The opportunities for international marketers of consumer goods have never been greater or more diverse. One of the main issues that will affect a company that wishes to enter foreign markets is adaptation. A company must consider if the product can be sold in the same way as in the domestic market or if some modification is necessary.
Product adaptation is an important task for all international companies regardless of the size. The global company will have to engage in a multi-domestic market orientation in which different products are developed to satisfy the unique needs of each country and market.
Products may require some type of modification before permission will be granted for sale in a foreign market. When competing in any market the most successful products will be those that meet the needs, wants and quality standards of the market to the highest degree. Therefore, adaptation enhances the likelihood of product acceptance and success in a foreign market.
Product Adaptation – Why do it?
There are technical reasons for product adaptation and this will mostly affect the product element of the marketing mix, these changes may be costly, as it will require a change in product processes. For instance, the product may have to be adapted to work with different voltages, alternating currents and electric plug designs all of which vary from country to country. The electric voltage used in the EU is considerably higher than that used in the United States, the EU will require stricter standards on issues such as wire covering.
Political views and regulations are other reasons why product adaptation must occur. The government has the power to force a company to change its product. For example; Even though Microsoft’s Icelandic customers could use the companies' English software, Iceland’s government demanded that Microsoft translate the products or leave the market. The...