Consumer Behavior Decision Making L’Oreal

Consumer behavior is an important management field, the study and application of which can provide a lot of insight and value to the marketers. This research paper is based mostly on the existing theories and models of consumer behavior. The first part looks for external factors influencing consuming behavior at various stages and the second applies theories to a well known business organization, L’Oreal.

Consumer Behavior

Hawkins (2008) says that the consumer decision making process is often the result of a single problem however, at other times consumption decision is based on a number of factors. The example provided by Hawkins (2008) to explain the difference actually helps the reader in better analyzing the types of consumption requirement. Running low on gasoline while driving leads to a single factor consumption decision whereas the realization of an aging automobile, growing feeling of inadequacy or low self esteem lead to a multi factor consumption decision regarding a commodity or a service.

For the marketers of an organization, it is important to take into consideration both the types of consumption such that the overall sales of that organization are increased. Consumers are the end point of the supply chain processes. They actually are the magnetic force for all kinds of manufacturing, production and retailing processes that are taking place in a market or in an industry. The stronger the magnetic force in fact, the better will be the overall processes of production, manufacturing and retailing. It is therefore important for the organizations to capture as much of that attraction of the customers as possible. One simple reason for that is that customers are the ones that provide revenue to the business. An interesting quote by Jeff Bezoz, the CEO of Amazon.com says that it is actually the customers of the organization that give the business the money to operate and not the competitors of the organization and thus, all the strategies that the organization makes to improve the business performance (or market capitalization) should be oriented towards the customers (Stockport, 2009).

This idea then forms the core of the field of consumer behavior. Consumer behavior, initially stemming out of the study of micro economics has actually gotten extensive and intensive enough to be termed as a completely independent study of management sciences and one that can have serious policy implications for a business entity.

Consumer behavior holds that the purchasing decision of the consumer can actually be analyzed through various models and theories and using those findings, a business can orient its market plan to gain competitive advantage in the market. A number of external and internal factors become a part of understanding how and why consumers making purchasing decision, using decisions and disposing off decisions and how preferences and tastes as well as norms, cultures, peer pressures and traditions become a part of this decision making process (Lamb, Hair, McDaniel, 2011).

Since it has now been established that a number of internal and external factors play a role in influencing the consumers in their consuming decision, the breakdown of each factor is possible. As far as a business organization and more precisely the strategic managers or the marketers of the organization are concerned, external factors are the ones which they have the power over and thus they can influence the attraction felt by consumers for the product being marketed. However, before the marketing managers can actually pin point the external factors and manipulate them, each stage of the decision making process of the consumers needs to be analyzed.

Analysis of how external variables are used by marketers to influence consumer decision making at the various stages of the consumer decision making model. Illustrations through examples

Nominal Decision Making Process

Hawkins (2008, p. 561) identifies the nominal decision making process and defines it in the following words,

“Nominal decision making, sometimes referred to as habitual decision making, in effect involves no decision per se….A completely nominal decision does not even include consideration of the “do not purchase” alternative. For example you might notice that you are nearly out of Aim toothpaste and resolve to purchase some the next time you are at the store. You don’t even consider not replacing the toothpaste or purchasing another brand.”

According to Hawkins (2008) then a nominal decision making process can be broken down further into brand loyal decisions and repeat decisions.

For the marketers, development of brand loyalty is another arena that is receiving significant attention mostly because of its importance that has been highlighted through the theories of consumer behavior. The more the consumer feels loyal to the brands, the lesser he or she will actually consider buying another brand and thus the number of secure sales for the organization will increase and in the longer run, the provision of stability of revenue for the organization will also be enhanced.

The example for the nominal decision making process has already been highlighted by reviewing Hawkins (2008) however to provide another example is the purchase of soaps, bottled milk, tea brand, coffee brand or sanitary pads. Mostly, for all of these products, the consumer mechanically throw these products into the shopping cart without even considering that just right to the brand that they picked lies another, probably better brand. Development of this behaviour in the consumers requires effort and strategy from the marketing manager of the business organization.

Five Step Decision Making Model

Next is the five step decision making process as studied by Lamb, Hair and McDaniel (2011). In this model, the first step is the recognition of need of a product or service by the consumers. The second is the information search, third the evaluation of alternatives and fourth the purchase of the commodity or service. Finally, the fifth step is the post purchase behaviour. In regards to the model however, the following has been said (Lamb, Hair and McDaniel, 2011, p. 189),

“The five steps represent a general process that can be used as a guide for studying how consumers make decision. It is important to note though that consumers’ decisions do not always proceed in order through all of these steps. In fact, the consumer may end that process at any time or may not even make a purchase.”

However, this model does provide important steps that can be used by the marketers to create external influence on the consuming behaviours of the customers. Baker (2003) says that these five stages together are affected by a number of external and internal factors. These factors include the cultural, social, individual and psychological factors and are actually applicable to all the stages of the consumer decision making process. Therefore, if the customers are to use factors to influence the consumer decision making process, these factors are to be manipulated. For the purpose of this section of the research report, only external factors will be analyzed for each stage of consumption of the goods and services.

The first step is the recognition of needs. This is actually the first and the most important step that the marketers can use to attract the customers and thus gain competitive advantage and even first movers advantage in the market. This is possible by making the customers realize the need for the product that the firm is offering. Hawkins (2008, p. 565) says that,

“Marketers often attempt to cause consumers to recognize a potential problem for which the marketer has a solution…this sometimes involves making consumers aware of problems well before they arise.”

