Summary of The Culture Code

An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do

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The Culture Code book summary
If you want to understand why a product sells or sinks, look at how well it fits the market’s existing cultural codes.


7 Overall

6 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


The core idea of this pleasant, accessible book is easy to grasp: Culturally specific codes shape people’s understandings, behaviors and emotional responses. French-born psychoanalyst and marketing maven Clotaire Rapaille brings a useful perspective shaped by his experiences as a U.S. immigrant to his discussion of what he calls “Culture Codes.” His methods for tapping into these codes are straightforward. However, some of his conclusions lead to fairly sweeping, general claims about overall national cultures. His explanations of coded cultural instincts and actions are still interesting, particularly when he delves specifically into American, French, English, German, Japanese and other societies. getAbstract suggests his book to those interested in cultural differences and those responsible for tailoring marketing concepts to reach specific national audiences around the world.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What “Culture Codes” are;
  • How they shape people’s responses, associations and feelings; and
  • How culture codes vary across nations.


Learning from Your Culture
The “Culture Code” is a combination of imprints shared by an entire culture. The cultural codes that people grow up with shape their responses to all kinds of objects, from cars to toys and ideas, from love to violence. Individuals may not be aware of the “imprint...
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About the Author

Psychoanalyst and marketer Clotaire Rapaille is the founder and chairman of Archetype Discoveries Worldwide.

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