Why is marketing communication with Americans so difficult?

Let’s start with the concept of consumer ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism describes how a person feels about his/her own culture and about foreign cultures. With consumer ethnocentrism, a person feels that the products and services in his/her own culture are superior to those from other cultures, and the person is content doing business with vendors that are within the person’s own culture, but not content doing business with companies outside of his/her culture.

Because of this, businesses see that the majority of Americans that travel outside of the United States do so on airlines that are US-based, like Delta, United, and American. American consumers don’t know, and therefore don’t trust foreign airlines.

Additionally, when they go on vacation to another country, they prefer to stay in chain hotels, like a Hilton for example.


What does this mean for Latin American businesses?


When thinking about a marketing strategy, the communication used by a Latin American business to reach the American market cannot be the same type of communication used to reach Latin American markets.

According to Lajevardi, Memeshi, Fakharmanesh, Shirzadegan, & Lajevardi (2014), “A consumer segment that is ethnocentric, like the Americans, requires a different marketing method. It is necessary to develop different marketing methods that are sensitive to the culture. This includes different methods for communication, branding, and presentation of a product or service.


How can a business do this?


A Latin American company can take the following steps to ensure their marketing strategy is different for the American culture.

  1. Understand what themes Americans consider relevant.
  2. Understand American English and how to use it effectively.
  3. The Latino and American cultures are very different, including how the speak.
  4. Understand that Americans want to know how they will win when buying a product or service. It’s important to explain that in the company’s marketing and “storytelling.”

Beginning with these four steps, a company can improve its marketing strategy to communicate more effectively with American consumers.

I am an American and expert marketing consultant and intercultural communications advisor. I’ll help make your marketing strategy and communication “gringo-friendly.” l’m here for you.


Lajevardi, M., Memeshi, E. G., Fakharmanesh, S., Shirzadegan, A., & Lajevardi, M. (2014). Investigating the effect of customer ethnocentrism on awareness of customer from product origin. Advances in Environmental Biology, 267+