The important word here is “potential”. The usual way through which the problem solving approach goes is to at first recognize the problem and then solve it. Providing external stimulus on the need recognition stage of the decision making process, marketers are actually making the customers create a problem in their head that they did not realize existed before. Obviously this can be both real and imaginary but there is no necessity that the consumer knew of the solution to the problem before. For example, the invention of diapers stimulated the need recognition stage of the decision making process. Before that for centuries, mothers and maids were using cloth and plastic panties for their babies and everything seemed to go fine. With the advent of diapers however, it became almost a necessity. Something without which bearing a child seemed like a serious problem.

Similarly, the marketers can influence the information search stage of the consumer decision making process by providing to the consumers the necessary information through various media. Nowadays, television advertisement, billboards and internet are the favorite sources of providing the consumers with the information about the product and how that product is the one that the consumers require in solving the problem. For example when proctor and gamble came up with the diapers, pampers, they needed to provide the useful information to the consumers about the product. So that the customers who have already realized this problem and were looking for a solution find it in the shape of pampers. This then can require free samples and other promotion techniques as well. As of today however, the techniques that remain dominant have been mentioned.

The marketers can influence the third step that is of alternative evaluation by allowing the customer, through efficient marketing strategies to realize that the product the firm is offering is the best one for the consumer.  The external factor used here can be the help of celebrities to promote a product. Knowing that a specific product works better than anything else for something well known and looked up to can actually lead the consumers to be inclined more towards the purchase of that product.

On the fourth stage of the consumer decision making model, prices are the factors that need to be considered and used by the marketers. The consumers should know that the price they are paying for the product is actually worth it. Here, the factor and consciousness of social class can play an important role. The effect of social class on consumer behavior, apart from the direct relationship of income levels and value of consumption, there is also a direct relationship till the upper class between the realization of social class and the desire to mobilize in the social class hierarchy and the value of consumption (Loudon, 2007). It has been noted that the upper, upper middle and the middle class seriously dreams of being recognized as the elite (how o not really care about the prices but about the quality) make more expensive purchases of the products or services to reinforce their social class image in the society.

Select a company or not-for-profit organisation that you are familiar with and critically evaluate how a specific consumer behavioral theory or model can aid in understanding consumers’ actions. Demonstrate how this then guides the practical implementation of marketing strategy in your chosen organisation.

The Organization

The business entity selected for the purpose this section of the report is L’Oreal Paris. This is the largest beauty and cosmetics brand in the world. In 2009 L’Oreal completed its hundred years and recognizes its moves in the business world as that of being adventurous. L’Oreal (2011) notes that above and beyond that financial success that the organization has achieved, the journey of L’Oreal has been marked by a quest for innovation, a quest for excellence, a question for the purpose of actually existing in the market and finally a quest for diversity in regards to the range of cultures, preferences and tastes of women around the globe.

Consumer Behavior Decision Making L’Oreal
Consumer Behavior Decision Making L’Oreal

This organization has actually celebrated beauty around the globe. L’Oreal has a huge international presence and operates in five continents of the worlds excluding Antarctica and Australia from the list. By the global 100, this beauty brand was actually ranked amongst the world’s 100 most sustainable business organizations. Moreover, this organization in 2011 has been presented with the best financial performance by the Boursoscan (L’Oreal, 2011).

The overview of the organization notes that for a century the organization has been pushing back the boundaries of science to invest and meet the aspirations of millions of women and men (L’Oreal, 2011). L’Oreal seeks to provide the best cosmetics to the world in terms of quality, safety and efficacy. In 2010, the business had consolidated sales figure of 195 billion Euros. Currently, the organization is managing 23 global brands in 130 countries of the world and registered 612 patents in the year 2010 (L’Oreal, 2011).

Theory of Consumer Behavior

Behavioral School of Thought: Classical Conditioning

In regards to the core behavioral theories, Schiffman (2008) notes that there are a number of routes through which the conditioning of consumers to buy a particular product can be done. The first route is the classical conditioning in which the consumer links a certain response to a product. For example, in regards to L’Oreal, classical condition will be that using the Voluminous Mascara introduced by the organization, the eyelashes will actually look darker and prettier and the result will be similar to what Ashwariya Rai puts on her eyes. The conditioning stimulus here will be the darker, more volume eyelashes like the ones that Ashwariya Rai appears with. Through the advertisement then the unconditioned response of the consumer who needs to buy mascara turns into a conditioned one.

Behavioral School of Thought: Cognitive Associative Learning

Next, Schiffman (2008) studies the cognitive associative learning behavior. According to this view, the relationship or (congruity) between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus influences the expectations which in turn influences the behavior of the being. This theory believes that the actions that occur after certain stimuli have been provided are in fact learned and occur because of the increase in knowledge. For example in the example above, the purchase of mascara would occur because knowledge about the qualities of the product has been gained. Unlike the cognitive associative behavior however, the classical conditioning believes that the reaction that occurs is actually reflex.

Economic Theory of Consumer Behavior

Apart from these theories, one consumer behavior theory that actually stems out economics more than psychology is the theory of consumer behavior. Irwin (2005) says that the consumers according to the model provided in this theory consumes at a point where there occurs an intersection between the consumer indifference curve (the choice curve of the customer where combinations of consuming two alternative goods achieve the same level of utility or satisfaction to the customer) and the budget constraint of the individual (as understood mostly by the current income levels of the person or the saved up income from a previous period).

