Prof. Dr Stefan Schmid
Dr. Thomas Kotulla
Dr. Thomas Kotulla

Knowledge @ ESCP Europe


Researchers show the profit relevance of standardising or adapting product strategies across national borders


In their award-winning paper, Stefan Schmid and Thomas Kotulla address the question in which situations and to what degree international firms have to standardise or adapt their product strategies across national borders in order to be successful. This question has been discussed for almost 50 years and has recently regained in importance due to the process of Europeanisation and globalisation. In their contribution presented at the CIMaR conference, Stefan Schmid and Thomas Kotulla critically analyse the relevant research published over the past 50 years, and they develop a novel theoretical model that provides international firms with situation-specific recommendations for profit maximisation. The authors show that international firms have to standardise their product strategies across nations if the cross-national demand is homogeneous, the potential for cross-national economies of scale is high, the cost of product modification is high and the foreign consumers are very price-sensitive. Furthermore, the authors address the importance of a realistic perception by managers and an adequate implementation of strategies. When announcing its decision, the CIMaR jury stated that it especially appreciated the paper’s methodological rigor, its theoretical foundation, and its practical relevance to managers. The research project is also linked to the doctoral dissertation by Thomas Kotulla who successfully participated in the doctoral programme at ESCP Europe’s Berlin Campus and graduated in 2012.

SCHMID S., KOTULLA T., (2010), “International Standardisation and Adaptation of Product Strategies – A New Approach to a 50-Year-Old Debate in International Marketing and Management“, 18th conference of the “Consortium for International Marketing Research” (CIMaR), May 26-29.