Socio-Cultural Environment and their Impact on Business Operations
Businesses do not exist in a vacuum, and even the most successful business must be aware of changes in the cultures and societies in which it does business. As society and culture change, businesses must adapt to stay ahead of their competitors and stay relevant in the minds of their consumers.
A major socio-cultural factor influencing businesses and business decisions is changing consumer preferences. What was popular and fashionable 20 years ago may not be popular today or 10 years down the road. Different styles and priorities can undermine long successful products and services. For example, a clothing company must constantly be aware of changing preferences when creating new products or it will quickly become outdated.
Changes in demographics are also a significant factor in the business world. As populations age, for example, markets for popular music and fashions may shrink while markets for luxury goods and health products may increase. Additionally, changes in the proportion of genders and different racial, religious and ethnic groups within a society may also have a significant impact on the way a company does business.
Adve rtising Techniques
Advertising is perhaps the area of business most closely in touch with socio-cultural changes. Advertising often seeks to be hip and trendsetting, and to do this, advertising agencies and departments cannot lose track of the pulse of the societies in which they engage in business. Changes in morals, values and fashions must all be considered when creating outward facing advertising.
In addition to a company's interactions with the market and its customers, socio-cultural factors also impact a company's internal decision- making process. For example, changing gender roles and increasing emphasis on family life have led to increased respect for maternity and even paternity leave with organizations. Additionally, attitudes towards racial discrimination and sexual harassment have changed drastically over the years as a result of socio-cultural change.