This model assumes that the consumers are rational individuals who are responsive to a price change of products and who also have complete information about the product and the alternatives. Also it is assumed that the individual under question is subject to a budget constraint and that he or she has to manage more than one thing in a given period of time speaking financially.

Attitudes in Consumer Behavior

Perner (2011) however studies the theory of consumer behavior which says that the problem solving approaches of the consumers are actually internal (made up of the memory and thinking process of the individuals) and external (made up of the word of mouth, the media, the store visits and the trials amongst others). In this theory then, the evaluating behavior of the individuals are made up either compensatory, non compensatory, hybrid or abandoned strategy. The first one is the decision based on overall value of alternatives. The non compensatory evaluation requires that the consuming decision meets at least one important criterion and the hybrid is a combination of compensatory and non compensatory evaluation types. Finally, the abandoned strategy is when the consumer finds the initial criteria unrealistic and proceeds to a less desirable solution to the problem. Next, Perner (2011) notes that the consuming behavior of an individual is seriously affected by the attitudes of that individual; and that in turn attitudes are affected by the intentions, the beliefs and the feelings about a particular brand.

 As far as L’Oreal is concerned, consumer behavior can be understood critically through these four theories and the findings can be further used to design a strategy to expand the consumer market and the competitive advantage of the market.

Recommended Marketing Strategies

Starting with the attitudes of the consumers, L’Oreal can be added by understanding what beliefs individuals have about the products and services that the brand itself and that the competitors of the brand provide. This can be measured and analyzed through the attitude measure developed by Perner (2011). Next, the feelings of the consumers can be understood through this attitude model. For example, a fan of Ashwariya Rai, or Penelope Cruz (the brand ambassadors of L’Oreal) will feel a push for consuming the product after aggressively understanding how they feel for the product. Also, being there for a century, this brand is also a name through the generations. Understanding those feelings of the consumers will help steer the marketing plan of the organization towards a greater organizational performance overall.

Next, the theory of consumer behavior includes the importance of prices of the product. This is actually one of the core consumer behavior theories and is the most detail about the behaviors of the individuals. In this regard the organization can use the theory to understand what effect a price change of the products and services has on the sales of the organization and the demand of the consumers. Make up, after a certain limit is usually a luxury for individuals and L’Oreal is an expensive brand.

To keep up its market share and to not lose to organizations which are charging a lower price for similar products through the substitution and the income effect it is important for the management of the organization to carefully consider the underpinnings of the theory of consumer behavior. For this purpose, if the price of the good is actually not that far away from the actual investment put into the product in terms of research and development and manufacturing, the organization can actually use the coin of high quality. The perception of consumer about the quality of the product is a vital asset when an organization is designing its price and marketing policies. The better the consumer perceive the quality of a product to be, the more he or she will be willing to spare for that product because they will know that the money is being well spent and that there will be no hazardous consequences of using a particular product.

Conclusion

Nelson (1970) studies that the consumers are continuously busy in the choice making between different products however, the consequences of these choices are dimly known by them. One of the reasons is that they lack full knowledge about the price and quality of the product. The marketers of a business organization then can utilize the consuming behavior and the attitudes of the consumers for the purpose of attracting the maximum share of revenue for the organization.

This research paper studied how the marketers can actually use external factors including the social class, peer pressure, celebrity following and fashion trends to influence the consuming behavior of the consumers.

The second part of the research report analyzed the various theories of consumer behavior. Those theories then were in critically used to apply for the case of L’Oreal Paris, one of the largest multinationals in the world. Dholakia et al (2010) says that in the case of multimedia and multi channel organization like L’Oreal, the analysis of consumer behavior is different than the usual analysis. Finally, for the applied consumer behavior theories, a number of marketing strategies were recommended for L’Oreal.

References

Baker, D. (2003) Consumer Decision Making. 4th Ed. USA: South Western.

Dholakia, H. et al. (2010) Consumer Behavior in a Multichannel, Multimedia Retailing Environment. Journal of Interactive Marketing, Volume 24 (2), Pages 86-95.  

Hawkins (2008) Consumer Behavior. 6th Ed. India: Tata McGraw Hill

Irwin (2005) Theory of Consumer Behavior. USA: McGraw Hill.

Lamb, C., Hair, J. and McDaniel C. (2011) Essential of Marketing. 7th Ed. USA: South Western.

L’Oreal. (2018). L’Oreal Website

Nelson, P. (1970) Information and Consumer Behavior. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 78 (2), pp. 311-329

Prener, L. (2011) The consumer Behavior: The psychology of marketing.

Schiffman, L and Kanuk, L. (2007) Consumer Behavior. 9th Ed. India: Pearson Education Inc

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Did you find any useful knowledge relating to consumer behavior in this post? What are the key facts that grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments. Thank you.

Standardization versus Adaptation International Marketing

Standardization versus Adaptation Debate in International Marketing

In the international business market field, standardization versus adaptation debate is not new, where thus far researchers have not agreed on which strategy is effective to be adopted in international market. Taking a business into international market and successfully selling its products and services can attract a range of challenges. For many years, many multinational corporations make costly mistakes when trying to sell to the global consumers or audience. Such mistakes are mainly described by a lack of awareness of the role and contributions of adaptation and standardization in international markets. This paper seeks to analyse the issues of adaptation (customization) and standardization (global strategy) within international marketing strategies and proposes specific approaches that can help companies compete efficiently and effectively within these global setting.

