Although the physical environment is not
considered one of the core components of the SLEPT factors,
it is an environment that can impact upon your success
in exports and consequently needs to be considered.
A country's territorial size, geographical
location, natural resources, climate, rivers, lakes and
forests constitute its physical environment. The physical
environment influences political and economic activities,
shapes cultural characteristics such as language and religion,
and determines land usage, transportation, and commercial
When planning international marketing activities,
the possible impact of the physical environment should
take into account. For example:
- Population distribution will be affected by topography
(i.e. a country's rivers, mountains, deserts, etc.) and
climate - people tend to settle where the climate is
temperate, and there is an adequate supply of water.
- Certain climatic conditions may dictate adaptations
to the product - some glues and oils, for example, will
not function in very cold climates.
- Climate should also influence the arrangements made
in respect of packaging (in the marketing context) and
protective packing for the purposes of safeguarding the
product while it is in transit or in storage. Products
which are particularly vulnerable to climatic conditions,
are those that are adversely affected by extremes in
temperature or excessive humidity changes (fruits being
transported to hot climates or across the equator, for
- Abnormal weather conditions (e.g. typhoon season in
Asia) can disrupt the transportation of export products
while unforeseen changes in the weather can threaten
companies which produce seasonal goods.
- Topography will influence the routing of goods and
the choice of transport mode, which in turn will affect
cost and thus impact on the price offered to the buyer.