America For Beginners

Bringing American culture closer to new immigrants

[Book Review] The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille. Enjoy Responsibly.

Culture Code Clotaire Rapaille

In a nutshell

Clotaire Rapaille wrote a fascinating book about understanding cultures in the context of marketing. Claimed as a guide  to people’s mindsets The Culture Code explains why we think – act – buy in a particular way.

Why is it good?

  • Clotaire Rapaille is a successful professional due to exactly what he writes about. He has a rich experience in the field of global marketing and illustrates every single statement by real life cases and marketing campaigns’ examples.
  • His approach is a convergence of psychology+psychotherapy+marketing+cultural anthropology which makes the book an enjoyable reading for quite a diverse audience.
  • It’s written in a good neutral language and is comprehensible for random readers.

Why could it be better?

As brilliant as it is, The Culture Code claims way too much. It offers an approach with a dangerous flip side. If you solely follow some of those codes for American culture, for example, you risk making decisions based on stereotypes and generalizations. It might work for marketing but it’d better be combined with more theoretical knowledge and serious cultural studies. In other words, Rapaille‘s conclusions are valuable but not necessarily applicable in every context.

And one more thing, The Culture Code says that it takes an awful lot of time for a code to change and, consequently, there’s no hope to improve some things… period.

Why should anyone interested in American culture read it?

  • Because it focuses on American culture and American consumer psychology.
  • Because it provides us with very interesting insights, memories and success/failure stories in the context of America.
  • Even if you hate the idea in general, you’ll find the book useful. The man is a genius of self marketing and we should give him credit for that.
  • I think Americans reading this book will deal with all kinds of feelings, from pride for themselves to anger and strong disagreement. Anyway, the Culture Code helps to better know yourself. Some things are hard to realize. Everyone believes in their uniqueness and then we all act and think in a similar way. Outsiders perspective is what might shed some light. Clotaire uses childhood memories of participants in order to find the code and those are something  many people can identify with.  And, of course, there is no smoke without fire. He might have generalized a lot but that is inevitable when you’re trying to make conclusions about a whole culture.

Why was it useful for me?

I’ve always been curious about global marketing and I know some things about it. Like the verbal techniques, for example. The Culture Code, however, gives a unique new perspective that goes beyond traditional market researches and universal clichés.

All in all, it’s good but should be interpreted with care.

Where to find this book?



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This entry was posted on April 25, 2011 by in Review and tagged , , , , .

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