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  • 1.
    Membe, Nampungwe Beatrice
    et al.
    University West, Department of Economics and IT.
    Doriza Loukakou, Maria
    University West, Department of Economics and IT.
    Product standardization and adaptation in International Marketing: A case of McDonalds2012Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Companies marketing their products and/or services overseas are faced with the decision of whether to standardize or adapt their product offerings. This decision concerns firms commencing to market their products in foreign countries as well as those already operating internationally and is considering expanding into further markets.

    The standardization of products across cultures is increasingly becoming an important issue that the managers of global firms are today facing. As international marketing in the 21st century receives significant research attention, it seems the cost benefits and administration of standardization strategies has simplified the international marketing approach as well as being an attractive choice for many firms.

    On the other hand, product adaptation strategies are also being considered as perhaps the most influential aspect for Multinational Corporations (MNCs). Seeing that past research has established that standardization enhances performance outcomes, more recent theories suggests that this may not always be the case. In today's globalized world, the choices of standardization versus adaptation of international products are no longer being seen as an inflexible choice. Instead, combinations of the two options are being regarded, given the dependent factors at a given time on a given market.

    However, with the emergence of homogeneous (identical) markets worldwide, it is still a question of whether MNCs will or will not intermix both the standardization strategies and adaptation product strategies. To that effect it would perhaps be more interesting to look beyond the dichotomy of standardization and adaptation as product strategies, that is not necessarily comparing which is the better option of these two comparisons. Through a single case study of a multinational fast food retailer McDonalds Company, a research agenda was placed on investigating the level of adapting or standardizing of products by Multinational Corporations (MNCs).

    Based on the illustrations and findings of the research, it was concluded that the choice of either complete standardization or adaptation is not an all-or nothing proposition, but a matter of degree. Hence MNCs should strive to incorporate ingredients of both approaches based on a clear understanding of the dynamics of the served markets respectively.

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