spin have they put on their product within the context of Caribbean culture?
  3. Relatability – how likely is it that the ad would resonate with the target group?
  4. Production values – were the lighting, music, camera work, editing, etc. effective and of good quality?

If you plan to use Caribbean culture as the promotional foundation of your own Caribbean product, you can employ this same rubric when crafting your marketing campaign.

Join de lime and check us back for this marketing exploration.  May the best promotions win!

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