Available Evidence

Since the start of the 1980s, globalization issue has developed significantly and critical to modern businesses. Globalization has helped in reducing the differences between countries. Both international of businesses and an increasing level of globalization have had a significant impact on how businesses plan and view their global marketing strategy (Wang & Yang, 2011). As a result, various research studies have been done on whether companies need to standardize or adapt certain behaviours in international market. As these multinational businesses start to market their products and services in foreign markets, one important strategic decision is whether to change the marketing strategies and mix to match the unique aspects of each local market or whether to adopt a standardized marketing mix (people, promotion, place, price, product, process management, and physical evidence) and a single marketing strategy in all international markets (Vrontis & Thrassou, 2007)

One consideration shows that markets are becoming more integrated, increasingly more global and similar and consider that the main element to business survival is its capability to standardize. In contrast, the other consideration identifies the challenges in adopting a standardized strategy, and thus, supports market adaptation or customization. Nevertheless, evidence proposes that following adaptation or standardization strategies depends on the positioning and dimensions present in respective international market.

Standardization versus Adaptation

Based on some studies, followers of standardization consider that there is an integration of cultures with the same customer demand and environmental demands across the world. They also state that trade barriers are being reduced and advancements in technology, where multinational companies reveal global integration in their strategies. Under standardization, providing a single strategy for the international market, along with standardizing the marketing mix components, can enable constancy with customers and also reduce costs. Brei, et al (2011) state that businesses managed effectively have shifted away from customizing their products to serving internationally standardized items that are low priced, reliable, functional, and advanced. Brei, et al (2011) further state that businesses can attain long-term success through focusing on what customers need instead of being afraid of the particulars of what customers think they might need.

In contrast, followers of international adaptation strategy focus on the significance of customization. The key base of the adaptation strategy is that when a business enters an international market, it needs to reflect on all environmental aspects, constraints, and factors, such as societies, cultures, different laws, taste, education, occupations, race, climate, and language (Akgün, et al., 2014). Nonetheless, studies have reported significant source of constraints that may be challenging to measure, for example, customs, manners, attitudes, values, religion, aesthetics, education, and cultural variations originated in history, along with variations in legal systems, economics, wants, and needs. Vrontis and Thrassou (2007) stated that multinational corporations need to realize how they should alter their whole marketing strategy and include how they order, distribute, and sell to match the new international or local market demands. It is also very vital to adjust the marketing strategy and mix to fit local preferences and tastes, customer non-equivalent requirements, and special market needs.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Standardization

Global uniformity and standardization have various benefits. First, customers can anticipate similar quality level of any particular brand in all outlets across the globe. Moreover, Hise and Choi (2013) posit that standardization facilitates positive consumer perceptions towards certain product. If companies that have a strong reputation and brand identity decide to follow the standardized approach, they will certainly gain success. In a global setting, positive word-of-mouth can imply an improvement in sales. Another benefit embraces cost reduction that provides the economies of scale (Hise & Choi, 2013). Selling huge amounts of non-adapted, same product and purchasing certain constituents in bulk may help in reducing the cost-per-unit.

Other benefits linked to economies of scale consist of reduced investment costs, marketing operational costs, and enhanced research and development. Additionally, standardization is a rational strategy in an era in which trade barriers are diminishing. Adopting a standardized approach assists multinational businesses to direct their emphasis on a uniformed marketing mix particularly concentrating on one single product or service, enabling adequate space for quality improvement. By focusing on one single uniformed product, employees will be trained to improve the product quality, which enables manufacturers to make equipment and technological investment that can protect the quality of the standardized product being served.

Nevertheless, standardization poses a range of shortcomings. Aforementioned, different international markets mean different consumer’s preferences. As a result, selling or offering one unified item poses lack of uniqueness. This enables competition to acquire bigger market share through adjusting their products to fit the need of a certain segment or market. Given that different markets have varied tastes and needs, by adopting the standardized strategy, businesses can become more at risk. One company example is Walmart’s failure when it entered international markets (Kim, 2008). Walmart encountered various challenges when it entered foreign markets such as Japan, South Korea, Brazil, and Germany as it realized that its recipe for success in the US (a huge set of merchandise, inventory control, and low prices) did not actually activate the same level of success in foreign markets with shoppers with varied habits and own discount chains. The key problem for the retail giant was that the company tried to inflict its values globally. Particularly, Walmart’s incident is Germany, where the company lost large sum of dollar as of 1998, has become an example or reference point for how not to expand internationally.

