What are the key lessons to be learned from Whirlpool's experience in emerging markets?
From the Whirlpool's experience in emerging markets, we can learn that customer relationship management is very useful to keep a global business up to the trend. Customers in different countries may prefer different types of features for a same product and understanding the local demands will help the company in gaining the market share. For example, Hank Bowman attempts in listening to customers allowed Whirlpool to duplicate its three-tiered approach to brands that has works so well in the U.S.
Whirlpool has made a smart decision when they decided to outsource management of some distribution function. This could be an important source of information as local distributors are people who know best about local conditions, customers and markets.
Market research and focus group research are very important before a company make decision to enter a global market. Based on Whirlpool's experience in emerging markets, we can observed that market research has help Whirlpool to design new innovative product that meet to local needs. For example, high four legs in Brazil's Ideale design, casters mounted Ideale in India, and "grease removal" label on China's Ideale.
In addition, research also helps a product designer to think of a breakthrough idea. For example, Chuck Jones had designed a new product named as 'Duet'. It is a combination of a washer and a dryer. After launched, the Duet has 20 percent market share in the premium front loading washer category.
In conclusion, market research is a very important process in a company. It is a very useful tool for gathering market information that meets both the company and market demand.