School of Business publications portal
This portal is no longer updated. Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | International Business | 2012
Thesis number: 13114
Adapting design to foreign markets - A case study of three Finnish fashion firms
Author: Timonen, Elina
Title: Adapting design to foreign markets - A case study of three Finnish fashion firms
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; liike-elämä; business life; kansainvälinen; international; markkinointi; marketing; design management; design management; strategia; strategy; muoti; fashion
Pages: 118
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13114.pdf pdf  size:3 MB (2600038)
Key terms: design; adaptation; international marketing strategy; marketing mix; fashion firm
AALTO UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Department of Management and International Business November 2012 Master’s Thesis Elina Timonen

Adapting Design to Foreign Markets – A Case Study of Three Finnish Fashion Firms

ABSTRACT Objectives: The importance of design for the national competitiveness of Finland and the rise of several design intensive companies has led many researchers to study the topic of international competitiveness of the Finnish design industry and designintensive firms. In terms of international marketing strategy, firms have usually two choices: to adapt or standardize their offering. While the research on the debate between adaptation and standardization has been abundant, what has not been researched in more detail is how design firms, especially in the fashion industry, adapt to foreign markets. The purpose of this study is thus to examine how small Finnish fashion companies adapt design to foreign markets and what are the drivers for adaptation and standardization of different marketing mix elements for these companies. Furthermore, the study aims to find out what is the balance between the adaptation and standardization of the marketing mix elements. Methodology: Qualitative case study research was selected as the research method. In the empirical study, three case companies from the Finnish fashion industry are interviewed. The interviewees are the owners/directors as well as the head designers of the company. In addition to face-to-face interviews some of the interviewees were sent additional questions by E-mail after the interview. Company websites and social media sites were used as secondary data sources to support the empirical data. Results: The findings of the study indicate that Finnish fashion firms adapt to foreign markets by designing a vast product selection with variety where the needs and wants of the local consumers are taken into consideration. All case companies adapted their products while place was the most standardized element. National culture, especially religion, was the most prominent driver for adaptation whereas maintaining a certain brand image was the main driver for standardization. Key words: design, adaptation, international marketing strategy, marketing mix, fashion firm
Electronic publications are subject to copyright. The publications can be read freely and printed for personal use. Use for commercial purposes is forbidden.