Another disadvantage is that it relies mainly on economies of scale. In nature, companies that are global often engage in manufacturing in various countries. This may also pose a great problem because some countries adopt trade barriers such as the EU and the US (Dimitrova & Rosenbloom, 2010). For such a case, adaptation is predetermined. However, even though the standardization strategy is more used, its adoption is not absolute. Standardization approach raises the performance of a firm. Nevertheless, this is only true for businesses where competition occurs in a global range, such as perfumes, luxury goods, fashion, electronics, consumer durables, among others. In such cases, similar product may be sold across all markets. In contrast, there are other sectors where this same action does not apply and thus, this needs to be considered.

standardization versus adaptation of international advertising strategies
standardization versus adaptation of international advertising strategies

Moreover, consumer non-durables, such as food products, are highly responsive to variations in national habits and tastes, making the companies to consider some adjustments to fit different markets. For instance, Unilever realized a greater opportunity among Indian low-income consumers who intended to purchase personal care products and high-end detergents, but might not afford them. To respond to this, Unilever produced a low-cost packaging product and various other alternatives that enabled it to provide radically cheaper alternatives. According to Theodosiou and Leonidou (2003), such a flexibility not only increase a new market for the business, but enabled also it to produce brand loyalty that customers benefit from it when their income increased and might afford higher-end products from similar manufacturer.

There are some questions which most businesses in the international market expansion need to answer: what products do we aim to standardize? And do we standardize distribution channels, pricing, marketing communications, product support and customer service? The answer to such questions need to either all adapted or all standardized.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Adaptation

Customization is also commonly considered an adaptation. Moreover, product adaptation is more applicable in the case in which: (1) there is an intense competition, compelling differentiation of products; (2) there is a considerable variations in consumer wants and needs; and (3) to meet essential host country requirements, including legal, technical, and packaging issues. These are also essential reasons for product adaptation and modification; literacy, customer lifestyle, and consumer’s income level.

The key arguments towards implementing adaptation approach is that it entails the individual approach as it enables the company to be aware of the preferences, wants, and needs of each market or consumer. Followers of adaptation strategy credibly support the idea that there is a considerable variation in consumer’s lifestyle, political system, regulations and rules, economic condition, culture, and consumer belief and values across the globe. Such elements need to be reflected on for the success of the company (Hussain & Khan, 2013). The application of adaptation marketing strategy supports the companies to gain an increased competitive advantage. In addition, the ultimate aim of a business needs not to be the cost reduction using standardization, but the actual long-term corporate profitability through improved sales attributable to the enhanced use of the differing consumer needs globally.

Poturak & Duman( 2014) assert that the followers of standardization does not possess the conventional knowledge of contemporary marketing. Irrespective of various arguments of improved consumer homogeneity, various studies have reported that consumers are becoming progressively more complex or diverse and do not essentially intend to substitute quality over price. Moreover, product modification or adaptation approach will results in a boost in sales volume of the company in international market; by highly meeting the wants and needs of the consumers, but reflecting on the competing companies; and by also retention of the current customers through frequently updating the product.

There are also certain drawbacks of product adaptation or modification of different marketing strategy, including duplication of the practices across the company and additional cost needed for the promotional practices. In this strategy, the company will need extra resources for research and development. The increased costs are attributable to defender fights and developments, which are also more risky. Moreover, companies may lack knowledge and experience regarding the technical elements of the different products and understanding on how to market a product (Hossain & Yazdanifard, 2015). This strategy also promotes decentralization of management.

Most Appropriate Strategy

These two strategies emerge to be coherent, logical, and rational, outlining the benefits that a company intending to expand internationally can acquire through implementing either strategy. When an international company puts forth all its efforts of the extreme side of either strategy, it normally becomes incoherent and unfeasible. The point is that marketing for international companies is not based on either of the two opposite strategies, since both strategies are probably to coexist, even in similar multinational company, brand, and product line (Rocha & Silva, 2011).

Vrontis and Thrassou (2007) stated that standardizing some components of the marketing mix, while adapting other components to differing market conditions is required. Adaptation and standardization should not be considered an ‘all or nothing’ proposal; rather it should be considered a matter of degree. For instance, diversity across various countries and markets does not enable whole standardization. Nevertheless, Schilke, et al. (2009) opines that higher cost associated to adaptation can limit the application of adaptation strategy. Wei and Yazdanifard (2014) focus on three factors to analyse adaptation and standardization practices: transferability of competitive advantage; homogeneity of various consumers’ reponse towards the marketing mix; and similarities in the level of economic freedom.

Schilke, et al. (2009) point out that even in markets or countries with the same cultures, such as across the EU, there are variations in customer wants and needs. In addition, they state that standardization will be effective when the customer response homogeneity and the level of sameness in economic freedom are higher, with easily transferable competitive advantages. Components of both strategies need to be integrated so that it can enable international companies to achieve desirable success. Acquiring the benefits of both strategies needs various firms to not only standardize different components of marketing strategies and marketing mix, but to implement also adaptation when needed with the aim of meeting the evident market needs (Batraga & Pūķe, 2015).

McDonald’s Case Study

An example of a major corporation that has been able to demonstrate the benefits of both adaptation and standardization strategy is McDonald’s. With around 35,000 restaurants in around 120 countries globally, McDonald’s competently manages its franchise system, providing an outstandingly reliable branding and customer experience, while also enabling for locally appropriate service and menu differentiations in segments or markets globally. Moreover, all advertisements are provided in twelve different languages, characterizing the tailored products organized to each region or market (Vignali, 2001). McDonald’s launched the McArabia (a flatbread sandwich product) in 2003, to its outlets in the Middle East. In addition, in India, it launched the McVeggie, while introducing EBI-Fillet-O shrimp in Japanese markets.

