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Product strategy

While introducing product to foreign market a firm can use different product strategy which include extension, adaptation, invention, standardization and global product. Extension strategy involves introduction of standardized product and adoption of the same communication strategy around the globe. The advantages associated with this strategy are that it is cost effective and allows a company to enjoy economies of scale. Extension strategy is mainly used for industrial type products and rarely used for consumer goods except for luxury goods and soft drinks.

The issue of cultural difference receives minimal attention and various markets are assumed to be homogeneous. In Japan companies such as matsushita and Sony have successfully marketed standardized version of their product. The companies only require identifying product features that are popular among customers across the globe and due to economies of scale they will be able to price their product competitively. In addition the companies emphasized on quality and as a result the product appealed to most customers.

For Sony most electric products are highly standardized except for some few parts which have to meet the national electrical standards. On the other hand coca-cola sell standardized product but usually changes the communication strategy to adapt to local language and

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culture. This strategy is cost effective as communication adaptation requires less resources compared to tailoring product to a local market (Tayeb, 2003). 8 A firm that uses adaptation strategy can either use extension communication strategy or adaptation communication strategy.

Where extension communication strategy is used then introduction of product into foreign market will requires some changes to product but the firm maintains the same communication strategy across the globe. The firm changes formulation of product without consumer knowing. This strategy is mostly employed in detergents. This strategy requires additional cost in terms of research, development and tooling but will lead to saving resulting from single communication strategy.

The other option is the use of adaptation communication strategy which therefore require changes in product and communication strategy to suit the social cultural differences among the various nations. For a firm to operate profitably then the foreign market need to be of sufficient volume. This strategy requires extensive research and additional cost in term of tooling and development expenses The next product strategy that the firm can use in foreign market is invention.

This involves the redesigning of original product at a lower level of complexity to take into account economic and social cultural differences among various countries. This strategy result to an increased sale as product appeals to a large number of customers. For instance Toyota Company should allow it subsidiary to make changes to their models to suit local taste. For Toyota Australia most of it cars are exported to Middle East and therefore it model are designed differently from it parent company in Japan.

In promotion culture affect the communication message to apply in different markets. Message designed should get attention, hold interest, allow desire and obtain action.

Therefore in putting the message together communicator must note that the customer would create alternative message in term of desirability, exclusivity and believability. In addition cultural consideration determine how the message is put i. e. tone, moody, image, musical, personality symbols and choice of word. For instance the use of a beautiful woman with much of his body exposed to advertise body lotion may be preferred in US but where such advert is displayed in a region where Islamic religion is practised such as Saudi Arabia or Palestine it may appear provocative. In addition different nation have different language which requires communication messages to be adopted to suit local language.

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