Search for Cases

Case Details

Case Code: MKTG380
Case Length: 12 Pages 
Period: 2012-2019   
Pub Date: 2018
Teaching Note: Available
Organization : The Western Union Company
Industry : Financial services
Countries : US; Asia; Global
Themes: Multicultural Marketing/International Marketing
Case Studies  
Business Strategy
Human Resource Management
IT and Systems
Leadership & Entrepreneurship

Multicultural Marketing at Western Union

<<Previous Page




Since its inception, WU had played a significant role in American culture and commerce. Analysts said that understanding diverse cultures was crucial to WU, mainly because its customer base comprised immigrants from countries like Haiti, Mexico, India, and people from multiple countries, languages, cultures, habits, etc. The management at WU believed that understanding and catering to the special needs of the customers had been the key success driver for the company. “Our customers have broadly diverse religious celebrations, school systems, languages, and beliefs. A multicultural understanding of these differences is required if we are to stay close to our customers–not only the senders and receivers of money but also the bankers, regulators, and agents..

Marketing Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Environment, Case Studies
Marketing Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Environment, Case Studies
PayPal (7 USD)



In addition to these campaigns and loyalty programs, Ersek believed that one of the main aspects that set WU apart was the interplay between its digital business and its retail network. “NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] send money from their global headquarters in London, and their fieldworkers can pick it up in cash in a conflict zone. In India, parents of a university student in Canada can give cash to our agent in Mumbai, and the tuition payment is made to the university’s bank account,” said Ersek. He also believed that achieving this was not easy as the process involved so much of fundamental pre-work. .


WU had come a long way from sending telegraphs across the US to mobile transfers and was successful in building a massive distribution network and customer base over the years. Industry observers opined that WU was able to gain customer support mainly because of its emotional connect with the people and their culture. “When people talk about why they send money, it boils down to sending love and support. People equate our brand with the reasons they send money, and our success has come because we inspire these same emotions on social media,” said Karen. But WU’s marketing executives believed that it was still a tough task for them, especially when dealing with customers belonging to diverse backgrounds and cultures..


Exhibit I: Journey of Western Union through the Years
Exhibit II: Consolidated Financial Information of WU (2012-2016)
Exhibit III: ‘This Is WU’ Campaign