Adaptation vs. Standardization in international marketing – the country-of-origin effect

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    The literature on international marketing presents a confrontation between two mainstream schools of thought regarding international marketing. The one supports the standardization approach and argues that multinational companies’ behavior should be uniform to minimize total costs and promote a global corporate image. The other argues for the need for adaptation to fit the unique dimensions of each local market. This research investigates companies’ practical level of adaptation and standardization in international markets. It identifies the two approaches as coexisting and subsequently distils the findings of an extended literature review to determine the degree and nature of the country-of-origin effect in the process. The conclusions are that the effect has a universal and diachronic existence, though its manifestation into actual consumer attitudes and preferences varies considerably. The dissimilarity of consumer behavior both between and within individual markets is a result of specific combinations of collective and personal parameters. The findings are extrapolated and ultimately integrated in the Internationalization Factors Model to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the internationalization process.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-20
    Number of pages14
    JournalInnovative Marketing
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • Adaptation
    • Adaptstand
    • Consumer behavior
    • Country of origin
    • International marketing
    • Standardization


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