Global vs Transnational: Which Strategy Wins?

Global vs Transnational: Which Strategy Wins?

The global vs transnational strategy debate has been going on for years. But which approach is superior?

Posted by Abhi Chatterjee on June 27, 2023

In today's globalized world, businesses have to make a choice between adapting to the cultural differences of each country or standardize their products and services globally. This is where the Global vs Transnational Strategy debate comes in. While there are pros and cons to both strategies, choosing the right one can make or break your business. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between global and transnational strategies, why responsiveness is key, and how successful companies like KFC, Unilever, and Walmart have implemented these strategies. We will also delve into pricing strategies, marketing approaches, technology's role in a global strategy, challenges and benefits of implementing either strategy, and key learnings from successful companies. Join us as we help you navigate the complexities of these two strategies and discover which approach is right for your business.

Global vs Transnational Strategy: Which is Better?

Choosing between global and transnational strategies depends on the company's goals and circumstances. Global strategy prioritizes standardization and centralized decision-making, leading to cost savings and consistent branding. Transnational strategy emphasizes local market adaptation, resulting in better customer satisfaction and market share. Companies should consider their objectives and resources before deciding on a strategy.

Understanding the Differences Between Global and Transnational Strategies

Choosing between global vs transnational strategies depends on various factors like market diversity, competition, and regulatory differences. Global strategies emphasize standardized products and centralized decision-making for lower costs of production across international borders while transnational strategies prioritize local responsiveness for better customer satisfaction in each local market. Choosing a local subsidiary or multi-domestic strategy can cater to local preferences while keeping up with a global brand image. Unilever's success with a transnational business strategy is an example of how catering to different regions' needs can lead to overall growth in international companies.

Why Responsiveness is Key in Global and Transnational Strategies

To succeed with a global vs transnational strategy, it is crucial to prioritize responsiveness. Local responsiveness and adaptation are key components of transnational business strategies. In contrast, global strategies focus on standardization and cost reduction. Successful businesses use a multidomestic approach to incorporate both types of strategies when operating in different regions or countries. By considering factors such as customer preferences and local market conditions, companies can make informed decisions about which international business strategies to implement. The right choice ultimately depends on a business's goals and values.

Japan vs France: Case Studies in Global and Transnational Strategies

When considering global vs transnational strategy, it's crucial to analyze the examples of firms that have implemented different international business strategies in different regions across the world. For instance, in Japan vs France, one can see how multinational corporations (MNCs) adapt their business strategies according to local needs and cultural norms. In Japan, MNCs prioritize local responsiveness by adapting their products to suit local preferences and using the local language at their subsidiaries or branches. Meanwhile, MNCs operating in France emphasize global integration while maintaining decision-making power at central offices.

Standardization vs Localization in Global and Transnational Strategies

Companies must choose between global and transnational business strategies based on their priorities. While global strategies focus on standardization and cost-cutting, transnational strategies emphasize flexibility and customization aimed towards the local market. Both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on factors such as industry, target markets, and company goals. A hybrid approach that combines elements of both can be the most effective for some companies when entering new markets like India or Mexico with different cultural norms or local preferences for multinational corporations like KFC or McDonald's. Localization can be used as part of a multidomestic strategy in countries like China or Brazil where high local responsiveness is needed. Ultimately, successful global businesses need to balance economies of scale with high local responsiveness while staying competitive in various international markets by adapting their marketing strategies accordingly.

How KFC Used a Multidomestic Strategy to Succeed Globally

KFC's global success can be traced back to its multidomestic strategy that focuses on high local responsiveness. To meet the diverse demands of local customers across different countries like India, Japan, France etc., KFC adjusts its marketing strategies by customizing menus and pricing according to local market demands. By adopting a transnational business strategy that promotes flexibility and localization rather than standardization and lower costs, KFC has been able to position itself as a global brand with high global integration. Examples of firms like Unilever and Walmart also follow this approach for better results.

Pricing Strategies for Global and Transnational Markets

Companies operating in different countries and international markets face challenges when deciding between global vs transnational business strategies. To succeed globally, companies must evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses before deciding which approach is best suited for them. In addition to economies of scale and lower costs associated with global integration, local responsiveness is also key. Different regions have different cultural norms and customer preferences that require high local responsiveness. Examples of firms that have succeeded with a transnational business strategy include Unilever and Walmart. By adopting a multidomestic strategy that focuses on local needs and language preferences, these companies have expanded successfully into new markets.

