Adaptation/Standardization of SMEs’ Marketing Mix Elements across borders

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för ekonomi och teknik (SET); Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för ekonomi och teknik (SET)

Abstract:

Nowadays, the globalization phenomena makes companies of every size think beyond domestic market. However, implement an international strategy that is efficient is not a simple task for firms. Indeed, companies have to respond to market specific context while they have different characteristics. In the literature, with regard to the adaptation/standardization of the marketing mix, most of the researches have built their theories upon the analysis of multinationals’ cases. Little attention has been paid on the cases of SMEs although in different topics of interest it has been seen that these two types of companies do not behave exactly the same ways. Therefore, this thesis aims to find the reasons affecting the SME’s decision of adapting/standardizing the marketing mix and how do they proceed to do so.

A qualitative research has been done with one Belgian small-medium enterprise (Bruyere) that evolves in the chocolate industry and more precisely in the market of pralines. The data gathered, thanks to the interview of two managers of Bruyerre, are structured with the theoretical framework beforehand developed. The analysis and discussion section contrasts and compares the theoretical framework and the data gathered.

The research brought specific and significant findings about the small-medium Belgian enterprise (Bruyerre). Beyond general factors affecting their decisions either to adapt or standardize the element of the marketing mix strategy across nations, in this case, we found that managers have to build strong relationships with their partners across nations, take into consideration the nature of their product when deciding the strategy of adaptation/standardization and be flexible for their partners’ requests.

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