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Management article
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Reference no. 89506
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 1989

Abstract

In 1982, the West German company Henkel relaunched Pattex, an internationally accepted but stagnating contact adhesive. The relaunch was successful and Henkel attempted to duplicate it with Pritt, its glue stick. The strategy failed. The experience illustrates two pitfalls of global marketing: insufficient use of research and poor follow-up. Other pitfalls include overstandardization, narrow vision, and inflexibility in implementation. A committee of managers from headquarters and subsidiaries should oversee the global marketing process.

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Abstract

In 1982, the West German company Henkel relaunched Pattex, an internationally accepted but stagnating contact adhesive. The relaunch was successful and Henkel attempted to duplicate it with Pritt, its glue stick. The strategy failed. The experience illustrates two pitfalls of global marketing: insufficient use of research and poor follow-up. Other pitfalls include overstandardization, narrow vision, and inflexibility in implementation. A committee of managers from headquarters and subsidiaries should oversee the global marketing process.

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