Every company that operates internationally must respond to local needs as well as global needs (Daniels, Radebaugh, & Sullivan, 2011). This paper analyzes the demands placed on Kawasaki and H&M when trying to respond to local needs and global pressures. Kawasaki’s pressure for local responsiveness comes from the needs of the Japanese economy.
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The company is a major defense contractor for the Japanese military. In this sense, it is a key player in Japan’s national security. The pressure for global integration comes from the company’s international business. Kawasaki has very many business lines in various industries that supply products globally (MSU, 2014). In this regard, the company requires global infrastructure to manage its international business interests.
On the other hand, H&M’s pressure for local responsiveness comes from the need to provide relevant products to its customers in different countries. Fashion is culture-specific.
The company must localize its collections for every market to ensure that each local market responds favorably to its offerings. H&M’s need for global integration arises from its business model. The company has operations in thirty-four countries. It centrally controls all the activities of its subsidiaries from Sweden.
H&M has a greater pull towards local responsiveness compared to Kawasaki. The three main reasons that underlie this proposition are as follows. First, H&M targets the lower market segment in all the countries where it operates. This segment displays fast-changing tastes and preferences when it comes to fashion.
Changes in different regions do not take place simultaneously. Secondly, the company must address the local fashion needs of its customers in every region. These needs arise from cultural considerations, weather conditions and price considerations. For instance, countries near the equator have warmer climates. Customers in these countries demand lighter apparel. This is in contrast to countries further from the equator that has colder climates.
Cultural values also influence the choice of clothes and fashion accessories. Compared to Kawasaki, H&M deals with very personal products. This means that they must give their customers a wide variety of merchandise. Kawasaki deals with machines and equipment. The needs their products address are more important than the actual form of the product.
Kawasaki has a greater need for Global standardization. Kawasaki is an equipment manufacturer (MSU, 2014). Its interests range from motorcycles to military aircraft. The company is also one of the major shipbuilding industries in Japan. The nature of their products calls for greater standardization because the products address technical needs.
Customers need accurate information on the performance specifications of any equipment purchased from Kawasaki. The company may produce different models of given equipment, but it cannot vary the quality of a specific model. This would make it difficult to sell its products. Global standardization also makes it possible for the company to use standard parts and to use mass production techniques.
These methods make it possible for the company to offer its products at competitive rates. When compared to H&M Kawasaki does not deal with products whose sales depend on personal tastes and preferences. The selling point for technical equipment is their functionality, while the selling point for fashion products is their personal appeal.
Kawasaki also has a greater need for global standardization as compared to its need for local responsiveness because its products have a wide appeal. It has markets in various countries and in different continents. This makes it necessary for the company to develop global systems to handle its business.
Daniels, J., Radebaugh, L., & Sullivan, D. (2011). International Business. London: Prentice Hall.
MSU. (2014). Industrial Manufacturing: Corporations. Retrieved May 8, 2014, from Michigan State University: http://globaledge.msu.edu/industries/industrial-manufacturing/corporations