Do Customers Want a Standardised Product?
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Published: Wed, 24 Jan 2018
“Customers no longer want a standardised product and their expectations determine quality, Differentiation and Customisation should therefore replace standardisation as the way to meet those expectations in the hospitality sector” – To what extent do you agree or disagree this point?
It can be seen that customers wants standard quality of commodities and facilities they consume in their day to day life. Change in their needs may sometimes create discontent to the customers and absence of delightfulness can be seen. Along with the product being standardised it is mandatory for that to also be of approved quality. This statement falls true in case of “High Quality Product attracts more Number of Customers”. One can get benefited by adopting the Standardisation policy as the rules and regulations of the particular company will be the same and hence the procedure of the company runs smoothly as the policies are determined as per the rules. Standardisation helps in getting expected quality of commodities to the customers and their expectations determine the quality which they want to perceive.
The importance of Standardisation can be understood by linking it with quality of service perceived by the customers. Customers want better quality of service at standardised level. For example, if in a pizza hut restaurant, one table gets proper personalised attention with quick service and the other table does not get the same level of service when compared then this leads to high quality of dissatisfaction amongst the customers getting poor quality of service. This factor will not create delight to the customers and would not meet their expected standards as well as their expectations. It is not every time that customization proves to be better but also standardization helps customers to fulfil their requirements in their day to day life. Though it is rightly said that customisation means to modify the things as per the customers individual requirement and choice but standardization is to keep the uniformity of the product designed and maintaining its standards.
Standardisation means to conform to a uniformly pre-described set of norms, repeatedly by standardizing any product. Standardized product gives better quality of service. As the products and commodities are standardized it becomes easy to provide service in accordance of the same. In other sense customization means making changes in particular product as per the customer’s requirement and desires. This helps customers making their own choice about any standardized product. Customization and Standardization either of two satisfies customers needs in their own terms and services. Considering all such factors customization and differentiation can be replaced by standardization based on some norms and policies.
One of the benefits of standardization is the cost effectiveness leading to high price. Compared to pizza hut one can notice the price effectiveness of the restaurant. There are costly dishes in the restaurant which are not actually afforded by lower class of people even if they desire the pizza hut food. Further, if the products and commodities are standardized consistency and uniformity is maintained and it becomes easy to work so the management runs smoothly and efficiently. Adding to this, it is also necessary for a restaurant to plan its future uncertainties and certainties affecting the business. Similarly on other note, there are some disadvantages of standardization affecting the creativity of a personnel working in a particular sector. Referring to Pizza Hut restaurant, it can be observed that as all the procedures and recipes are standardized, this shows death of one’s own personal touch and also kills their creativity. Also for that, to make workers and employees understand their work properly it becomes mandatory to provide them with required training and for that high cost is imposed on such activity which leads to increase in labor cost factor. As all the work and the procedures are standardized lack of motivation is being provided to the employees, somehow leading to dissatisfaction for the employees. On other side adopting standardization policy fails to satisfy customers based on their needs and wants as all the things are standardized and no further changes can be made as per their own choice but comparing this to pizza hut, they help us customizing the product we want to some extent.
The base of standardization is the policies determined at the time of formation of the standardized products and services. Companies marketing their products and services overseas are faced with the decision of whether to standardize or adapt their product offerings. The standardization of products across cultures is increasingly becoming an important issue nowadays that is difficult to follow for some company. Standardization policy means to sell the same product throughout the world making no changes even at one particular place, as this maintains the uniformity over the world of such company or brand. Adding to this, as all the products are standardized it becomes easy for the manufacturing and production committee to manufacture the products uniformly as per the requirements throughout the world. Doole and Lowe (2008), mainly advocate product standardization. In their observation, Doole and Lowe (2008), point out that the standardization discussion leads at one extreme, a global approach in which everything in the international marketing activity is standardized in all countries as standardizing the various elements of the marketing process has the aim of scale economies in production thereby leading to improved efficiency. As the world becomes smaller and the markets are seen as being the same, others have been advocating a standardized product strategy as they view the market to be the same as it is increasingly becoming homogeneous. Further, Doole and Lowe (2008) point out that if the product is not attractive or appealing to the customers, then no amount of sales promotion, appropriate channel of distribution or reduction in price will help to achieve the marketing target. Hence, physical design, brand name, quality, packaging, durability, taste and services attached to the product are very important from the marketing point of view.
