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Marketing a Business in Croatia

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Marketing a Business in Croatia

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Marketing a Business in Croatia

The international transition of a business when preparing to expand to Croatia is more than just costs and procedures. It's more cultural acclimatisation than calculatory acumen. It's making sure your product or service fits the inclinations and idiosyncrasies of a nation; finding a way to culturalise your business in order to reap the same results your business has achieved domestically. This is accomplished through one simple step: effective marketing in Croatia.

Marketing your business on indigenous soil is an art-form in itself; attempting to do it in Croatia is nigh-on miraculous. Countries may be becoming more heterogeneous, but the foundations of a culture rarely budge for anything: their sensitivities, traditions, humour, discourses, protocols are essentially unchanging and stubbornly unaccommodating. Therefore, the identity of your product or service needs to seamlessly fashion itself upon a nation, not the other way around, shoehorned in, hoping for the best.

Advertising in Croatia

Advertising is key for marketing when setting up a business in Croatia. The number of publications is growing. Outdoor advertising is also expanding. Television, which reaches 90 % of the market, has the broadest reach of all media. Croatia has two state-owned and two private TV channels as well as five regional and six local channels.

The most advertised products are telecommunications, vehicles, financial institutions, beverages and newspapers. Croatian regulations prohibit television advertisement of tobacco, alcohol, and spirits.

Magazines, particularly specialized magazines, are growing in circulation. More than 6,000 billboards are published. Advertising in Croatia on 150-200 billboards makes a nationwide launch campaign.

There are a substantial number of small and medium domestic advertising agencies; however 90 % of international agencies are in partnership with domestic agencies.

Trade Promotion in Croatia

Trade events and fairs continue to be popular in Croatia. The single largest event in Croatia is the annual Zagreb Fall Fair (September) which attracts nationwide attention and includes numerous foreign exhibitors.

The Zagreb Fair authority also organizes a number of industry-focused or specialty exhibitions during the year in sectors such as consumer goods, food processing, environmental technology, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, automobiles and automotive parts, information technology, textiles and apparel, wine, etc. For more information on these events, please contact www.zv.hr.

Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural sensitivity and understanding of protocol is paramount to effective marketing in Croatia. The intricacies of a nation its beliefs, even its superstitions can make or break your business. Know the market; immerse yourself in it. Never assume your marketing strategy will be transplantable to a foreign country. There is only a slim chance language will translate well. Anglophonic countries may be susceptible, but if your product or service plays on a quintessentially British characteristic or joke the chances are, it will not be well received.

As for other countries, don't bank on using the same strap-lines or gimmicks. Unless they are perfectly transitional, your product or service could suffer especially if it relies on humour.

Unless you are certain your product or service can sell itself on indigenous merits, it is probably wise to revise its selling-points for a foreign market. As always, however, only your own fastidious research can conclude this.

The first bite of cultural training in Croatia is that the majority of the population are Croats. Minorities include Serbs, Hungarians and Gypsies.

Croats are extremely proud of their heritage and culture and are thus staunch nationalists. They call their country "Our Beautiful Homeland" ("Lijepa naa"), which is also the title of the national anthem. The sense of nationalism comes both from their long and rich culture as well as a legacy of foreign invasion and control. Folklore plays a key role in preserving the culture. Life experiences are translated into verse, poetic songs, melodies, fairy tales, symbolic rituals, music, dance, costumes, and jewellery.

The family is still the basis of the social structure. The extended family is the norm and relatives remain quite close with both the mother and the fathers sides. The family provides its members with a social network and assistance in times of need. Few Croatians will allow business concerns to interfere with this important part of their lives.

Croatia was theatre of the latest war fought on European soil and as a troubled and complicated history of ethnic confrontation. Avoid anything that could arouse bad memories or could be seen as provocative.

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