The standardization vs. adaptation debate in the marketing literature has inspired a substantial research stream over the past four decades. What is more, the focus on globalization and the difficulties that many multinational companies have faced while implementing a global marketing strategy have reignited this debate in recent years. Basically, the standardization vs. adaptation debate centers on whether firms operating at an international or global level should standardize their marketing strategies and programs to offer an essentially uniform marketing mix in all of the markets within which they operate around the world (Levitt 1983, Ohmae 1989, Yip 1996, Backhaus and van Doorn 2007). Or, whether the marketing mix should be adapted to reflect differences in macro-environmental factors among various countries (Britt 1974, Buzzell 1968, Douglas and Wind 1987, Katsikeas et al. 2006, DeMooij 2000). Both sides of the debate have been addressed in the marketing literature over the years with arguments offered as to why an emphasis on standardization rather than adaptation should be pursued and vice versa (Douglas and Craig 1986,Theodosou and Leonidou 2003, Vrontis et al. 2009). A definitive outcome to this debate has still not emerged. For the most part, however, the standardization vs. adaptation debate has been conducted at a comprehensive level of marketing strategy. That is, the arguments have generally been presented as if they apply equally to all four strategic components of the marketing mix: product, price, promotion, and place (channels of distribution). Therefore, if a case can be made for standardizing product strategy, the same reasoning would apply to pricing, promotion, and place strategies. This would result in virtually the same product being sold, using the same promotional message, at the same price, and through the same channels of distribution in all different countries being targeted.
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