Product Characteristics

Manufacturers sometimes need to adjust product ingredients and contents according to local tastes or needs. Always make sure that products do not contain ingredients that might violate legal requirements or social or religious customs. Formaldehyde, for example, is banned in Japan, so DEP Coroporation, a U.S. maker of hair and skin products using that ingredient, has to be certain that products shipped to Japan contain no traces of it. In Islamic countries, manufacturers of products made with animal fats replace those fats with alternatives. Technology assists with marketing, making it easier for entertainment companies to provide movie product placements that reflect those that are available locally so the films are more relevant to local viewers. For example, the Dr. Pepper logo in the U.S. version of Spiderman 2 was replaced overseas with the logo for Miranda, a fruit-flavored soft drink that is more common outside the U.S.

Brands are one of the most easily standardized elements in the product mix. Standardization branding is strongest in culturally similar markets. For the U.S., this means Canada and the United Kingdom. Establishing a worldwide brand is difficult, but globalizing brands presents significant opportunities to cut costs and achieve economies of scale. Brand loyalty translates into profits, even when the branded product is not superior.