Hi, Alona !
A good way to tackle this assignment is to take large international
businesses and look at the way they present their websites in the
different countries in which they do business. One good example is
French car manufacturer, Peugeot. Their main home site is at:
The site stresses elegance in the 607 model and fun (in the design
competition and the World Cup poll). Surprisingly it is in English,
with French only as a second alternative, which might suggest that a
large part of their market is in the English speaking world. Links on
the left take you to their websites in other countries and it is
interesting to compare the approaches.
The United Kingdom site:
uses the same slogan "the Drive of your Life" but has a completely
different design style, more sophisticated in colour range and with
a discreet use of animation. The competition and poll are missing, and
the slogan is in lower case instead of all capital letters. It
suggests the cars may appeal to a different kind of people in the two
The Swedish site:
is different again. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into the design
of each site so that it targets the appropriate market in each
country. Here the emphasis seems to be on range and people moving
vehicles, and humour is back in the form of the film of the elephant
sitting on the car (incidentally demonstrating the sturdiness of the
The Spanish site:
features a pop-up advertising window, and heavily promotes the 206
with an animation clearly aimed at the young partying crowd. The
slogan in the animation means "very personal" and on the pop-up it
means roughly "You wanted it, we gave it to you". Note the reference
to Playstation 2 - again the aim is towards the young consumer.
The Russian site (available also in English) stresses "perfect
control over the road", and again promotes the people movers rather
than the sporty 206 , though the 206's success in the NZ rally is
presented. The design competition is back, and there is a link to a
page of Peugeot history (scroll down) with a graphic which suggests
dependability (since 1810). The Russian site is at:
Trinidad takes you directly to the car dealer's site, with lots of
complicated Flash animation and pizzazz.
The Australian site:
takes you straight to a large photo of the 206 in rally performance -
never mind about the elegance here, the emphasis is on high
performance in rugged conditions, whereas the Japanese site, also
promoting the 206, though this is the station wagon , claims - in
English -"Sports. Sense. Stylish. Peugeot - designed for your
pleasure." Find it at:
The Nigerian site stresses local manufacture as a selling point as the
and the Lebanese site - the only one of this group that is in French
as a first choice - is also the only site with a picture of part of
the actual engine on the front page; since you can book your car in
for mechanical attention on the site.
These are only a few examples, and you may like to work your way
through some of the others - click down the menu on the left of the
main Peugeot site.
Clearly a great deal of thought and research has gone into the design
and emphasis of each site, since each is clearly targeting a specific
consumer group, and it is possible by looking at the web pages to
deduce what this group is in each country. Look at the very different
target groups for the 206 in Spain, Australia and Japan.
You could also choose one or two of these sites, and go a bit deeper,
to see whether their emphasis is on service, reliability, fun or
whatever. Remember that the costs of importing the cars into each
country will determine the price bracket to some extent, and therefore
influence which consumer group s can afford of the vehicles.
Other international businesses which you might like to investigate in
a similar way are:
1. Pharmaceutical manufacturer and researcher Novartis:
Click on "Worldwide" at the top of the right-hand column, and then on
"Country sites" in the pop-up window that results to find the links.
Here the emphasis is on a consistent corporate look, with relevant
local news and graphics.
2. International investment banker Goldman Sachs:
Use the drop-down menu to select countries. Again there is a strong
corporate look to the pages, with regional news and graphics. Note the
different quotations "From our Principles" and the different feel
given by the choice of photographs. Look at the emphasis on the
friendly team for Japan, in contrast with the lone Irish businessman
on the phone to a client.
3. Food company Nestle:
Click on the Nestle Network logo, bottom right, and then on "Country
Specific" for the international sites. Here, like Peugeot, the sites
vary a lot between countries both in general content and in look,
though the blue bar with the white bird's nest logo seems to be common
to most. Look at the Caribbean, Australian and Czech sites for some
very different approaches.
What an interesting assignment ! I hope I have given you a good start,
and suggested some useful ways to approach it. Good luck.