Influences on the Adaptation and Standardization Level of Swedish MNCs in the German Market
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to describe how the factors influence the level of adaptation and standardization of a marketing strategy and subsequently analyze how the factors influence the level of adaptation and standardization of Swedish MNCs’ in the German market. The relevant factors for the decision towards standardization and adaptation are found out using a framework composed by Viswanathan & Dickson (2007). The factors chosen are homogeneity of customer response to the marketing-mix, transferability of competitive advantage, homogeneity of economic freedom and decision variables. This thesis does so in a deductive and qualitative approach using Swedish retailer Clas Ohlson as a case study. Underlying this is a contextualized and interpretivist point of view. Data was collected through focus group interviews with German and Swedish students and complemented through data mining. An analysis of the empirical data shows a high homogeneity of customer response to the marketing-mix, the possibility of transferring the competitive advantage and a high homogeneity of economic freedom was discovered. When applying the frame of reference on the empirical data, Swedish MNCs, especially Swedish retailers, are recommended to choose a high degree of standardization for their IMS in the German market. It was discovered that the used framework does to some extent not cover a wish proposed by the German participants calling for a partial adaptation of the international marketing strategy. This disproves the assumption underlying the frame of reference as the majority of factors suggest standardization, yet from a consumer perspective, there is the wish to partially adapt. In the conclusion managerial implications, limitations and research implications are mentioned as well.
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