The company also selects convenient locations for its franchises, which include local neighbourhoods, airports, and malls. Such marketing strategies have proven to be efficient, showed by the company’s 8% increase in profit margins within the last five years. Nonetheless, McDonald’s has placed various efforts to improve them using the latest marketing practices in regards to the 7Ps. The company has started to modernize its eateries, shifting from a plastic-appearance to a more wood and brick design with the aim of sustaining a modern image (Yeu, et al., 2012). McDonald’s has also chosen to “re-image” its business operations in their advertisements through integrating a hip-hop theme with young generation icons such as Lee Hom and Justin Timberlake in China as a way of attracting young people. Moreover, this company has started to serve healthier foods (e.g. oatmeal), provided consumers are highly health conscious.

Conclusion on Standardization versus Adaptation

The regular topic in international marketing is whether multinational firms need to plan for adapted or standardized marketing strategy is immensely debated in scholarly setting and is a major issue to all multinational firms and marketing individuals. Followers of standardized strategy state that the international market has become homogenized and thus, these firms can market their commodities similarly across the globe. Using similar approaches will lead to higher margins and reduced costs. On the contrast, followers of the adaptation strategy focus on the evident differences between the markets of various countries and markets, particularly those for consumer goods, and favour adopting global differentiated marketing initiatives

This paper listed some advantages and disadvantages of every strategy, suggesting that the solution to an effective market strategy lies between these two extreme strategies. Firms can promote a strong international marketing strategy with the relevant structure, attitude, and operating behaviours that attain an effective and efficient balance between standardization versus adaptation approaches. Companies intending to expand internationally need not to treat the world as one singular market. Rather, they should initiate market research and establish their customers, and their wants and needs.

References

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Batraga, A., & Pūķe, I. 2015. Integrating Standardization versus Adaptation in International Marketing Strategies: Companies in Latvia. Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference, pp.27-36.

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Hise, R., & Choi, Y.-T. 2013. Are US companies employing standardization versus adaptation strategies in their international markets? Journal of International Business and Cultural Studies, 1-29.

Hossain, A., & Yazdanifard, R. 2015. Which One of Standardization or Customization Works the Best When It Comes to Online Marketing? American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 5, pp.45-52.

Hussain, A., & Khan, S. 2013. International Marketing Strategy: Standardization versus Adaptation. Management and Administrative Sciences Review, 2(4), pp.353-359.

Kim, R. 2008. Wal-Mart Korea: Challenges of Entering a Foreign Market. Journal of Asia-Pacific Business, 9(4), pp.344-357.

Poturak, M., & Duman, T. 2014. The Role of Marketing Standardization versus Adaptation Strategies on Managers’ Satisfaction with Export Performance: Proposal of a Conceptual Framework. European Journal of Economic Studies, 10(4), pp. 252-262.

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Theodosiou, M., & Leonidou, L. 2003. Standardization versus adaptation of international marketing strategy: an integrative assessment of the empirical research. International Business Review, 12, pp.141–171.

Vignali, C. 2001. McDonald’s: “think global, act local” – the marketing mix. British Food Journal, 103(2), pp.97 -111.

Vrontis, D., & Thrassou, A. 2007. Adaptation versus standardization in international marketing – the country-of-origin effect. Innovative Marketing, 2(3), pp.7-20.

Wang, X., & Yang, Z. 2011. Standardization or Adaptation in International Advertising Strategies: The Roles of Brand Personality and Country-Of-Origin Image. Asian Journal of Business Research, 1(2), pp.25-36.

Wei, S., & Yazdanifard, R. 2014. Comparison on the Impact of Standardization and Adaptation on International Marketing. Journal of Research in Marketing, 3(1), pp. 250-259.

Yeu, C., Leong, K., & Tong, L. 2012. A Comparative Study on International Marketing Mix in China and India: The Case of McDonald’s. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 65, pp.1054–1059.

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Brand Management Reputation Marketing

Did you find any useful knowledge relating to the impact of standardization and adaptation on International Marketing in this post? What are the key facts that grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments. Thank you.

Brand Management Reputation Marketing

Reputation and Brand Management

Title: Reputation and Brand Management. In the recent years, some companies have been paying little attention to managing their reputations. Although the image of some companies is at risk, they do not see the risk posed by the loss of reputation (Issacharoff & Rave 2013). The BP oil spill accident was one of the largest environmental crises to happen in the recent times because it affected both the marine life and the human sector (Issacharoff & Rave 2013). Although this accident may not have affected the company directly in terms of financial performance, it lost part of its reputation. The company spent a lot of money on restoring the undermined image, although its efforts were not largely successful. The reputation of BP was made even worse by the responses given by the CEO Tony Hayward (Economist, 2018). In particular, the CEO tried to shift blame to other parties without taking full responsibility and making the necessary efforts to curb the situation.

Despite some of the bad remarks made by Hayward, when the accident happened, the company tried as much possible to curb the situation. Even James Ross, the Chairman of BP in the U.S., decided to go to the scene and estimate the level of the accident in order to see how the damage can be minimized. In just two hours after the accident had occurred, BP opted to send skimming team to the accident scene (Du, 2012). In addition, after 24 hours, BP had had already sent about 36 specialists to the site, which was a crucial step due to the fact that it reduced damage which has been caused to the company’s reputation. The measures taken succeeded in one way or the other. The company should have focused further on how to deal with the situation instead of spending a lot of money on PR exercise.

