Friday, February 01, 2008

The French invention

Recently I discovered some English words that were taken from French.

The entrepreneur spirit was encouraged during the Napoleon time, where he wanted his citizens to be creative and be not afraid to take risk.

Ménage in French means household, or housework, how a family runs and manage it's activity. This concept was later applied in the corporate world in the Anglo-Saxon culture and be imported back to France.

Online Internet purchase

As early as 1982, the French already using Minitel, a network similar to internet but have less security and compatibility issues, to do online purchases and transactions. They were able to consult their bank account online, reserve air and train tickets, and also chat online.

Indeed France is a creative society. It has a lot of invention and innovative concepts. However, what it lacks was the execution and promotion of these ideas locally and internationally. For example, the minitel concept was a huge success in France, but it was not promoted into international market. I was talking to my marketing professor, asking him why some French companies are not famous in overseas, but in fact in France they are doing extremely well. He told me that this is due to the culture. French like to work intelligently and they are creative, but there was no follow up after. They do not emphasis on the image or the global market like the Americans.

1 comment:

  1. BE,

    I still think America has the best marketing talents in the world, look at the amount of junk mails we receive in our mail box everyday.

    When I was here 2000, I told my ex boss to send all his marketing directors, mgrs (he owns 21 textiles factories in over 10 countries) to US to live for 1 or 2 months, these guys would know how to get the most innovative mkting plane out.

    America is a consumer society so inevitably their sales tactics are the best. Customers are king.

    In one of the islands near US ( I cannot remember the name), the people were very lay back and contended with their life, they worked only half a day and spend 1/2 day siesta. They were happy living in their old old mud house.

    One day, SEAR mkting director (one of the biggest retailers in US) talked to one of the biggest companies in the island, he asked the HR mgr to put a piece of SEAR catalog in the employee pay packets plus a purchase installment plan.

    When the employees saw the big TV, the latest kitchen utility tools : washing machine, dryer, electric opener, electric stove, dish washer, their eyes were open. They asked the HR manager, what are the procedure for them to sign onto SEAR purchase installment plans to acquire those fanciful items on the catalog. Well, that ended the socialist regime. The people are hooked on to all these house hold convenient, so now they not only forsake their siesta, they work extra shifts, weekends to get all these fanciful gadgets :).

    In the US, we work very hard so we can buy big house with latest fire place design, the latest kitchen design, the latest kitchen island with marble top, the latest electric oven with remote control, the latest swimming pool with the latest design whirlpool, the latest car garage with the coolest remote control, the latest washing machine, dryer, the latest model of dish washer with auto stack, the coolest refrigerator with latest model of icemaker, , the laters silent central air conditioning, central heaters, the latest iPhone, wireless computer, high definition wall screen TV, digital camera, cam cordon, you name it we have it.

    But, we forget one thing, we work hard for the convenient we thought will free us to do more things, eg. swimming pools so we don't have to go to public pools, washing machine, dryer, etc... But, at the end of the day, we end up spending more of our times paying for the dream gadgets :).

    So, there is always 2 sides of the coin :).