International Marketing Case Study Nestle
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This is a tough question to answer because while many want to automatically take the anti-corporate stance, it must first be determined what the company should actually be responsible for. I think that in the Nestle example they should not be blamed for much of what they were blamed for in the media. For example, the diluting the formula to make it last longer is something that the company would never advocate. And in the case of the amazon tribe mixing it with dirty contaminated water, what did the tribe drink on a normal basis. Even breastfeeding a child when drinking disease filled water seems like a terrible idea. I think that the bottom line in any of these situations is education, and the lack there of for the third world countries that the corporations in this discussion are selling too. Therefore, I think it is the responsibility of the company to provide education about the product, especially in these affected areas so that a media circus does not ensue. However if one does, like in this example they have responsibilities (to the children as well as shareholders) such as finding ways to align themselves with baby oriented charity initiatives and making sure that employees are up to date on all new standards in specific regions(especially those previously affected.
Lastly they have a responsibility to learn from past mistakes to ensure that they are not neglectful and act in a timely response for any future problems. It is tough to get branded as baby killers and still try and market your product. However Nestle still had some options at the time. They first would need to learn about specific regions culture to target consumers on a local level. Then they could have supported breast feeding initiatives, HIV awareness campaigns (such as offering testing for pregnant mothers) and make sure that mothers understand, through education that formula is not a substitute for formula. Companies to avoid a situation like Nestle’s needs to protect itself from future issues. The best way to do this is to be ahead of the game. Although costly, having a department dedicated to investigating potential future issues, especially humanitarian ones, allows a company to stop problems before they start. They also need to put protocols in place to quickly and seriously handle a problem like this in the future should it occur. Lastly, before entering a new market research must be done better. Learning about the local culture months before a product is launched means that there is time for education.