In the 1960’s Kawasaki, a Japan-based motorcycle company, started its first headquarters in Chicago. The company had a blank slate of the U.S market that started with no customers, distribution plan, or image. What they did have was a strong desire to supply its customers with the best products. When the company had first started advertising their product through television and newspaper channels, there was no direction in their market plan. Consumers were confused with the brand’s image. Kawasaki was seen as reliable, yes, but they couldn’t decide on whether it was a family-oriented vehicle, adventurous vehicle, or a friendly-cruise type of vehicle. This left the Kawasaki brand in the middle of the road, trying to target a wide variety of personalities and ages. The company’s marketing efforts had led the company in decreasing profits up until the late 90’s.
In the early 2000’s the marketing team in the United States decided to capture Kawasaki’s brand image. They wanted to study the consumer behavior, image, and personality of its U.S riders. Contrary to the Japanese culture, Kawasaki U.S wanted to reach its customers and get personal with them. The marketing team conducted interviews and events to fully understand who rode their bikes. After observing the market, Kawasaki coined the name “Intelligent Rebel” for their motorcycle riders. Now Kawasaki had a brand image that they could align their marketing strategy with. “Intelligent Rebels” were Kawasaki riders who were die-hard, passionate riders that lived for the thrill of the ride.
Kawasaki had figured out their target market. Their mission is to keep their customers close and listen to their needs. By having a responsive and receptive attitude, customers felt appreciated with a sense of pride. The company was able to foster close relationships with their U.S riders. They have seen the fruits of their labor, paying off with an increasing market share of approximately 25 percent. Kawasaki has found the secret ingredient to their success and the customers love it. With continual events such as closing New York streets for avid Kawasaki riders, the company continues its “rode” to success!
The global market of the pharmaceutical industry is both competitive and complex. Companies must decide whether to take a standardized or adaptive approach toward their potential markets. In most pharmaceutical companies, medications are produced in large quantities, making changes to the production and manufacturing costly. But is it beneficial for some companies to adapt in order to tap into a large market? Some pharmaceutical companies believe that it is. Breaking into a new market can seem daunting with foreign government regulations, culture beliefs, and health issues, but if a company can tweak their strategy and production, they may be on to something big.
In Saudi Arabia nearly three million people travel annually to Mecca, but because authorities require citizens to be vaccinated for meningitis most people do not attend. This is because, based on Islamic law, it is forbidden to ingest any form of product derived from pork. Pharmaceutical companies are having difficulty penetrating this untapped market because of strict government regulations. As of recently, there have been no meningococcus vaccine that has been proven as indisputably halal—permissible for Muslim consumption. This is due to the fact that the medications are exposed to pork materials, specifically the gelatinous capsules formed from boiled pig knuckles. Pharmaceutical companies are looking for a new, cost-effective solution.
Hamzah Mohd Salleh, a biochemist from the International Islamic University Malaysia, is developing the newest solution to attack the problem. He is creating a pig-free approach to biopharmaceuticals using collagen from cows, not swine. Salleh and his team are also generating kits that help authenticate halal products through identification of proteins that secrete from poultry during production. If the process is a success, Salleh can help pharmaceutical companies tap into the $2 trillion dollar market that Muslims spend annually on halal goods. In sum, an adaptation strategy may be shown profitable in the future for large companies willing to invest into R&D and new product design.