Considering the importance of cross-cultural competencies in the context of rapid globalisation and the growth of China in the world economy, this paper uses case study methodology, to document the difficulties encountered by an Australian multinational beverage company, Foster’s, in attempting to establish its brand in China’s rapidly expanding market economy. Many of these related to culturally distinct attributes of the market, the consumer base and retail practices. The paper analyses these in terms of key concepts in marketing and cross-cultural business theory, in order to provide guidelines on how to overcome cultural barriers when establishing a foreign brand name in China. It also discusses the impact of cultural differences on brand loyalty after the establishment of the brand and on the sustainability of that brand. In attempting to assist foreign firms to succeed in the Chinese market, this paper offers suggestions that will help marketers to first understand the importance of cultural differences and then to succeed with further recommendations. Being a complex market and a market that is different from the Australian market, this is extremely valuable for those foreign brands entering China.
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