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The Culture Code is a sweeping survey of historical culture types, marketing, sociology and modern cultural analysis. This is an excellent but wildly mislabeled book. It's audio introduction said something about self-improvement (which it relates to in a huge stretch). What it really is is a psychological view of 'the Other' in the sense of viewing other cultures, groups, and national populations.
Rapaille spends a little time reviewing his successful consulting career to large corporations looking to define themselves and their products. This explains his background and provides the data for his series of case studies in how the code was developed and used. He uses archetypes, psychology, and language differences to explain why Germans buy the same vehicles as the French and Americans but for vastly different reasons. Yes, this does lead to generalizations and overstatements, but they are arguable points with interesting tangents.
Listening to this book before listening to "Nudge" or "The Wisdom of Crowds" or after "Predictably Irrational" or "Microtrends" will amplify and clarify many of the general conclusions.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Plenty of interesting observations here. I've worked for a Japanese-based company for 15 years, and the explanations/observations about this particular culture were spot-on (and, I'm sure my Japanese freinds would agree about the many more conclusions made about Americans).
One warning: the Narrator's reading style really bothered me. I've purchased 20+ Audiobooks, and have never really been bothered by a narrator to this degree before. I got through the book by setting my iPhone to "2x" speed. Before buying, listen to the excerpt and make your own conclusion.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This is a really interesting book. The discovery of archetypal representations of everyday products and concepts helps marketers connect with consumers.
It's centered on American culture, but also touches on France, Germany and the UK. These are places where the author has conducted work for different companies. So this audiobook will be especially interesting for Americans or those interested in understanding American culture.
It would have been interesting to include a discussion about how to research "culture codes" beyond those in this book, when one doesn't have the luxury of focus groups.
Great if you're from US. Insightful.
Needs to be written from a global marketing view
If you are studying marketing, as I am, you will find this book relevant and insightful.
I am intrigued now to find out the codes for Australia. It would prove rather difficult because our country is made up of so many cultures.