Haier Group's Strategy in the US Market|Business Strategy|Case Study|Case Studies

Haier Group's Strategy in the US Market

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR072
Case Length : 12 Pages
Period : 2003
Organization : Haier Group Co.
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA, China
Industry : Consumer Appliances

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Haier's Competitors in the US Market

USA was the world's largest and most competitive market for consumer appliances. The consumer appliances market can be segmented on the basis of products into kitchen appliances and home comfort products. Included in kitchen appliances are products such as dishwashers, disposers, compactors, food preservation appliances, refrigerators, freezers etc.

In the home comfort segment are included products such as room air-conditioners and dehumidifiers. The home appliances market in the US was dominated by American companies, namely GE Appliances (a subsidiary of General Electricals), Whirlpool and Maytag. The only strong foreign player in this market was Sweden's Electrolux. GE Appliances, Whirlpool, Maytag and Electrolux together accounted for around 98% of the 9 million standard refrigerators sales in the US every year. In the 1990s, many Asian players such as LG Electronics and Samsung entered the US market in a big way. The big four companies in the US market concentrated on the high-end market comprising full-size refrigerators and washing machines, since the margins in this segment were high...

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Strategies in the US Market

Haier decided to compete with the US brands on the quality plank rather than on price. However, analysts felt that it would be very difficult for the company to win over American consumers who associated Chinese goods with low quality. To strengthen its presence in the US market, Haier adopted a localization strategy.

It opened a design center in the Los Angeles and employed US designers for designing its products for the US market. Haier also opened a marketing center in New York. The company focused on enhancing consumer awareness about the company and its products. (Refer Exhibit III for Haier's product profile in the US). It also tried to identify consumer needs and to satisfy them. Commenting on Haier's strategy, Zhang said, "We want consumers to feel that Haier is the one company that comes closest to satisfying their needs." For instance, none of the consumer appliances companies in the US offered a compact refrigerator to satisfy demand from college students who could not afford normal size refrigerators...

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