Standardisation and Adaptation Within International Marketing Context

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Integration of Standardisation and Adaptation Marketing Mix Strategy Reference to Shiseido Company in UK and China
Being a Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Business Administration (General) in the University of Hull


Ai Jun Hou , BA (Honours)

(April 20, 2001)

This dissertation reflects the contribution and insights of many people. I shall take the opportunity to thank the following people who have played a significant role in stimulating my thinking and provided encouragement, support and co-operation for this work. i. Mandy Brown - University of HULL My project supervisor, whose support, guidance and encouragement are greatly appreciated ii. Vrontis, D – Professor of Manchester Metropolitan University . For his time and guiding in the provision of “AdaptStand” theory and offering quite useful information and other literature’s works. iii. Takako Enomoto, Maria , Shiseido Consumer Center, Tokyo For her time and co-operation in the provision of insight information on both the company and the cosmetic industry in general

Finally, my greatest debt is to my sweet husband on his undivided support, encouragement and prayer all the way through till the end of the MBA programme. To all of you I say, thank you for your support and inspiration.


Every multinational business is faced with a very important marketing decision: to standardise or to adapt its marketing mix? This case study outlines a theoretical exegesis of global standardisation and international adaptation, presents these two perspectives. The debate between these two concepts is explored and their respective benefits considered. Subsequently, the role of the marketing mix and strategy are examined in relation to the above approaches along with the consideration of the various factors, which suggest a particular marketing mix approach. Furthermore, this research presents the factors that influence the company to adapt its marketing mix while maintain its standardisation strategy. Those factors are examined include political, economic, cultural, physical condition, technology, product life cycle, competitive factor, organisational factor, the nature of the product, and the target and positioning strategy. In facilitating the comprehension of the above task, Shiseido – a Japanese based cosmetic company in China and U.K. market are utilised to exemplify and discuss the way that Shiseido Company addresses the integration of standardisation or adaptation issues. It will show the different degree of adaptation based on the standardisation in Chinese and U.K. market. Contrary to the research propositions Shiseido in Chinese market was found to adapted aspects of its marketing strategy to a greater degree than its U.K. counterparts with product, promotion displaying the highest level of standardisation and distribution and pricing activities being slightly adapted to host market. The preliminary results of this research, therefore, appear to add to the existing confusion in the standardisation and adaptation debate. As a result, further research is needed to finding out the perfect pint of the integration of standardisation and adaptation.


Table of Contents
Chapter Acknowledgement Abstract Table of Contents List of figures Appendices Introduction Research Objectives Structure and Organisation of the Dissertation Problem Situation 1 Theoretical Background 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.2.1 1.2.2 1.2.3 2 Introduction Standardisation and Adaptation within International Marketing Context Global Standardisation or International Adaptation: --Literature Review Global standardisation school International adaptation school Adapted standardisation school Page

i ii iii Vi Vii 1 1 3 5 7 7 7 9 10 11 12 15 15 15 17 17 18 18 18 18 19 19 20 20 25

Theory and Methodology 2.0 2.1 2.1.1 2.1.2 2.2 2.2.1 2.2.2...
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