Volkswagen Company in 2015 was involved in emission scandal, whereby EPA issued a statement stating the company had greatly violated the Air Act (Ewing, 2015). According to the report released by EPA, it is clear that their TDI engines emitted a few poisonous gases after conducting a laboratory test, whereby in the real sense it was not the case because these engines emitted about 40 times more poisonous gases (Benjamin, 2018). The scandal affected the reputation of the company because the diesel emissions from the engines made by Volkswagen are not currently considered suitable due to not being environmentally friendly.

In order to solve the problem, Volkswagen came up with ways of reducing the diesel emissions. First of all, the company acknowledged the fact that they were involved in manipulating the tests conducted to investigate the vehicle emissions. The CEO himself apologized to the customers by admitting that the scandal had completely damaged the public trust and customers as a whole (Zhang et al., 2016). In addition, the company decided to pay the fine as result of damage caused by the diesel emissions, although it was costly to the whole organization. The effort made by the company to compensate for the damage caused by the pollution proved to be important because after some time, Volkswagen started to regain its lost customers sales, brand management and Reputation.

Brand Management Reputation Marketing

Also, Wells Fargo scandal was one of the biggest financial crimes committed ever, whereby the bank intentionally created more than 2 million fake accounts (Corkery, 2013). According to the report conducted in 2016, it was clear that this scandal inflicted a lot of damage to the Company because its reputation was largely damaged. For example, negative perception towards the bank increased from 15% to 52% after the criminal activity was revealed, which means that the bank had to witness decreased loyalty and the number of customers as result of the scandal (Corkery, 2013). Most of the customers started leaving the bank because it had already lost its reputation.

Brand Management Dissertation
Brand Management Dissertation

Further, the management of the bank tried as much as possible to restore its image at all cost. For example, after the occurrence of the scandal, it decided to pay compensations to some victims. The bank wasted significant costs on settling the damage done to its reputation by the scandal. For example, it had to pay $ 185 million in order to settle the charges resulting from the manipulation (Mims, 2017). In addition, the bank paid 570,000 customers, whom the company claimed to have taken car loans without their permission (Mims, 2017). After making efforts to compensate the affected customers, the bank’s activity started to alleviate the situation. For example, it managed to win back the faith of some of the loyal customers. In addition, the reputation of the company started to improve to some extent because it made efforts to rectify the fault.

References

Corkery, M. Wells Fargo Struggling in the aftermath of Fraud Scandal. The New York Times, 2013.

Du, S., & Vieira, E. T. Striving for Legitimacy through Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Management: Insights From Oil Companies. Journal of Business Ethics, 110 (4), 2012: 413-427.

Economist. “A year on, Wells Fargo cannot shake off its mis-selling scandal”, 2018.

Ewing, J. Volkswagen says 11 Million Cars Worldwide are Affected in Diesel Deception. The New York Times, 2015.

Issacharoff, S., & Rave, D. T. The BP Oil Spill Settlement and the Paradox of Public Litigation. Louisiana Law Review 74(2) 2013: 397.

Kervyn, N., Chan, E., Malone, C., Korpusik, A., & Ybarra, O. Not All Disasters are Equal in the Public’s Eye: The Negativity Effect on Warmth in Brand Management Perception. Social Cognition 32(3) 2014: 256-275.

Mims, J. H. The Wells Fargo Scandal and Efforts to Reform Incentive-Based Compensation in Financial Institutions. NC Banking Institute 2(1) 2017: 429.

Preston, Benjamin. “Volkswagen Scandal Tarnishes Hard-Won US Reputation as Green Company.” The Guardian, 2018.

Zhang, B., Veijalainen, J., & Kotkov, D. (2016). Volkswagen Emission Crisis: Managing Stakeholder Relations on the Web. In Webist 2016: Proceedings of the 12th International conference on web information systems and technologies. Volume 1. Scitepress, 2016

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Media Selection Food Advertising Dissertation

Media Selection of Food Campaign Advertising in Thailand and the UK

This dissertation aims to examine the relevant data that is available in the food advertising in the UK and Thailand. This is done with the aim of improving the overall efficiency of food advertising in both countries. The research design is both qualitative and quantitative. It makes use of online and paper-based surveys that target consumers and professionals in the advertising industry. The online survey is focused on consumers in order to identify the important factors that influence their purchasing decisions when making food purchases.

The dissertation based survey is used solely in the UK and targets the advertising professionals in order to identify which factors can improve advertising efficiency. The research findings show that there is a strong correlation between child advertising and obesity in both the UK and Thailand. It also shows that responsible food advertising can contribute to healthy eating in both countries among children and adults. The limitations of the study are that qualitative data from advertising professionals in Thailand could not be availed and this compromises the overall quality of the study.

Media Selection Food Advertising
Media Selection Food Advertising

The main recommendation is that there should be less government and more peer-to-peer regulation. This will reduce the advertising on children that promotes obesity while also improving the overall health of the adults. This study has value by contributing to the overall knowledge of food advertising in the UK and Thailand. This is important when considering the scarcity of information about food marketing in Thailand.

The impact of advertising is important in the food industry in influencing the choices that consumers will make with regards to the food they will purchase. Advertising is able to change the perceptions on what is healthy and appealing and also in stimulating the desire to purchase some certain foods. Consumer eating habits have been changing over the years and this has been significantly influenced by the images and pictures they are exposed to through advertising. The main objective of this research paper is to study the influence of media and advertising on the consumer in terms of the interest it elicits to purchase certain foods.

