International Business: Adapting Products for Export

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The major problems facing companies, especially smaller ones, in resolving product-adaptation issues are things that can differ in different cultures such as the taste of the product, the style, the color, or symbols, language, but also more specific like differences in technology, environmental differences, religion etc.

The taste of a product is very important for the food, drinks and cigarette industry. Style is more important in car and fashion industry, which also includes the color and symbols. The meaning of a color or a symbol can differ from culture to culture.

The package of the product can also need adaptations. Special symbols and the language need to adapt to the country/culture. Some symbols can be offensive in one culture and be normal symbols in another culture. There is also a possibility that a symbol is not commonly used in a culture and will be misinterpreted. Language differs of course; many things can go wrong concerning languages or translations. The packaging also has to be adapted to the conditions of a country; storage conditions (size of the product), climate, moisture, etc.

Technology can also make a difference if the product is going to be successful on a new market or not. Measurement systems vary between countries and often components need to be modified to adhere to local standards, which can also include the size of the product. Environmental differences are probably more logic; selling ski jackets in warm countries is not likely to be profitable. Some products may malfunction, when they are exposed to extreme heat or cold. Religion or special norms and values can also make a product fail.

2.Comment on the statement, "It is our policy not to adapt products for export."

Perhaps what the company is trying to avoid are the conformity requirements and regulatory mandates. Adapting products for export would normally require adapting higher standards of quality. This in turn might require upgrading of facilities and...
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