Balancing Local Standardized Products Globally

Published: 2019-11-11 09:00:00
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One of the greatest dilemmas that companies face is finding the balance between localization and standardization of their products when tapping into international markets. Often, either due to lack of a sound global strategy or for cost and efficiency reasons, many companies choose to standardize their products for international markets. However, a standardization strategy may not always be the most efficient method to meet international market demands. The global marketing environment is complex and diverse in terms of the cultures, political and legal systems, economic conditions and product usage conditions. Therefore, companies who are present in international markets should take into account the diversity and other specific requirements so as to best satisfy the needs of the consumers.

Coca-Cola is one of the companies that has a strong international presence. The global strategy of the company is to offer choice to consumers with more clarity (Watrous, 2016). The international success of the company can be attributed to finding the right combination of local and global strategies in their operations. Though the company brand is global, it is also locally relevant. This is achieved by working with local partners and understanding the cultures of different markets so as to tailor their marketing strategies to suit the consumers. As a result, they have been able to gain and maintain consumers in different markets around the world.

For companies to be successful at localization, they should consider working with local partners so as to seamlessly tie the brand message of the company into the local culture. The partnership would allow the company to effectively resonate its brand message with the target market while keeping alive the company image and values (Ghemawat, 2013). Coca-Cola has done a great job in integrating with the local culture of various target markets by using local celebrities to convey the companys brand message and image. Also, various Coca-Cola advertisements feature people of a certain cultural background depending on the country of the advertisement. Companies must plan ahead and consider the culture and diversity of different markets so as to create campaigns that are suited for the consumers (Ghemawat, 2013). Being culturally aware and tailoring a brand to meet the needs of diverse cultures will ensure that the company is successful in its international endeavors and stand a better chance of having loyal customers in local markets.

Coca-Cola is one of the companies that has its products relevant in all parts of the globe. Therefore, the challenge that the company faces is to continue to develop organizational structures that will drive the local and global strategies needed for the continued success of the company. The company should pay close attention to emerging markets as soft drink consumption keeps declining in Europe and the United States. The economic growth in emerging markets such as India is boosting the international product sales and hence provide a lucrative market for companies such as Coca-Cola (Shankar, Ormiston, Bloch, & Schaus, 2008). With proper marketing strategies and campaigns, Coca-Cola is bound to benefit from developing markets and see an increase in its revenues.

As companies try to increase and maintain their international presence, they should balance the localization and standardization of their products. Though certain products may appeal to different markets as they are, others need to take into consideration the diversity of different markets. Companies should strive to have a better understanding of different markets and create campaigns based on local cultures and other specific requirements so as to even their share in the global marketplace.

References

Ghemawat, P. (2013). Redefining global strategy: Crossing borders in a world where differences still matter. Harvard Business Press.

Shankar, S., Ormistion, C., Bloch, N., & Schaus, R. (2008). How to win in emerging markets. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(3), 19.

Watrous, M. (2016). Coca-Cola changing its soft drink strategy. Foodbusinessnews.net. Retrieved 5 October 2016, from http://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/news_home/Business_News/2016/06/CocaCola_changing_its_soft_dri.aspx?ID={8BB1F46A-6B89-4405-B836-F0DEF55237EE}&cck=1

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