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Step 8: Preparing your export plan

You are here:Step 8: Preparing your export plan > Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm > The export product >Product modification > Factors favouring product adaptation



Factors favouring product adaptation


IThe following are the factors that favour product adaptation/differentiation:

  • Maximisation of profits is usually the primary motivation for going to the expense of modifying a product and is in direct contrast to the policy of cost reduction through standardisation.
  • Differing consumer tastes affect food, fashion, and household products, in particular. However, they also have a strong influence on the design and manufacture of items such as motor cars. For example, the French normally show a strong preference for 4-door models whereas the Germans prefer 2-door models.
  • Inadequate consumer purchasing power may necessitate a low price and a corresponding reduction in the quality (e.g. finish or grade) of a product. Packaging, in particular, would be affected in such a case.
  • Variations in national conditions, such as different approaches to wearing and washing clothes may necessitate different kinds of washing machines, or soaps and detergents. In some European countries, boiling water is used for washing and, consequently, washing machines must have special built-in heaters. In developing countries, on the other hand, washing is done in streams or rivers and bar soap is much preferred to packaged soap powders which are ineffective if the water used for washing is not confined to a washing machine or other container
  • Where the level of technical ability is generally low, a product may have to be simplified or provided with good back-up. Poor maintenance standards in developing countries may give rise to the need for improvements to product reliability or the simplification of the product.
  • Tariff levels may dictate local manufacture or assembly, or local purchase of components, thus preventing standardisation.
  • Government taxation policy may necessitate changes to the product in order to reduce the amount of tax payable, e.g. car tax related to engine size.
  • Due to varying road and traffic conditions, cars, trucks and tyres may need to be modified depending on whether they are destined for industrialised or developing countries.
  • Sometimes climatic conditions dictate that modifications be made to products that are sensitive to temperature or humidity, e.g. the composition of car tyres will vary from one market to another depending on the extremes of climate. Similarly, the inclusion of heaters or air conditioners in certain car models will depend on the climatic conditions of the markets concerned.
  • When a product is perceived as new in a particular market, it may have to be adapted in order that consumer resistance and slow market growth may be overcome.
  • Local labour costs may influence the extent of automation in the production process.


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Step 8: more information

Step 8: Preparing your export plan
      Synopsis of research already done
      Revisiting an export SWOT analysis of the firm
      Setting the export objectives of the firm
      Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm
                  The export product
                        Product modification - adaptation vs standardisation
                              .Factors favouring product standardisation
                              .Mandatory product modifications
                              .Evaluating the need for product modification
                        New product development
                        Eliminating obsolete products
                        Product quality and design
                        Improving the production process
                        Packaging for exports
                        Labelling for exports
                        Product b rands and trademarks
                        Product servicing
                  The export price
                  Export promotion
                  Export distribution
      Preparing an export budget for your firm
      Outlining an implementation schedule for your export activities
      Preparing and presenting your export plan
      Obtaining approval for your export plan


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More information on Step 8
Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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