Describe Whirlpool’s global
marketing strategy. Does Whirlpool use an extension product strategy or an
adaptation product strategy?
Whirlpool uses an adaptation product
strategy. Whirlpool’s global marketing strategy involved offering a variety of
products at different prices in order to satisfy the various consumers. When the
company decided to globalize, research indicated that each market required
different product features in order to be successful. Whirlpool performed
market research in Europe and Latin America and discovered that the preferences
of consumers in different countries were reducing as opposed to increasing.
This meant that in order to keep costs down and increase productivity, Whirlpool
could streamline the design and production of the base of the product
throughout the world, and adapt specific attributes to meet the needs and
preferences of developing markets in other countries. For example, when
Whirlpool expanded into the Brazilian market they discovered that having an
economical price for a washing machine was extremely important to these
consumers, and they did not expect certain features that the larger markets
preferred. Whirlpool adapted their product to the Brazilian and Indian markets,
by customizing colour, size, height, and cost in order to successfully
integrate both their company and products into these markets.
What are the primary reason
people buy and own major appliances such as a washing machine? Is there a
secondary reason as well?
The primary reason that people
buy and own major appliances is to perform certain functions. Consumers
purchase major appliances; such as, refrigerators, washing machines, and
dryers, so that we are able to be more efficient and reduce the amount of time
it takes us to perform a certain task. The features that each major appliance
must have vary between different cultures, and the products in question must be
tailored to satisfy the different needs and wants across markets when it comes
to completing a task (i.e. doing laundry). A secondary reason that people
purchase major appliances is that it is seen as a symbol of status. For
example, in the Brazilian market, owning a washer is seen as a symbol of status.
In different cultures, certain appliances are seen as luxury items, as opposed
to necessities. For those who are upper class, major appliance purchases are
made in hopes of having the most up-to-date technology to surpass their
societal counterparts and it can be seen as a source of pride.
What are the key lessons to be
learned from Whirlpool’s experience in emerging markets?
The key lessons to be learned
from Whirlpool’s experience in emerging markets are as follows:
(1) By performing thorough market research
into the various cultures and preferences of consumers around the world,
Whirlpool was able to take the risk and invest in emerging markets, thus
globalizing their company.
(2) It is not necessary to
recreate products to satisfy the needs of various markets, but instead it is
more economical to maintain the base platform of the product and adapt the
product features to meet the market’s needs. This sets Whirlpool apart from its
competitors, as it takes into consideration the colour, size, height, and cost
of their products when entering into a market.
(3) Although it has taken
Whirlpool a while to generate profit, it has been able to build brand
recognition that is known for catering to the individual markets of consumers.