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MSc International Management - Dissertation Example

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The Challenges Marketers Face in an Environment of Different Culture: The Case of McDonald’s UK 1. Research Context Standardization is an outcome of globalization. Some authors argue that these two are synonymous. With the advent of globalization and the internationalization of business, products were designed, demanded, sold, distributed and marketed the same way all throughout the world…
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MSc International Management
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Download file to see previous pages Cultural diversity is a trend in the age of globalization. Meanwhile, the demand for localized products is growing. Adaptation is one innovation that global organizations have to apply in their marketing strategies to adjust to cultural differences. McDonald’s UK is the main focus in our study of standardization and adaptation. McDonald’s originally came from the United States. When it penetrates foreign markets, it has to adapt to the cultures of the country of destination. This is what they call adaptation, as opposed to standardization of products. McDonald’s UK suffered rough sailing in the initial stages. Later on, it adapted strategies. How the company did it is a test of the company’s desire to succeed is the primary focus of this paper. There are criticisms that McDonald’s do not apply diversity in its marketing strategy and that as an international organization, it is an agent of globalization. Adaptation is coping with a culture of a country where an organization operates. If an organization wants to do business in a country with a different culture, it has to adapt. It always has to cope with the local culture. Cross-cultural aspects affect the people in the organization, including organizational knowledge, marketing, product mix, etc. International organizations have their own way of doing international marketing. Some modify a little of their products and strategies, or adapt to the culture and behavior of the local community. 2. Literature Review A remarkable gap between standardization and adaptation is that it is still one of the controversial issues and has always been a subject of debate among international companies since 1961 (Vignali and Vrontis 1999; Elinder, 1961 cited in Vrontis et al., 2009). To date, international companies still battle over which one to choose. There have been numerous studies conducted on these two subjects but it remains a hot topic for discussion (Vrontis et al., 2009). Vignali and Vrontis (1999 cited in Vrontis et al., 2009) stated that the debate started as far back as 1961 when advertising was one of the primary topics. Multinational companies wanted to standardize advertising, and to further apply it to other promotional mix and marketing mix. Until now the debate whether to standardize marketing (or to adapt new products) remains a focal point for discussion (Schultz and Kitchen, 2000; Kanso and Kitchen, 2004; Kitchen and de Pelsmacker, 2004; Vrontis et al., 2009). Ryans et al. (2003 cited in Vrontis et al., 2009, p. 478) pointed out that academic research on this subject has covered much of the literature on marketing. They pointed out that because of globalization, there has been a surplus of exports over imports, prompting international companies to minimize cost of production. However, firms realized that it was necessary to answer or meet the needs and wants of consumers. Meeting the needs and wants of customers is a primary marketing strategy of international companies nowadays. A study was conducted by Hite and Fraser in 1988 on whether firms used standardization or adaptation in their international trade and business throughout many countries. The study utilized a sample of 418 Fortune 500 companies, and the findings were varied and, in fact, surprising. The respondents comprised of 66 percent international firms who advertised internationally, but of this percentage, only 8 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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