Product standardization or adaptation: the Japanese approach

Leonidas C. Leonidou (Associate Professor of Marketing in the Department of Public and Business Administration, School of Economics and Management, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus)

Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science

ISSN: 1355-2538

Publication date: 1 December 1996


Focuses on the issue of product standardization versus adaptation, with special reference to the practices of Japanese multinational companies (MNCs) operating in the Middle East. Reveals that the degree of adaptation of Japanese goods is generally moderate, with labelling, packaging and internal features attracting most alterations. Product adaptations were more profound among firms producing consumer goods, as well as those having a long presence in the Arab market. Also suggests that the impact of factors affecting the standardization/ adaptation decision differed according to the specific product aspect, with demographic and political‐legal forces being the most influential overall. With respect to future product strategy, participant firms stated that they would proceed more or less as at present, the only exception being some additional adaptations as regards external characteristics of the product.



Leonidou, L. (1996), "Product standardization or adaptation: the Japanese approach", Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 53-71.

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Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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