It will try to identify which media used is the most effective. This will be important in suggesting ways in which food companies based in the UK and Thailand can increase their efficiency in marketing.

Research Questions

  • What is the most appropriate advertising for a food campaign in Thailand and UK?
  • What is the best media which can motivate the consumer to purchase food in Thailand and the UK?
  • How does a buyer decide to buy food in Thailand and the UK?
  • What are the main factors that the consumer considers in selecting media in Thailand and the UK?
  • How can the efficiency of advertising be increased in Thailand and the UK?

Dissertation Contents

1 – Introduction and Background
Background
Objectives of the study
Research Questions
Conclusion

2 – Literature Review
Theories of advertising
Advertising Communication Models
AIDA Model of communication
Hierarchy-of-effects model of advertising Communication
The Innovation-Adoption Model
The high-low involvement model
Consumer Behavior Models
Anatomy of Purchase theory
Cognitive-dissonance theory
Cognitive-response theory
Stimulus-Response theory
Effects of advertising on children
Advertising Repetition
Characters in advertising
Pester power
Food and beverage advertising for children
Advertising Industry in the UK
Effects of food advertising on adults in the UK
Effects of food advertising on children in the UK
Advertising industry in Thailand
Effects of food advertising on adults in Thailand
Effects of food advertising on children in Thailand
Literature Review on the food industry
Classifications of innovations in the food industry
The effect of advertising on the efficiency of food distribution
UK Food industry
Food industry in Thailand

3 – Research Methodology
Research Design
Procedure
Limitations

4 – Findings
Analysis of research questions
Findings of Quantitative Method
The time spent on food advertising
Strategies used in food advertisement
Promotion channels for food advertising
Discussion

5 – Summary and Conclusion
Limitations
Recommendations

References

Appendix
Questionnaire

Download This Dissertation Here: Media Selection Food Advertising Dissertation

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post on media selection and how it affects food advertising in Thailand and the UK. There are many other titles available in the Marketing Dissertation Collection that should be of interest to marketing students and practitioners. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of marketing such as branding, corporate advertising, marketing strategy and consumerism to name a few. I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.

Customer Buying Behaviour Dissertation

Customer Buying Behaviour Towards Store Own Brand Products: A Case Study Of Tesco

This dissertation aims to address and understand how customers behave when they are aware of store own brands. What types of customer buying behaviours are commonly observed in this situation? For this purpose, three specific questions were made that included What are the factors affecting consumers’ buying behaviour towards store brands, particularly offered by Tesco? What kinds of effective strategies (marketing and distribution) can be adopted by the management of Tesco and other retailers to sell store brands selling in order to fascinate buyers? And what is the buying behaviour/attitude of customers towards purchasing of Tesco own or store Brand and what types of buying attitudes are used by the people for purchasing process? Using the quantitative research approach, the data was collected from 50 participants and analysed through SPSS.

Buying Behaviour Dissertation
Buying Behaviour Dissertation

The results of the study highlighted that customers’ behaviour is changing over time towards Tesco store brands. These changing customers’ behaviours belong to different types such as dissonance behaviour, complex buying, variety seeking, and habitual attitude. The results concluded that price, innovation, quality, brand image, and customers’ age and gender consideration are the key factors influencing customers’ buying attitude. The study suggests that improvement in innovation, high promotion through different mediums, effective pricing (element of marketing mix approach) and business extension can be adopted as influential strategy to attract customers more towards Tesco store brands.

Dissertation Objectives

  • To explore the attitudes (types of behaviours) of buyers towards Tesco Own/Store Brands and to reveal some important aspects behind buying trends
  • To find the factors affecting consumer behaviour of people towards store brands
  • To evaluate the effective strategies (marketing and distribution) that must be considered or continued by store brands selling retailers like Tesco in order to fascinate buyers towards store brands

View This Dissertation Here

Dissertation Contents

1 – Introduction
Background and Rational to the Study
Problem Statement
Research Aim(s) and Objective(s)
Research Question(s)
Main Question
Sub-Question(s)
Potential Contribution of the Study/Significance

2 – Literature Review
Customers’ Behaviour and Store Brands’ Buying
Store Brands or Own Brands
Customer Behaviour in the Context of Store Brands
Types of Customer Behaviour and Store Brands
Complex Buying Behaviour
Dissonance-Reducing Buying Behaviour
Habitual buying behaviour
Variety Seeking Behaviour
Factors Affecting Consumer Behaviour (Positive/Negative Determinants)
Impact of Influencing factors on Store Brands’ Demands and Businesses
Effective Strategies to Fascinate Customers towards Buying of Store Brand

3 – Methodology and Design
Research Philosophy
Research Design and Strategy
Research Approach
Data Collection Method
Sample Population
Data Analysis
Ethical Consideration

4 – Case Study

5 – Findings and Analysis
Participant Details
Descriptive Results

6 – Discussion
Discussion Based on Research Questions

7 – Conclusion

References

Appendix
Questionnaire

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post on Customer Buying Behaviour Towards Store Own Brand Products. There are many other titles available in the Marketing Dissertation Collection that should be of interest to marketing students and practitioners. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of marketing such as branding, corporate advertising, marketing strategy and consumerism to name a few. I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.