International strategy is a business plan or strategy created by a company to do its business in international markets. An international strategy requires analyzing the international market, studying resources, defining goals, understanding market dynamics & develop offerings. International strategy for an company looking to grow is a continuous process.
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In marketing and strategy, the market of operation is a very crucial parameter. Thus, a company operating in India cannot employ the same strategies should it want to expand to Russia. So for a company seeking international foothold, framing of an international strategy assumes a very crucial role. Depending upon the business strategy decided, companies either become aggressive exporters and start exporting goods or open their business units in the market they want to capture
To prepare an international strategy, a five step method can be followed. The process is schematically represented and enunciated below.
The first step in forming an international strategy should be analyzing the markets, in general, if not specifically. This will include analysis of general macroeconomic data of the country, balance of trade, trading partners, per capita income, etc.
Next, the company should identify the resources for its international expansion. It is obvious that not all products will fit in all markets.
Also for greater profits, resources with higher competitive advantages must be selected.
The third step in international strategy is setting the international and global objectives, which, counter-intuitively is not done in the first step. The reason is that objectives should be stand-alone and misfits to the market in question.
So a prior market analysis is necessary.
The subsequent step should be deciding the market entry and mode. The company may choose routes like launching of a brand new product or venturing jointly with another willing partner company, already present in that market.
The final step in this international strategy process is development of the product or service offering which will encompass details like pricing, products and distribution.
There are 4 major types of international strategies which are:
This strategy is used by companies which keep the same product or service across multiple markets. The core product offering and features remain the same but there might be some difference in the packaging and promotional activities which may be more suited to the local markets and customs.
Example: Apple & Samsung smartphones are sold globally. All the features & specifications of the phones are the same as the same product is sold worldwide.
This strategy is similar to global but adds the local flavor to it. In this strategy, your core offering remain similar to your global markets but add more features and products as per local demands and preferences.
Example: KFC & McDonald's are global brands which have restaurants across the world. As a part of its international strategy, the company has localized menu, food products etc which is best suited for the people of that country.
In multi domestic strategy, the companies offer different or similar products/services across different market to exactly match the consumer and local preferences.
Example: An apparel company selling clothes in multiple countries will vary the product line based on climate and customs. They might be selling jacket, overcoats, mufflers in the markets where the general climate is cold whereas they might be selling T-shirts in the markets where there is warmer climate.
Hence, this concludes the definition of International Strategy along with its overview.
This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.
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