University essay from Lunds universitet/Centrum för öst- och sydöstasienstudier

Abstract: The past century saw rapid growth of multinational companies around the globe. Along with the tide of globalization, these companies are compelled to deal with customers cultivated in different cultures. China, boosting a remarkable economic growth in the past two decades, stands out under the spotlight of international business. Being amazed by the huge business potential posed by a population of 1.3 billion, many multinational companies have joined the competition to attract Chinese customers. There have been losers and winners. IKEA is now on the right track. IKEA entered the Chinese market in 1998 by first opening a shop in Shanghai, the financial centre of the country and are now ready to expand further. The thesis presents a case study of IKEA Shanghai's marketing performances from a cultural perspective, following the model of the marketing mix (the 4Ps). The findings convey an important message in terms of international marketing?the company must think globally and act locally in hope of building long-term customer relationships and capturing customer value. In marketing decisions, culture does not hold an ultimate status but still calls for due attention as much as other factors, such as the marketing environment and the company's strategic plan.

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