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Standardisation Adaptation of International Marketing

  • 10Pages
  • Published On: 01-12-2023


The meaning of adaptation in international marketing refers to the involvement for modifying products of any company or brand to make them prepared for meeting the needs, demands and preferences of the local people and customs. However, standardisation of products means neither modification is done nor the marketing approaches are changed while doing internationalisation (Katsikeas et al. 2019). The report here will present the strategies which companies needs to accommodate in their business functioning to make their way towards internationalisation in their product marketing. In order to give a better understanding, the company chosen to highlight the concept of standardisation or adaptation in international marketing is McDonald’s. McDonald’s is a wide spread American fast food company chain spread across the world form the year 1940 owned by Richard and Maurice McDonald in California, U.S.

Evaluation of international development strategies for international marketing.


The primary choice of an effective international marketing strategy depends on the objectives and goals of the company’s desires. A company when entering in the international markets across the globe have to either standardise or adapt their marketing mix. There has always been a big question for the companies to choose from both the standardisation or adaptation method for international marketing according to their company nature. In case of McDonald’s, they have not standardised their international marketing strategies rather they applied the adaptation method for their expansion. Matricano and Vitagliano (2018) suggested that in standardisation, there is a fixed standard of the company and product in every place but this does not work in global market because every people’s choices and preferences are different so a standard product will not attract more customers. There will be restricted customer range with a same standard product and marketing strategies. According to Samiee, (2020), McDonald’s decided that they will start their global franchise expansion coming up with the adaptation strategy for regional expansion. In this strategic plan, McDonald’s adapted the food that the local customs and making which will retain their global standards. They changed their food variety according to the places and there peoples’ taste choices. Their primary key towards success is their motto which says “think global and act local” (, 2021). This one can actually explain all the strategic plans of McDonald’s for their international marketing plans. The main strategic focus of McDonald’s was on few of the strategies which are like- differentiation, product and service, innovation and market focus for their international strategy development.

Differentiation strategy – The differentiation strategy is basically a marketing strategic tool that brands uses to strive a distinction in any company’s product or service from their standard old products and competition. Menapace and Fathinejad (2020) opined that this strategy is involved in identifying the uniqueness which is required or the difference in the taste and preference of people of different place. This strategy makes it easy to communicate with people to know the points that can attract the target market or audience. This strategy is applied in McDonald’s when they first thought of global expansion (, 2021). Since McDonald’s is a food chain so before international marketing it was a must for the brand to know the type of food taste of that region where they wanted to outsource their products. A special quality of McDonald’s is that they adapted the consumer’ cultures while growing internationally. For a food brand chain it is very much important to offer the customers of various regions according to their taste and culture just lie in case of Indonesia the majority of the population are Muslims of around 260 million which is quite a large percentage of population, McDonald’s removed pork from the items and menu as per their religious culture (Rana et al. 2020). Instead of pork, they added wide range of fish items to the menu. This strategy is adopted by McDonald’s in all of their international marketing expansion.

Product and service – The product and service strategy is basically referred as the offering the right products and services to the right target consumers or audiences. The p5roduct and service strategy includes in itself the new products, their quality, package designing, brand names, and finally research and development of that region market (Morgan et al. 2018). The primary aim of product and service strategy is to develop those specific products and services that will succeed in meeting the buyers needs and can fulfil the consumers’ expectations of that region. There are certain factors that affect the internationalisation of products and services which needs to be taken care of such as environmental friendly issues, changes in the market management, shortened product life cycles, ethical issues and product accessibility, different market entry methods and balancing between the standardisation and adaptation methods (, 2021). In many previous cases, it has been seen that the plan of international marketing was basically driven by the saturation of all the domestic markets or the necessity to offload any surplus capacity. Product and service management primarily aims at focusing on that limitation and gap and also brings the new products and services to the international market.

