Today in the US, we are gearing up to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with lively music, ice-cold margaritas, colorful clothing — the works. But while many Americans use the day to revel in the trappings of Mexican culture, they often don’t realize that the holiday is actually met with little pomp and circumstance in Mexico itself.
Cinco de Mayo is one of many traditions that have been adopted — and appropriated — across country borders. But the holiday represents a larger concept that applies to people, too: As individuals relocate around the world, they spark cultural variations and build unique identities in their own right.
For example, Forrester’s Consumer Technographics® survey data shows that Mexican-born individuals who now live in the US develop distinct behaviors and attitudes: Not only do these longer-tenured US residents become more comfortable sharing sensitive data (like financial information) online, they also increasingly execute digital transactions:
It’s interesting to note that even though metropolitan Mexico and the US have similar mobile penetration rates, the device profile, technology attitudes, and digital behaviors that characterize Mexican consumers shift after they settle in the US.
Therefore, it’s critical to remember that cross-cultural customers don’t only affect your cross-border activities. Increasingly, mobile lifestyles and growing migrant communities mean that you must account for cultural variation among customers in your home market. As my colleague Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha says in her recent report, “Cultural differences trip up even the most well-established companies [and] managing cross-cultural customer experience is an invaluable skill that takes consistent and long-term focus.” Joana advises companies to develop full cultural awareness by bringing a balance of universal and contextual analysis to customer understanding.