GLOBAL NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT IN U.S. CONSUMER GOODS COMPANIES (UNITED STATES)
The globalization of markets concept has been a highly controversial issue in current marketing circles. Some managers believe the future of U.S. MNCs depends on the successful marketing of brands with a highly universal marketing mix on a world basis. Some believe that global marketing is impractical and that insensitivity to local needs will make the strategy fail.^ One of the most controversial areas has been global new product development. Some managers feel that innovative new global products are critical. Others believe that development of new products for home markets is the only practical strategy and that global new product development is far too risk-laden and complex.^ The hypothesis of this study is that more MNCs are pursuing a global strategy on their existing brands but not on new product development. It is further hypothesized that to globalize current new product programs would require major changes.^ Today, little quantitative information exists on MNC practices in this area. This study, therefore, fulfills a definite need to analyze U.S. MNC current new product programs, evaluate executive attitudes toward global new product development and review the implementation problems involved.^ The mail survey among top managers of the leading 137 U.S. consumer goods MNCs revealed that, although most food companies had not adopted globalization, 61 percent of the non-food companies were engaged in an aggressive global program for existing products. Even among these companies, however, less than one-third had accepted the concept for new product development. Most MNC new product programs were local in focus and would require major changes in strategy, organization and process to globalize. The ability to implement such a program properly may well be a major obstacle. Finding the right people to carry out this complex assignment and developing the right organization to accomplish the mission may both be deterrents for many MNCs.^ The conclusion was, however, that in spite of the difficulties, most U.S. MNCs--particularly in the non-food category--will in the future adopt a global new product strategy. The study attempts to establish guidelines for managers on how to proceed and what the next steps might be for the future. ^
Business Administration, Marketing
DEAN GILLETTE VAN NEST,
"GLOBAL NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT IN U.S. CONSUMER GOODS COMPANIES (UNITED STATES)"
(January 1, 1985).
ETD Collection for Pace University.