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Global Marketing

Bad Global Branding in 2017


By: Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker

In today’s day and age, in nearly every market, consumers have witnessed advertisements, campaigns, and marketing strategies that have sparked the question, what were they thinking?? Like many years before it, 2017 marked some seriously questionable advertisements that left consumers puzzled on how blunders so obvious could have gone overlooked through various organizational departments and chains of command. In the Adweek.com article, Lessons Learned from the 5 Biggest Brand Fails of 2017, Kristina Monllos outlines how some of the biggest, most recognizable, and even iconic, global brands dropped the ball.

She notes that her biggest takeaways in the article is that brands need to understand the crucial importance of being culturally sensitive and the significance of having advertisements that don’t exploit certain groups of people for the benefit of the brand. Monllos outlines the learning opportunities for each of the internationally recognized brands. Without question her most valuable piece of advice, which is blunt yet accurate, is “don’t do what they did”.

Last year Pepsi ran, a now infamous, advertisement where supermodel Kendall Jenner abandons a modeling job to take action in a civil protest. During a time where police and civilian relationships are strained, enjoying a Pepsi amidst a public demonstration seems like the farthest thing from sensible. The commercial unfortunately came off as making light of the reasons that citizens protest. It’s clear that these masses protesting were doing so in order to bring attention to civil rights violations. Pepsi quickly realized their insensitivity, grasping that this dynamic mocked social struggles. The market leader removed the ad and publicly apologized, but not before going viral on YouTube first.

Dove, one of parent company Unilever’s most valuable brands, had a substantial blunder in October of 2017 through an advertisement that was posted on the Dove Facebook page. The online advertisement displayed an African American woman that was wearing a brown shirt. The ad depicted a quick transition of pictures where the woman removes the brown shirt. Once the shirt was off, the actor was then replaced with a Caucasian woman in a white shirt.   It seems hard to believe that something so overtly offensive and insensitive could have been approved through so many corporate channels. Dove explained that the ad was taken out of context, and that when shown on TV it was much less offensive and the message was made clearer. Regardless of and ad’s context, a brand should never leave such a mistake vulnerable to be taken out of context in that way.

The nature of today’s market is characterized by a consumer base and society that is interwoven and ultra-connected. Organizational information and brand image can be instantly communicated the world over. Although this can prove to have a positive impact on a company, these instantaneous connections can harm a brand image, a crucial component of an organizational strategy. News of an advertising blunder can go viral on the internet in moments and can leave a lasting negative impact on brand image.

 

 

Reference:
http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/lessons-learned-from-the-5-biggest-brand-fails-of-2017-uber-pepsi-dove-and-more/

Categories
Global Marketing

The Global Branding Power of Vans: Taking SoCal Surf-Culture Worldwide through Celebrity Endorsements


By: Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker

The classic and immediately identifiable Vans “Old Skool” sneaker has proved to be a universal fashion staple for the past several years. Regardless of age, style, or social status, Vans has successfully transcended their brand from a solely surfer shoe, to an essential item that is found in almost everyone’s closet the world over. The brand is more prevalent today than ever before and has a prominent global presence. A presence that arguably has more of an impact today than during the shoes initial launch. The success of the iconic Vans sneakers have shown that the brand has landed on a strategy that is more than a “nostalgia-fueled, profit-boosting revival”.

In the 1980s, during the brand’s infancy, Vans were the footwear of southern California surfers and skateboarders. In the GQ.com article, How Vans Got Everyone Wearing Vans Again, John Vorwald explains the success of Vans’ global branding strategy. What's a huge contribution to global brand success of Vans? They're multi-cultural, multi-generational, and embedded in pop-culture.

The global reach of Vans, as explained by Vorwald, is largely due to the brand capitalizing on the “de facto runaway” that has occurred in recent years. With a strong and active social media presence, Vans has captured internationally high-profile figures sporting their fashions, specifically the “Old Skool” sneaker. Major players, within all genres of the music industry, such as Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Kanye West, and even Justin Bieber were all spotted sporting this sneaker. Hollywood box-office powerhouses like Ryan Reynolds and top athletes have all be seen with the “Old Skool” style, making it and international wardrobe must-have. Breaking all social norms, in 2016, Frank Ocean even sported classic “Old Skool” sneaker when visiting with President Obama at the White House.