Innovation – Innovation is basically the development of something new from an old product to present the new product in the market for attracting customers. The innovation strategy is an essential plan for those brands who are thinking of expanding in the international market to a different region for new customers (Rana et al. 2020). Innovation strategy is also adopted by McDonald’s because for a food chain company, it is must to present something new and different in the menu so that more and more customers can be attracted. The innovation strategy in this case is dependent on the different cultural beliefs, taste preferences, environmental laws and many other factors. An innovation strategy is normally a commitment to give a common innovation motive and a structured set of actions which focuses at aiming to support the future growth of the company and increase the market share hold (, 2021). McDonald’s innovation strategy basically focuses on certain factors such as including kids’ small gadgets and toys to attract them. Some other innovative plans, McDonald’s maintained the food safety measures and quality standards like the nutrients factors of the food they serve. McDonald’s always tries to follow being an environmental friendly brand and contributes towards nature by using the unbleached tissue papers that could be recycled and made from recycled materials for their restaurants (Morgan et al. 2018). They showcase eco-friendly products within them like One Napkin, One Meal and McRecycle.

Market focus – The main strong market promotional strategy of McDonald’s is their advertisements which were planned very interestingly and notably. The market promotion tactics of McDonald’s uses the corporate measures such as print media, radio, TV and online media. McDonald’s core strategic plan primarily focuses on the long term outlooks for delivering a meaningful increase and growth in their guest counts. Menapace and Fathinejad (2020) opined that their measures are reliable enough to grow their sales and improve the shareholder value since their core opportunities of good food, valuable responses and better customer experiences. Their sales promotion ideas draw more and more customers to attract to come to restaurants. McDonald’s claims that their all restaurants have special offer meals for children, their restaurants are a place where people can relax with free Wi-Fi facility for adults and a facility of quick breakfast for those people who comes in a hurry or for busy restaurant schedules (, 2021). McDonald’s main key for their success is their focus on improving the Customer Satisfaction. McDonald’s prioritise in making their customers happy and their operational competitive strategy focuses on the cost, nutrition and speed (, 2021). McDonald’s applies both the persuasive and informative advertisements where the informative advertisements are about healthy eating habits and the persuasive advertisements are those which persuade the customers to buy food from them.

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The report here focuses on the strategies that are needed for international marketing that a company uses when trying to expand their brand globally. Standardisation of products means neither modification is done nor the marketing approaches are changed while doing internationalisation. McDonald’s main key for their success is their focus on improving the Customer Satisfaction. McDonald’s prioritise in making their customers happy and their operational competitive strategy focuses on the cost, nutrition and speed. The innovation strategy in this case is dependent on the different cultural beliefs, taste preferences, environmental laws and many other factors. At last it can be concluded that McDonald’s strategies are made in such a way that it attracts all range of customers from kids to adults to old age people too.


Katsikeas, C., Leonidou, L. and Zeriti, A., 2019. Revisiting international marketing strategy in a digital era: opportunities, challenges, and research directions. International Marketing Review.

Matricano, D. and Vitagliano, G., 2018. International Marketing Strategies in the Jewellery Industry: Are They Standardised, Adapted or Both?. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 10(1), pp.1-10., 2021. Values In Action, available at: [Accessed on: 10th February, 2021]

Menapace, L. and Fathinejad, N., 2020. International standardisation versus adaptation of marketing: Globalisation versus Localisation. Analyses of economic rationale behind differences in the composition of seemingly identical branded food products in the Single Market, p.62.

Morgan, N.A., Feng, H. and Whitler, K.A., 2018. Marketing capabilities in international marketing. Journal of International Marketing, 26(1), pp.61-95.

Rana, S., Prashar, S., Barai, M.K. and Hamid, A.B.A., 2020. Determinants of international marketing strategy for emerging market multinationals. International Journal of Emerging Markets.

Samiee, S., 2020. International marketing and the internet: a research overview and the path forward. International Marketing Review.


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