Founded in 1886, Avon is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and marketers of beauty-related products. This case describes Avon’s push into foreign markets via a combination of nationally responsive and globally standardized marketing strategies. The company has its own sales operations in 66 countries and territories, and it distributes to another 44. More than 75 percent of its sales come from outside the U.S. Avon seeks to develop a global image of being a company that supports women and their needs. It relies heavily on independent salespersons who sell directly to individual customers. Avon emphasizes standardized products that carry its global brand, but allows product lines and brand names to vary by country if needed. In addition, each country operation sets its own prices to reflect local market conditions and strategic objectives. Whenever possible, Avon transfers organizational learning and successful practices from one country to another. [See Map 16.1]
1. The chapter describes different marketing orientations. Discuss the applicability of each to Avon’s international operations. The five common marketing orientations are production, sales, customer, strategic marketing, and social marketing. The production orientation does not apply to Avon. Initially when Avon entered its first foreign market, it went to nearby Canada probably focusing on a sales orientation with little product adaptation. Today, Avon utilizes aspects of customer, strategic marketing, and social marketing in its global strategy. Avon modifies its products to meet specific customers’ needs such as technology-driven skin care products in Japan and including insect repellent in the Brazilian skin cream. Avon modified its distribution method, particularly in China, as part of the overall strategic marketing orientation. Avon’s social marketing orientation is part of its global image supporting women and their needs. Specific programs include...
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