Market Entry Strategy

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Cunningham1 (1986) identified five strategies used by firms for entry into new foreign markets: i) Technical innovation strategy - perceived and demonstrable superior products ii) Product adaptation strategy - modifications to existing products iii) Availability and security strategy - overcome transport risks by countering perceived risks iv) Low price strategy - penetration price and,

v) Total adaptation and conformity strategy - foreign producer gives a straight copy. In marketing products from less developed countries to developed countries point iii) poses major problems. Buyers in the interested foreign country are usually very careful as they perceive transport, currency, quality and quantity problems. This is true, say, in the export of cotton and other commodities. Because, in most agricultural commodities, production and marketing are interlinked, the infrastructure, information and other resources required for building market entry can be enormous. Sometimes this is way beyond the scope of private organisations, so Government may get involved. It may get involved not just to support a specific commodity, but also to help the "public good". Whilst the building of a new road may assist the speedy and expeditious transport of vegetables, for example, and thus aid in their marketing, the road can be put to other uses, in the drive for public good utilities. Moreover, entry strategies are often marked by "lumpy investments". Huge investments may have to be undertaken, with the investor paying a high risk price, long before the full utilisation of the investment comes. Good examples of this include the building of port facilities or food processing or freezing facilities. Moreover, the equipment may not be able to be used for other processes, so the asset specific equipment, locked into a specific use, may make the owner very vulnerable to the bargaining power of raw material suppliers and product buyers who process alternative production or trading options. Zimfreeze, Zimbabwe is experiencing such problems. It built a large freezing plant for vegetables but found itself without a contract. It has been forced, at the moment, to accept sub optional volume product materials just in order to keep the plant ticking over. In building a market entry strategy, time is a crucial factor. The building of an intelligence system and creating an image through promotion takes time, effort and money. Brand names do not appear overnight. Large investments in promotion campaigns are needed. Transaction costs also are a critical factor in building up a market entry strategy and can become a high barrier to international trade. Costs include search and bargaining costs. Physical distance, language barriers, logistics costs and risk limit the direct monitoring of trade partners. Enforcement of contracts may be costly and weak legal integration between countries makes things difficult. Also, these factors are important when considering a market entry strategy. In fact these factors may be so costly and risky that Governments, rather than private individuals, often get involved in commodity systems. This can be seen in the case of the Citrus Marketing Board of Israel. With a monopoly export marketing board, the entire system can behave like a single firm, regulating the mix and quality of products going to different markets and negotiating with transporters and buyers. Whilst these Boards can experience economies of scale and absorb many of the risks listed above, they can shield producers from information about, and from. buyers. They can also become the "fiefdoms" of vested interests and become political in nature. They then result in giving reduced production incentives and cease to be demand or market orientated, which is detrimental to producers. Normal ways of expanding the markets are by expansion of product line, geographical development or both. It is important to note that the more the product line and/or the geographic area...
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