6-13. Describe Whirlpool’s global marketing strategy. Extension product strategy or adaptation product strategy?
Whirlpool has adopted a successful adaptation product strategy. When the company decided to globalize, they realized that each market required a different set of specifications to make the product successful. In order to keep costs down and increase productivity, they were able to streamline the design and production of the base of the product and adapt the special features that each country and market prefer. A perfect example of this is the item they created when they moved into the Brazilian and Indian markets. These markets required a much more economical product but did not expect certain features that the larger markets preferred. By customizing color, size, height and cost, Whirlpool was able to successfully integrate into those markets.
6-14. What is the primary reason people buy and own major appliances such as a washing machine? Is there a secondary reason as well?
The primary reason people buy major appliances is for function. We purchase large items such as refrigerators, microwaves and washer/dryers so that we can quickly and efficiently perform daily tasks. In each culture/market, these reasons and specific tasks are different and the products must be tailored to a different way of approaching a daily task. A secondary reason people purchase major appliances is for a level of status. In some countries/markets, these items may be considered a luxury item instead of a necessary part of living. By owning a product like this, it shows a certain level of status in the market.
6-15. What are the key lessons to be learned from Whirlpool’s experience in emerging markets?
There are a few lessons to be learned from Whirlpool’s experience in emerging markets. By betting on emerging markets and taking the risk, they were able to globalize their company. The adaptation to each market’s needs has set them apart in these emerging markets. The last and most unique lesson from a large corporation is to follow your gut. While it has taken a while for the company to return to profit status, it has successfully built a globalized brand that caterers to the individual market consumers.