It is an obvious thing that a product’s appearance, function, and support make up what the customer will actually buy. Therefore, it is vital for managers to pay close attention to the preferences and tastes of their product packages in addressing their customers. Further, in managing product components, product planning and development entails careful planning with the customer in mind. Thus suggesting that, the decisions are required to be taken regarding product range, packaging, branding, quality, labeling and other features of the product. In the question as to whether to standardize or adapt, a product manufactured for market should be according to the needs and expectations of consumers. Comparing this to pizza hut, it can be seen that if the product is attractive it creates delight to the customers and make them desire about the particular item. A customer gets attract seeing the marketing strategies of the restaurant providing facilities perceived by the customers fulfilling their individual desires and wants. In pizza hut we can see that the menu at different branch of it differs and is attractive which attracts more customers and also the advertising element plays a vital role for the same. It is also mandatory for such brand to check whether the qualities of the products they are using are of standard quality or not.
According to the understanding of the authors, standardization is a practice of setting identical characteristics for a particular good or service. Lundeteg, A. (2012) also suggests a standardized approach as a “one size fits all” approach”. It can be seen that the standardization of products across cultures is increasingly becoming an important issue that the managers of global firms are facing today. Adding to this, Valdez (2011) points out that those firms following a standardization strategy enter foreign markets using the same advertisements, packages and presentations that were used in the domestic market. Because making new advertisements, packages and product lines is expensive, standardization requires less investment as compared to other such policies of the company. Pizza hut brand also follows these norms, as in our day to day life we can see that the brand is trying to achieve success more by offering affordable offers to the customers also by delivering their desired product at home and also by announcing new products and strategies in the market by attractive advertisements and publicity for the same. Thus, such adoption of strategy helps more customers to attract towards such facilities.
According to Kustin (1994) in making a marketing plan, the type of market is important to be considered and additionally the degree of standardization must be thought well. Later on it is indicated that the product standardization plays more of a big role in durable and nondurable consumer goods. Kustin notes that standardization of strategies is better off in markets that are categorized with similarities. He mentions that global marketing attempts for success and competence in standardized product strategies, where products are sold in global markets at reasonable prices and same country strategies are set to be same for all markets in the world. Therefore, it is worth noting that from a company’s perspective it is strongly recommended to reflect standardization strategy when wanting to develop a global product strategy while considering the market characteristics. There is continuous competition in the global market about the better quality of service and commodities provided by the different brands like pizza hut, dominos, etc. as the taste, presentation, procedures and the policies differ from one and the other type of brand.
The standardization policy in India and foreign countries may differ because of the eat pork. This problem has no solution yet until the approval of permission is done. unavailability of some products in India which are used in foreign countries. For example in India, ban on beef and ham fails to satisfy the needs of the customers desiring for the same which causes dissatisfaction to the customers to some extent, so to overcome this problem an alternative measure has to be taken instead of not delivering the desired product change the design of the product and deliver to the customers making some innovation and creativity. This somehow creates delight to the customers by not fully dissatisfying them. The products offered in pizza hut in India is different from the product being offered in pizza hut of USA because such unavailability of resources in the market. The major issue in the McDonalds standardized products was beef. Hence the biggest challenge to any food business in India definitely was about balancing the diversity and the product offerings. As such, cow being sacred and worshipped, beef could not be served and in the same vein Muslims did not eat pork. This problem has no solution until the permission for the same is being approved.
It is said that there have been international companies, which have introduced their product line across borders using the standardization strategy and have been successful. Standardization helps in achieving the pre described set of goals by following some pre determined policies and the procedures. However, Customization helps in getting the customers what they actually want and in which manner but Standardization comes to a limitation to this which somehow stops customer’s to get what they want and desire for their needs. Thus it makes clear that the motives of standardization should be adopted for smooth and accurate running of the business or a firm. It also becomes easy to follow the norms and policies if everything is standardized.
The implicit argument in this article is that whether to replace standardization with differentiation and customization and if, then to what extent it should be replaced. Here, standardization proves to be better than that of customization and differentiation in the products and the commodities. The biggest benefit of adopting standardized procedures is that the work becomes easy and ease of management can be seen which in case of customization does not follows the same. Many problems are faced when the procedures are to b customized as per one’s own requirement at every level of service. Standardization is more beneficial as there are many restaurants or such brands adopting same policies and procedure throughout the world which creates uniformity in following such rules. In other hand, customization does not proves to be this much convenient as standardization because it demands variations in many ways which is not possible for a world wide spread company to follow different procedures at different places. Hence, emphasis is laid more on standardization than on customization. Hence the degree of Pizza Hut’s standardization of their products is greater as compared to any other company. Here by, all the companies should follow the standardization policy for their ease and smooth running of their business.
List of References:
Doole, I and Lowe, R. (2008), International Marketing Strategy: Analysis, development and Implementation, 5thed. London, Thomson Learning.
Lundeteg, A., Knowledge Management: Standardization Vs. Adaption in MNCs, unpublished thesis, (Sweden: Uppsala Universitet, 2012).
Kustin, R.A (1994), Marketing Globalization: A didactic examination for corporate strategy, The International Executive (1986-1998), 36(1), pp. 79-79.
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