Product adaptation is the process of modifying an existing product so it is suitable for different customers or markets. An adaptation strategy is particularly important for companies that export their products because it ensures that the product meets local cultural and regulatory requirements.
What is Product Adaptation Strategy?
Adaptation involves making the product fit the market/demand/country. The product is not changed, so it is important not to confuse product adaptation with product differentiation. Read on to know more about the differences between product adaptation and product differentiation.
Adaptation Strategy is essential for companies whose products are sold in different markets or to people with different needs and expectations. It involves changes to the product without changing the core product attributes. For example, a shampoo brand is marketed differently in the US and in the UK to reflect each market’s values and preferences.
Product differentiation strategies, on the other hand, involve changes in the core product attributes. For example, during the 1960s, Sony differentiated its television by increasing the size of the picture tube. Another example of product differentiation is when Intel introduced microprocessors with the 8088, 8086 and 80286 chips. These chips were unique because they had extra processing power.
Adaptation Strategy also involves making the product suitable for local cultural needs. For example, the shampoo promoted in the US is formulated differently from that in the UK. The US version is heavily fragranced while the UK version is fragrance-free. In the UK, there is greater sensitivity to perfumes than in the US, so the product needs to be altered to cater for this.
Why is It Important to Have a Strong Adaptation Strategy?
Adaptation Strategy ensures that the company takes into account local regulatory and cultural needs. It is also an important part of product modification, and ensures that the uniqueness of the product is maintained while the aspect to change is targeted. An adaptation strategy can help the company to penetrate new markets and increase its revenue and profits.
Adaptation Strategy for Businesses
Adaptation Strategy involves identifying cultural and regulatory differences among markets that are targeted by the business, and making changes to the product and its products to suit the new needs. An adaptation strategy does not involve changing the way the product looks, but does involve addressing the way the product is presented and communicated.
Adaptation Strategy in the Beauty Industry
In order to adapt products to suit different markets, different product needs and preferences must be identified. Beauty products are often sold in different markets, and these markets can have different needs. For instance, consumers in the US may prefer fragrant products while consumers in the UK are more inclined towards fragrance-free cosmetics. A company selling cosmetics in the two countries has to adapt the product because consumers will reject it if it fails to meet their needs.
Advantages of Having a Good Product Adaptation Strategy
Adaptation Strategy allows a company to produce and market some core products in different markets. For example, Sony has produced and marketed its high-definition television in many different markets. The television has a unique remote control that makes it a core product, but the way the product is marketed differs in different markets.
A strong product adaptation strategy allows the company to make the core product available in many markets. This helps the company to expand globally because it allows it to target different countries and consumer markets. The adaptation strategy involves changing the product a little, so the attributes that distinguish the core product remain. Adaptation Strategy also helps the company to save on research and development costs.
The process of adapting the core product to suit different markets involves changes to its packaging and presentation. For example, toothpaste is sold in different markets under different brand names, but the product is adapted to suit local needs and expectations. It is sold in different tubes and containers depending on what kind of retailer it is sold in.
Pomeranz and Folta (2006) note that good product adaptation strategies are necessary for entering new countries. It ensures that the right message is being communicated to consumers and that the product can appeal to the customers in the new country. The process of adapting the product also involves making sure that the package and promotional material is in line with cultural norms. Local consumers will be more likely to accept the product and make a purchase if the company ensures that the product and its packaging comply with local cultural norms.
Importance of Ethnographic Research in the Beauty Industry
Adaptation Strategy involves making changes to the product without changing the core product attributes. Ethnographic research allows the company to find out what the consumer wants and needs. It allows the company to find out what customers prefer, as well as where they prefer to buy their core products and from whom.
Nielsen (2000) notes that adaptation involves making small changes or tweaks to the product. It may be necessary to make some changes to fit the needs of local markets; however, the changes should be minor and there should still be some attributes that are unique to the core product.
Ethnographic research involves talking to consumers in their own environment. The company can find out about how local consumers perceive the product, and what their opinions are about the product. They can also talk to local consumers about where they prefer to buy the product, and for how much. Trends and fads at local shops can be identified and the market can be assessed so that the product can be adapted accordingly.
Attitudes towards the product can also be identified from ethnographic research. Consumers can be asked how much they like the product. Consumer demographics can also be obtained; e.g., age, interests, and income. A product can be adapted to suit the needs of an entire segment.
Strategies for Applying Product Adaptation in a Specific Market
During adaptation, a company should ask local consumers what they like about the product. They can be asked about local market trends so as to find out what they are currently looking for in the product. The company can also identify the message they would like to communicate in the new market.
The company must then decide whether the marketing campaign should fit the local culture or the product should be adapted to suit the local market. Trying to innovate and make changes in a product to suit the target market is risky. It may end up costing the company dearly, as it might lose the uniqueness of the product and the flexibility to fit into other markets. Schlanger (2007) recommends that companies should focus more on conducting a good marketing campaign. This can be done by simplifying the message and making it more appealing to the targeted consumers.
If the company has a product that is suited to the local market, it can ask a certain number of consumers to trial the product. The consumers can be invited to a focus group, where they can discuss the product in an open environment. They can be asked about whether they will purchase the product, how they would use it, and the price they would be willing to pay for it. In the new market, the company must first establish the brand, and then concentrate on the product.
The company must ask the consumers about the message they want to communicate about the product. The company should also consider the most appropriate packaging and packaging contents to represent the product. The packaging should combine good appearance with a good function. The packaging can help consumers to understand the message being communicated.
The company should look for a retailer who sells the product on a large scale, as well as what the retailers will demand. If the product and the packaging conform to specifications they expect, the retailers may be persuaded to promote the product on their shelves. Some retailers may even ask for a commission from the company for selling its product.
The company can then concentrate on making small changes to the product and the packaging. It can look for a local area where the consumption is high and where the product will be marketed. If local consumers are willing to trial the product, the company can find out how they feel about the taste, its smell, and appearance. The company should also find out which packaging the consumers prefer. The product can be adapted to suit local needs and preferences.
The company should also find out whether the price of the product is acceptable to local consumers. If the prices are too high, the company may make a loss. However, if the company sells the product in small quantities, they may make a profit and also get good consumer feedback.
A company’s product adaptation strategy is extremely important for its success. A company’s product adaptation strategy should be based on research. It is important for the company to learn about the consumers in the new market as well as the retailers they will prefer to buy from. A strong product adaptation strategy can lead to a successful marketing campaign in the local market.