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How to curb the Russian Market

The latest comment for the German PR magazine PR Report was provided by Vera Likhosherstova from GlobalCom Russia. The article was published in the September issue of the magazine  (see image). Here’s the English version of Vera’s comment:

You will not grasp her with your mind
Or cover with a common label,
For Russia is one of a kind –
Believe in her, if you are able…

(Fedor Tyutchev, translated by Anatoly Liberman)

As any other country of BRIC, Russian is a huge and attractive piece of the global market. However, being so different form European countries, it is often more than one can chew. The words of Russian most famous poet, Pushkin, are still applicable to its modern reality. There are a few things that any businessman should know about the country and its people before entering the promising, but unpredictable market of Russia.  And, probably, the main characteristic of Russians that may explain the most of processes going on here is the momentum towards breaking rules.

If there is a fence, there will be a hole in it.  If there is a bureaucracy, there will be a corruption.  Russia is the leader in breaching the copyright laws with its comprehensive audiovisual library in the local social media where incidentally Russians spend more time than any other nation in the world.

Exactly this quality explains unprecedented success of groupon-like websites where computer-savvy young and hungry consumerists hunt for deals daily.

Contrary, having a long history of propaganda behind, these people reveal and attain marketing puffery immediately. Extremely positive article about a company in a newspaper, wide Hollywood smile and exaggerated friendliness will push the vigilant consumers away. While, due to their habit of overcoming obstacles, a limited offer or a restricted access to something will boost sales and/or attendance dramatically.

Unbelievable, but even green practices – adopted as a new religion in Europe- have not received recognition in Russia yet. Such initiative always requires some system and diligence, which this nation always lacks of.  The same idea of volunteer efforts to save Earth is, unfortunately, irrelevant to people who live in the country with vast natural resources and territories.

Nevertheless, there is always a way to consolidate on rebellious and unruly nation. For example, these people are masters in thinking out-of-box. If motivated (sometimes praise is enough),they will come up with unexpected effective solutions. And if you manage to earn their trust, they will follow you as the most loyal friends.

It is also possible to make cash on the loyalty to social networks and wiliness to share content and ideas with their numerous friends. If you are able to speak the same language, escaping direct advertising statements and if you bring the real value to customers, your PR campaign and your business will be a huge success.

Vera Likhosherstova , Senior Marketing Communications Manager at GlobalCom Russia

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