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International marketing - the case of Mcdonald's - Essay Example

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International marketing - the case of Mcdonald's

Differences in culture, behaviour and customer needs across nations have posed new challenges while also providing new opportunities in international marketing. These have altered the segmenting, targeting of the market and product positioning. Thus international marketing strategy is a comprehensive effort which entails deployment of the marketing mix to create a sustainable advantage in the international market place (Wong and Merrilees, 2007). The right marketing mix and the marketing decision can change the brand perception and enhance the firm’s reputation leading to strong brand performance. The power of global brands can be used as a means of international entry but such brands also have to adapt to cultural and other environmental conditions. 2. Company Background McDonald's is one of the most respected and recognized brands in the world. Its success is ascertained from the fact that the organization has over 33,000 franchisees across the world, operating in 119 countries and serving over 47 million people each day (Han, 2008). McDonald's has achieved success purely because of its ‘think global, act local’ strategy that it has adopted in all its markets. Initially however, McDonald's had an ethnocentric approach to international marketing as it tried to replicate the home country elements overseas. However, through experience and knowledge it adopted the polycentric approach and focused on the demands of the host country. 3. Standardization and Adaptation Gilani and Razeghi (2010) do not consider it necessary to adapt to the elements of the marketing mix to suit to local tastes as markets have become globalized. However, globalization has not homogenised cultures. Standardization which pertains to identical product lines at identical prices, distributed through identical distribution lines with identical promotional programs (Zou, Andrus, Norvell, 1997), is not feasible in the changed business environment as this demonstrates a product-centred approach whereas organizations need to have a customer-centric approach. McDonald's, in order to fit in to the new market demands, adjusted the entire marketing strategy including how they distribute and promote their brand. The company re-designed its marketing mix based on the product positioning, branding and design. 4. Product Positioning Product positioning is the product’s positioning and image that lends it a distinct value and place in the target segment’s mind (Liu and Chen, 2000). Since buyers differ in their attitudes, lifestyle and behaviour, these differences help in market segmentation. Within each segment product positioning strategy has to differ. McDonald's initially positioned itself as the market leader with low-priced quality food (Need Coffee, 2005). McDonald’s continuously strives to serve the customers better as its vision is to be the ‘world’s best quick service restaurant experience and ensure that every customer in every restaurant smiles (Andidas, 2003). However, as it entered the Asian markets, particularly China, it had to reposition itself. Burgers in China are perceived by the elders as providing nutritional value while the youth seeks taste (Anderson and He, 1998). Even though they do not relish pizzas or fast food, but the Chinese consumers would like to be seen at fast food outlets. McDonald's strategy was to provide the ambience, music and the environment that attracted the Chinese consu ...Show more


International Marketing – the case of Mcdonald’s Table of Contents 1. Introduction 1 2. Company Background 1 3. Standardization and Adaptation 2 4. Product Positioning 2 5. Branding 3 6. Marketing Mix 4 7. Analysis 7 8. Internationalization Process Theory 8 9…
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