Product Adaptation

Product adaptation is one of the two main ways a producer has to create a global product. Product adaptation is a strategic process that companies use to modify their existing products to better meet the needs and preferences of consumers in different markets, especially the international market.

It is also sometimes called localization or customization.

Reasons for product adaptation for different markets:

  1. Cultural differences - What's considered acceptable or desirable in one culture may not be the same in another culture. 
  1. Regulatory differences – different countries have different laws and regulations that companies need to comply with to sell their products. 
  1. Companies venture into product adaptation to take advantage of the various opportunities in different markets.

Types of product Adaptation:

- Tangible product adaptation

Refers to the process of modifying the physical characteristics of a product like packaging, design, etc to better meet the needs and preferences of consumers in a particular market. 

Reasons for tangible product adaptation:

  • Consumer preferences
  • Legal and regulatory requirements
  • Physical and environmental factors such as climate, geography, and infrastructure can also affect the need for tangible product adaptation. 

- Intangible adaptation

This involves creating appropriate replacements for bad translations, catchphrases, or brand positioning. Additionally, a brand's position and reputation may change as it moves into a more advantageous market and appeals to larger populations. 

- Promotional adaptation 

This is concerned with modifications to marketing and advertising strategies, with a larger emphasis on local culture through the use of niche platforms, regionally unique imagery, or product representation. 

- Price adaptation

Focuses on how much to charge for a product in a new market. It's crucial to note that for products to be priced at levels that are acceptable to customers in international markets, manufacturers may need to change the product's size, packaging, or quantity.


Product adaptation is a key aspect of international marketing.  One compulsory thing any company deciding to venture into a new market must do is conduct extensive research to gain a deep understanding of the local market and its customers.

Research involves analyzing factors such as cultural differences, consumer behavior, market size, and competition. Based on this research, the company can then begin to adapt its product to better suit the needs and preferences of the target market. 

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