Preferences are how a consumer chooses a certain product. Whether you drink Coke or Pepsi usually depends on which you prefer. Personally I prefer to drink Coke. Some people argue though that markets are becoming homogenized such as Dr. Levitt. He argues that since the world preferences are becoming more the same, companies should standardized their products. This help to drive prices down and push the quality of a product up. (D. Theodore Levitt). There are others who argue another point such as Douglas and Wind.
They said that while there maybe market segments with similar wants and needs, this does not suggest that this is a universal trend. They are both right to some degree. There are market idiosyncrasies that would prevent all products from being standardize. This includes varies incomes people have, different life stages a personal is at or the culture they identify with. People do not all have the same amount of disposable so even if they prefer to buy a Mercedes Benz, they drive a Ford Escort because it is what they can afford to buy.Order now
The life stage a person is in changes their preference on product they will buy. A family with small children would not have the same wants and needs as a college student. Culture plays a big part on a person’s preferences. If you live in a culture that does not believe in the eating of beef, you would not run down to you local McDonalds for a Big Mac. Companies realize this and adapt there product. McDonald can be found in many countries, but they have adapted there product to fit in with the local cultures.
Customization is needed for these reasons and many more. Some say there is evidence to suggest that consumer as increasing as willing to sacrifices products features or quality for lower prices. There really is no evidence of this because of there are finding from PIMS project that suggest product quality is the driver behind many successful markets. If you have a standardized product at a lower price it is likely to result in an over-designed and over-priced product in some countries and an under-designed and under-priced product in other countries. Douglas and Wind) The global market has changed though and because of new technologies, consumer has better access to the products that are available in the market place. Consumer’s wants and needs therefore have become more homogenized in the aspect that everyone everywhere wants all things they have heard about. (Theodore Levitt) Consumers do seem to have the same needs in some product categories especially when a product is used the same in different countries.
Because of this it could be assumed that the benefits that consumers seek are similar. Our book had a chart on the convergence of drinking patters in different countries and it showed that consumers are becoming to have the same consumption patterns of alcohol. (p331) Both authors, Levitt and Douglas/Wind, are correct in how markets have changes in the pasted years. Levitt is correct because do have preferences for more and more of the same products.
You can find a TV in almost every household in the world, but Douglas and Wind are correct that because of market idiosyncrasies this product can not be completed standardized into one type of TV that everyone would want to buy. These authors are arguing different points. There will always be people that have the income to want the best and the product that comes with the most features and these consumers would not be satisfied with a standardized product that everyone could afford.
Marketers need to know what consumer preferences are to make a product successful. They need to take into account that consumer are increasing having the same wants and needs, but you need to remember also that different countries have different cultures that prevent them for wanting or needing the same product. Many companies have been very successful at going global and making their product a universal product, such as McDonalds. You just need to have the right marketing mix and you should be successful.