Unilever's Success with a Transnational Strategy

Unilever's success with a transnational business strategy serves as an excellent example of how companies can achieve both global efficiency and local responsiveness. By tailoring their products and marketing strategies to meet the unique needs and preferences of local customers through their local subsidiaries, companies like Unilever can build strong brand loyalty in different regions worldwide. Such transnational businesses prioritize high global integration without compromising on satisfying high local responsiveness. Unilever's approach shows that implementing transnational strategies is crucial for achieving sustained growth across international borders.

Walmart's Global Strategy: Pros and Cons

Walmart's global business strategies have their benefits and drawbacks. While standardizing its products and marketing strategies across different countries under a global strategy allows it to achieve economies of scale and lower costs, this may lead to a lack of local responsiveness in areas where customers prefer locally tailored products or services. To overcome this hurdle and cater better to local tastes and preferences without losing its global brand identity, Walmart uses a transnational business strategy that emphasizes high local responsiveness while maintaining high global integration across various markets worldwide. Their success stands as an example for other transnational companies looking to maintain a balance between central office decision-making and local needs.

Challenges and Benefits of Implementing a Global or Transnational Strategy

Implementing international business strategies such as global vs transnational strategy has its own set of challenges and benefits. Companies need to achieve a balance between global integration and high local responsiveness. While global strategies work towards standardizing products across international borders, transnational businesses focus more on adapting products to meet local preferences. Implementing these strategies also requires balancing the needs of the central office with those of subsidiaries or branches in various countries or regions. Multinational corporations like Walmart, KFC, Unilever have successfully implemented transnational business strategy by achieving high global integration with high local responsiveness in different markets like India, China, Canada, Japan, France, Brazil, Portugal etc., catering to diverse customer preferences.

Global vs Transnational Marketing: Which Approach Works Better?

Choosing between global and transnational marketing strategies depends on multiple factors. Global strategy aims for standardization and cost-saving, while transnational focuses on flexibility and adaptation. Industry, market, and organizational structure are crucial considerations. A hybrid approach that combines the strengths of both strategies may be the best option.

How to Develop a Successful Global or Transnational Strategy

Developing a successful transnational business strategy requires consideration of several factors beyond economies of scale and standardization. Companies that operate across different regions must navigate complex cultural norms and diverse customer preferences while maintaining global efficiency. Successful multinational corporations like Unilever have found success by balancing high global integration with high local responsiveness to create a transnational business model that caters to diverse markets. For example, KFC has used multidomestic strategies to succeed globally by adapting its menu to suit local tastes while maintaining its global brand. By adopting this different approach, companies can maximize their potential in international borders.

Key Learnings from Successful Global and Transnational Companies

Successful global and transnational businesses adopt different approaches to thrive in international markets. While global strategies focus on standardization and cost-cutting measures to achieve lower costs, economies of scale, and higher profits, transnational businesses prioritize responsiveness to local market preferences by adapting marketing strategies accordingly. These companies have subsidiaries or local branches in different regions worldwide to ensure high local responsiveness while maintaining a central office for decision-making. Unilever, KFC, Walmart are examples of firms adopting a multidomestic strategy to serve the needs of various countries.

The Role of Technology in a Global and Transnational Strategy

Technology plays a critical role in both global and transnational business strategies. By leveraging technology, companies can achieve economies of scale while enhancing their responsiveness to local markets. This requires taking into account differences in cultural norms and customer preferences across various international borders. For example, companies should adopt a different approach to technology when entering new markets such as India or China than they would for established markets like the US or Europe. To serve local customers better in these regions, companies may need to use localization tools or multi-language websites that cater specifically to their language and high local responsiveness requirements.

Why Choosing the Right Strategy Matters for Your Business

Businesses operating across different regions must understand the nuances of global versus transnational strategies for sustainable growth. Choosing the right strategy is pivotal for companies aiming to compete internationally and adapt locally. While global strategies focus on achieving standardization and economies of scale, transnational strategies prioritize local responsiveness to customer preferences across various countries or regions. International companies must carefully evaluate their options before deciding which approach to take. The right strategy depends on factors like market conditions, organizational culture, available resources, local language, cultural norms among others.


In conclusion, both global and transnational strategies have their pros and cons. The choice of strategy depends on the company's goals, resources, and target market. A successful global or transnational strategy requires an understanding of cultural differences, responsiveness to local needs, and effective communication across the organization. Companies must weigh the benefits and challenges before deciding which approach to take. By learning from the success stories of companies like Unilever, KFC, and Walmart, you can develop a strategy that works for your business. Want to know more about developing a successful global or transnational strategy? Download our guide now.

Abhi Chatterjee
Abhi Chatterjee

I am a young writer who loves writing about the restaurant industry. I spend a lot of my time researching about how restaurants work and what makes a restaurant successful. I am here to help you to build a succesful food business.

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