Working in an international environment and collaborating in culturally-diverse teams might pose a real challenge. Different languages, customs, even different understandings, and perceptions of reality! Market researchers wishing conducting multi-market studies need to consider all of them. Since we deal with such cultural differences in our studies on daily basis, we’ve decided to share a few tips on how to prepare for challenges in market research in Poland. Getting to know our customs and communication style might be really useful!
Interested in learning a few fun facts about challenges in market research in Poland specifically? We’ve gathered some challenges in market research in Poland that you might need to face.
Challenges in market research in Poland
Many people claim that Polish, being one of the Slavic languages, is one of the most difficult languages for foreigners. Actually, it’s one of the least popular foreign languages that people choose to learn. No surprise – the tongue-twisting pronunciation, complex grammar rules (conjugation!), and our national fondness of diminutive forms (sometimes so creative and non-similar to the original words that even Polish people might have problems explaining how the word was created!)… For instance, we’re probable to call a cat using the word “cat”, but if that’s a small cat, it will become a “kotek”. But! If it’s a really really small dog, then we might as well call it a “koteczek” Crazy, right?
Oh, and don’t forget that in Polish “no” might actually mean…”yes”! 🙂 It’s rather informal, but people use it this form of confirmation a lot. A LOT! So don’t be surprised when you see people nodding indicating “yes” and say “no” at the same time! This just means they’re expressing their approval or agreeing with what you say!
That also means that conducting B2B market research in Poland and wishing for the participants to speak Polish, you would also need to engage a local, native-speaking moderator. It’d be extremely difficult to find a non-Polish who can speak Polish well enough to be able to moderate such sessions! Luckily, all our specialists in Stratega are bilingual and experienced in conducting sessions in Polish and in English so your research is in good hands with us!
Polish tendency to complain
Even though it seems to be changing in recent years, the Polish culture might seem to be “the culture of complaining”. Funny as it may sound, this might pose a challenge when analyzing the results of any social or market research in Poland. Such a negative perception and narrative about reality might encourage some false and inadequate conclusions. Thus, it’s always good to have some Poles in your research team to help you understand your results!
In Stratega, we’re always more than happy to offer our comments and feedback on the insights we get from our respondents. That way, we’re sure our Clients get the valuable outcomes they need!
Polish people are open and friendly. Yet, you need to know that usually, we do not use first names with people we don’t know. We’d rather use Mr and Mrs options (“Pan” and “Pani” or in plural “Państwo”) until clearly invited to address someone with his or her first name. Thus, don’t be surprised to hear that a lot when receiving transcripts from Polish interviews. Even more so, when the interviewees were of older generations or the topics of the research were rather sensitive.