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International Marketing: Standardization and Customization

Standardizing a marketing plan is the capability to use buying and selling strategy that applies from one country to another for products that carry the same demand worldwide. It involves the process of creating guidelines to make a product based on the consent of all appropriate parties in the field (Ding & Keh, 2016). Through standardization, there is a consistent quality of the final item, and any product can be compared globally. On the other hand, customization means the context where a country-tailored product focuses on cross-border changes regarding the target consumers (Gremyr et al., 2019). In customization, it is suitable to develop products so that they can match the local market expectations.

Standardization involves the marketing mix as seen in the independent elements. First, the product that standardization of market needs to be implemented is defined. This may refer to tangible goods such as clothing items or intangible products such as legal obligations and other services (Gremyr et al., 2019). A country must have a clear concept of what its product represents so that competition can be approached successfully. The other element is the price, where a country sets the minimum amount for which the product can be acquired as per the global range.

Price includes the effort and time the consumers in a specific country will be willing to incur and buy the particular item. When it comes to place, a country can standardize and customize products based on where they can be acquired (Ding & Keh, 2016). Lastly, the country considers promotion when standardizing and customizing products and services. It includes how the particular commodity will gain market recognition by advertising or merchandising.

It would be effective to standardize and customize if a country has a potential target audience for the products and services. Additionally, it applies when a country has a good source and supply mechanisms for that product (Gremyr et al., 2019). For example, if a given country has not fairly implemented infrastructure, it would be hard for efficient distribution. Standardization and customization occur at physical and virtual market places, and it is implemented by having a common policy that encourages uniformity (Ding & Keh, 2016). In terms of international marketing, ‘think global, act local’ means how international firms and business agencies need to plan their products to conform to the local consumers. For example, the Pepsi brand is global but must be locally relevant to all the local markets it serves internationally. Therefore, despite the global firm expanding in all the regions, it has to consider the respective buyers.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was established in 1994 to eliminate trade barriers between three member countries, namely the US, Mexico and Canada. NAFTA has recently changed to United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USCMA) in 2018. Changing the name was to modernize NAFTA’s provisions of eliminating trade barriers in the current global economy. (Gremyr et al., 2019). World Trade Organization (WTO), which was started in 1995, is a forum for governments to negotiate trade agreements and settle trade disputes. WTO settles trade disputes for its 159 member countries by finding a mutual agreement during bilateral consultations. WTO also settles trade disputes by utilizing adjudication, which may involve executing provisions agreed within the body.

European Union (EU) is a continental group that was started in 1993 based in Europe with 27 member states such as Germany, Spain, and others. In international trade, the EU negotiates all business issues on behalf of members and is popularly known for regulating imports and exports, among other elements. The euro is the common currency used by 19 out of 27 member states such as Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Croatia. Romania and Sweden. Third World is a term that refers to countries that have not yet attained significant industrialization. Third World countries have gross domestic product (GDP) that cannot be equally distributed to the existing population.


Ding, Y., & Keh, H. (2016). A re-examination of service standardization versus customization from the consumer’s perspective. Journal of Services Marketing, 30(1), 16-28. Web.

Gremyr, I., Valtakoski, A., & Witell, L. (2019). Two routes of service modularization: Advancing standardization and customization. Journal of Services Marketing, 33(1), 73-87. Web.

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StudyKraken. "International Marketing: Standardization and Customization." December 11, 2022.


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StudyKraken. (2022) 'International Marketing: Standardization and Customization'. 11 December.

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