Case One: Cat Food Strategy
1. What was IAMS initial mistake?
IAMS did not take into effect the culture differences between the United States market and the European market. IAMS really should have done a cross-cultural consumer analysis before deciding to enter the European market. This would have helped them determine the difference or similarities between the markets. (Schiffman &Kanuk, 2007) Even though there wasn’t huge difference between the cultures it still would have been beneficial for IAMS to complete this analysis as it would have saved them not only time but also money. 2. What lessons can be learned from the IAMS experience?
Companies can learn the importance of why completing a cross-cultural consumer analysis is important before deciding to take a product into another market. Had IAMS done this analysis they would have been aware of the cultural differences and would have been able to make changes to their product before introducing it. Due to not understanding the European culture the company wasted valuable time and profits. They also introduced a product that was unsatisfactory, which in return caused issues when they tried to reintroduce it as “wet” food. They however made a wise choice when choosing to sale only through breeders and vets. Although this doesn’t allow them to reach a large majority of customers, it still allowed them to be successful in the new market.
Schiffman, & Kanuk. (2007). Cross-Cultural Consumer Behavior. In Consumer Behavior (Ninth Edition, pp. 454-475). Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
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