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This course is part of the International Marketing ExpertTrack

International Marketing: Product Adaptation vs Standardisation

Investigate the strengths and weaknesses of standardisation vs adaptation as global marketing strategies.

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 4 of 5
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    $39/monthFind out more

Understand international marketing strategies

A common challenge of entering the global market is choosing between standardisation or adapting products to a new market. On this two-week course, you’ll explore the benefits and weaknesses of both to determine the best outcome for your strategy.

This course is designed by Coventry University and is part of the International Marketing ExpertTrack, an in-depth look into marketing strategy and all the considerations businesses need to address before entering international markets.

Explore product adaptation vs product standardisation

When organisations want to enter the global market, they must consider whether to standardise their product to please everyone, or adapt to each new market to meet local requirements.

On this course, you’ll delve into both concepts and use real-life examples to see them in action. You’ll understand the merits and drawbacks of the approaches and explore their impact upon the marketing function.

You’ll also learn how companies can gain global appeal by positioning their products with a universal message that transcends geographical boundaries.

Learn the concept of a global consumer

You’ll be introduced to the concept of a global consumer, and will understand how this impacts global marketing.

Gain knowledge of this consumer in order to better understand who you will target in your own global marketing strategies.

Investigate impacts on the global market

By the end of the course, you will be able to identify the various factors that impact the global market.

From global consumers to the impact of the standardisation and adaptation approach, you’ll understand the consequences of each so you can make informed decisions when you enter the international market.


  • Week 1

    Product standardisation and adaptation

    • Welcome to the course

      In the first week of this course you will explore how and why companies adapt or standardise their products or services as a strategy to reach consumers across global markets.

    • International marketing strategy

      Should companies standardise their offer or should they adapt to the new market? In this section, you will assess the benefits of both approaches and look at their impact upon the marketing function.

    • Marketing mix in product standardisation and adaptation

      Investigate the benefits and limitations of the marketing mix and explore how it can be used as a tool to help companies launch their product or service in a new market.

    • Summary of the week

      Review what you have learned and look forward to the next week.

  • Week 2

    Positioning in global marketing

    • Welcome to the week

      In the second week of this short course you will explore how companies can position their products or services for a global market. You will also be introduced to the concept of cosmopolitan consumers.

    • Glocalisation

      Examine how thinking globally but acting locally can help companies internationalise their business.

    • Universal Positioning Strategy (UPS)

      Investigate how companies can position their products and services with a universal message that transcends geographical borders to gain global appeal.

    • Global consumption

      Examine the concept of the cosmopolitan consumer.

    • Course work

      This section outlines the first of the core assessments for this module and offers a chance to give feedback and ask questions.

    • Summary of the week

      Reflect on what you have learned this week and review a summary of the topics covered in this short course.

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  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the strengths and weaknesses of both product adaptation and standardisation
  • Explore real life examples of standardisation vs adaptation
  • Reflect on concepts of global consumers/ cosmopolitan consumers
  • Assess the impact standardisation/ adaption has on the marketing function

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in global marketing and the process of product adaptation. You may be interested in pursuing a career as a global marketer or already be in the role and looking to increase your knowledge.

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured 5 QS Stars for Teaching and Online Learning in the QS World University Ranking 2020 and has received No. 1 in the world for Massive Open Online Courses in MoocLab’s World University Ranking 2021.

  • Established

  • Location


About this ExpertTrack

Examine the key issues in international marketing, why they are important and how these should influence your marketing strategy.

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After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
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Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
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Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
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Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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