5 tips to consider when entering the British market
Values, etiquette and dynamics vary from culture to culture; when it comes to the UK, an understanding of these matters may prove invaluable when it comes to navigating the business environment. Here are my five top tips to help you succeed in the British market:
- English or British? Know your regions! The UK is made up of Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales, and each region is passionately proud of its own identity. If you are unsure, stick to ‘British’ to avoid insulting anyone.
- Brits value time-keeping, planning and punctuality when it comes to meetings and business arrangements. From the outside, it looks like Brits— and especially Londoners— are always on the go or in a rush, but time wasting is a big no-no, so respecting their time is very important.
- British people are usually on a first-name basis with those they work with, so no need to stress about titles and curtsying (save that for the queen).
- Indirect communication and British humour— when they go hand in hand, things can get confusing. You might have to read in between the lines and decode a bit of ‘fluff’ from time to time. ‘Not bad’ sounds a little humiliating, but might be the biggest compliment you’ll get from a Brit. Add in some self-depreciating, understatement-ridden humour and you’ve nailed it. Humour is key in British culture and it is used in a number of ways: to avoid seeming arrogant, to bridge differences, to criticise or to simply create a sense of togetherness.
- Pub culture! A lot of networking is done at the pub. You will quickly see this to be true when it hits 6pm and the pubs are overflowing with professionals with pints continuing the work conversation. While it may seem strange to network in such a relaxed environment, its a big part of business networking in the UK.
Don’t miss the video of our former British and French researcher, Chloe, below for some more top tips when it comes to the British business environment:
A note on social media in the UK:
Generally, social media trends are what you would expect, and follow the likes of France for example, with Facebook leading the way in terms of usage, followed closely by Youtube, which is a great platform to explore in order to reach out to the masses, especially among the younger generation. Instagram is gaining popularity ever so quickly and would be a great channel to home in on when it comes to fashion and design.
British/American and self-proclaimed, francophile, Phoebe Brewster is the British and French fashion and design curator. From San Francisco, to Frankfurt, London and Paris, Phoebe decided to find a new home in the beautiful Copenhagen, where she is exploring her passion for modern communication in fashion & design, sustainable living and being outdoors.
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