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Building a sustainable competitive advantage is widely viewed as a key factor underlying an effective marketing strategy Day 1990 Porter 1980 Yet despite the growing importance of international markets and the increasing number of firms expanding internationally most discussion has been confined to the domestic market In international markets interest has primarily been focused on the extent to which domestic market conditions provide industries with an advantage in competing in international markets Porter 1990 as well as on industry drivers of globalization Yip 1995 Relatively little attention has been centered on how an individual firm can or should craft a sustainable competitive advantage in international markets Typically it is assumed that the firm can succeed by leveraging its domestic positioningfor example through a cost leadership differentiation or niche strategy in international markets Although this assumption may be appropriate for firms initially entering international markets or targeting global market segments it does not take into account the existence of differences among national markets or the spatial character of the global landscape Often customer characteristics and desired benefits key competitors and their strategies or the nature of the market infrastructure differ from one market to another which requires the firm to modify substantially its competitive positioning to compete effectively Yet at the same time interdependencies between markets are growing as a result of the flow of goods people and information across national boundaries Featherstone 1990 As a result in assessing its overall competitive advantage in global markets a firm needs to consider the strengths and weaknesses of its competitive positions in each countrys market and how these interact to influence deployment of resources worldwide The following examples illustrate this issue In the United States News Corporations Fox network typically ends up fourth in the rating wars with the three established networks ABC NBC and CBS However outside the United States the picture is quite different In addition to establishing a fourth television network Rupert Murdoch is building
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