Global Marketing

How to Build a Global Brand

Why is Global Branding Important?

  • Improved effectiveness in products or services over time
  • Greater advantage against competitors
  • Increased customer awareness

Having a brand that is immediately recognizable has many benefits – especially if this is a favorable reputation. Increased revenue and loyal customers are some of the many benefits a firm may experience.

Being recognized globally also gives you an edge over competitors; this is especially true when new firms are trying to enter the market. A firm that is associated with stability, quality and success will have strong market share that would be hard to compete with.

Strategies to Build a Global Brand

  • Differentiate yourself
  • Understand your customers
  • Know how your brand is perceived outside of the home country
  • Build a team with consistent views and goals

It is important for a firm to differentiate themselves outside of price. If price is a basis of competition then customers will be fickle. Furthermore, differentiation will allow companies to form a deeper connection with customers as customers see that their needs are being attended to. Technology has made the world smaller. The ability to communicate with your customers and address their wants and needs is very crucial in this day and age.

Understanding the customer is also critical to the success of global branding. Factors such as culture and language are important. A company would not want certain terminology to be misinterpreted. For example, Chevrolet created the Nova. It is considered a classic car in the United States. However, when Chevrolet tried to introduce the car in Mexico it did not sell very well. This is because “no va” translates to “does not go” in Spanish. That is not a very effective name for a car.

Another instance of failure was Target's attempt to enter Canada. They assumed they could simply set up in shop in Canada. They thought that cultural similarities between Canada and the United States were good enough reasons. What they did not take into account was for language differences such as French. Target also failed to realize that there were already existing department stores that Canadians preferred. This case study shows how important it is to study consumer behavior and preferences.

Another element to global branding is consistency. Companies such as Apple, McDonald's and Starbucks have been able to create a standard that is consistent globally. This is achieved through having consistent views and goals at all levels of business.

Global Marketing

The Global Branding Strategy and its Benefits

Simply stated, global branding is using the same name, as well as all other aspects such as marketing, of a product or service throughout multiple countries. The overall strategy of the brand should be similar to that in its home country and in every other country afterward. Some of the aspects that would stay the same within a global branding approach include:

  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Positioning
  • Strategy
  • Overall look and feel

The main advantage of advertising for a global brand is that it becomes standardized thus making it easier to roll out marketing campaigns. This standardization helps make the brand easily recognizable for all of its customers.

What About the Customers?

The company itself is not the only party that benefits from a global branding strategy. Customers are expected to receive decent rewards as well. These customer benefits include:

  • Less shopping time; global brands are easily noticeable
  • Overall quality; Global brands tend to have better quality products
  • Prices; Global branded product prices tend to be fixed in some way
  • Responsibility/Dependability on the Company's behalf; Customers have a clear idea on where to go with questions or concerns

Global Branding Benefits

Adapting a strategy like marketing for one brand on a global scale can greatly increase a company's customers. This large increase in customer base typically means also having a large increase in revenue. Some of the other benefits of global branding/marketing include:

  • Improved effectiveness in products or services over time
  • Greater advantage against competitors
  • Increased customer awareness

Global Branding Success

Some of the following companies have benefited greatly from global branding:

  • Apple
  • Starbucks
  • Coca-Cola
  • McDonald's

For companies like these, their success came from their ability to provide consistency among their products. No matter the country, an iPhone should feel and look the same just like a drink at Starbucks should also taste the same. However, they have been known to adjust or adapt slightly depending on the country's culture but their overall branding strategy is the same.

Global branding can be a challenge but the reward is promising. It is not all about developing a different product or brand for every country; it involves strategic adaptations. Mastering this ability to adapt while keeping the brand's image the same is the recipe for success.