With the combination of candid, street-style images blasted all over social media, major celebrity endorsements, and even high-profile design collaborations, Vans has set the stage of the sneaker game through organic trend setting. Popular sports-figures that are known for being in the forefront of fashion and who are renowned for their sense of style have all spoken to the value to brand brings.  Influencers like Nick Young and Jordan Clarkson have been seen embracing Vans and have stated that they wear the “Old Skool” style regularly, Clarkson commenting that he owns an astonishing 80 pairs. LeBron James commented that “it’s a shoe that really just goes with anything”.

This organic brand exposure is invaluable for Vans and has shown that even when more expensive shoe styles are trending, the classic “Old Skool” style is one that is iconic and here to stay.  Some of the biggest internationally-know celebrities in music, sports, and film continue to speak out on behalf of the brand. Capturing these stars and socialites wearing their styles, and also capitalizing on this popularity through social media in order to communicate this value to consumers, has enabled Vans to have a distinct competitive advantage in terms of their global branding strategy.

 

Categories
Global Marketing

Master Global Branders: Coca-Cola’s 100 Year Success Story

By, Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker

Industry giant, Coca-Cola, is without question one of the most renowned and identifiable brands the world over. For over 100 years, Coke has proved to be an indisputable market leader and has set the standard for what it means to be a successful global brand. An article published by Shahrzad Warkentin on Smartling.com entitled, What Can We Learn from Coca-Cola’s Global Marketing Success, provides insights into instrumental tools that have led to the company’s global brand dominance and successful marketing strategies.

The first key element is as focusing on simplicity. Coke has an extensive product portfolio and operates in nearly every market across the globe. It’s hard to believe that any strategy of this scope can be based around simplicity. However, the mega-brand, for over 100 years, has yet to deviate from this concept. Regardless of the market that the brand is participating in, Coke embodies a consistent, modest image: providing pleasure to consumers. This is seen in campaigns that embracing notions like, “Happiness” and the motto, “Enjoy”. Coke consistently promotes a strong, effective brand image by capitalizing on universal human emotions. These societal concepts are valued regardless of market location and have enabled Coke to have a consistent brand image on an international scale.

Another crucial factor that contributes to Coke’s global brand power is personalization. Even though Coke is considered one of the most iconic global brands to ever exist, the market-giant has not neglected the power of connecting with consumers on a local, personalized level. Coke offers a unique, tailored, and market specific product offering in each market segment in which they operate. Through capitalizing on human universals, like happiness, Coke is able to keep their brand image consistent. However, the brand adapts when its needs to in order to increase consumer value. They successfully and efficiently implement a “localized positioning strategy to a global market”.

Today’s market is characterized by constant innovation. Given that consumer technologies are consistently shift demand, preferences, and trends, it’s not surprising that socialization plays another key role. User-generated platforms serve as an invaluable tool in building brand image, especially on a global scale. Firms can reach consumers across the globe instantly and simultaneously.  Coke implements strategic social media strategies to engage consumers and further ingrain the brand in their mind. So, to answer the question, what can we learn from Coke? In short, we learned that fostering human connection and embracing universal human values is key to establishing a consistent global brand image.


Reference:
https://www.smartling.com/blog/what-can-we-learn-from-coca-colas-global-marketing-success

Categories
Global Marketing

Dunkin’ Donuts Does Global Branding Better

By, Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker

The nature of today’s society makes it difficult for an organization to obtain a successful, sustainable global brand strategy. In the Forbes.com article, Time to Make the Donuts: How the Dunkin’ Donuts Brand Stays Relevant, Steve Olenski explains that brand longevity is a difficult dynamic to achieve. Organizations that do maintain a strategic global brand strategy, have an invaluable resource that is achieved by staying relevant. Today’s market is characterized by constant innovation. This leads to rapid changes in consumer preferences and purchasing habits, as well as major shifts in demand and market trends. Olenski continues to explain that Industry giant and household name, Dunkin’ Donuts, proves to be an exemplary example of what “extraordinary brand longevity” looks like.

The infamous Dunkin’ Donuts was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1950. Founder, Bill Rosenberg, established the single-restaurant under the mission of serving customers high-quality coffee and donuts at a reasonable price, with fast and friendly service. Nearly 70 years later this mission still remains a driving strategic force; the mega-chain now operates in 45 countries with more than 12,000 locations. While much of the brand has remained the same, Dunkin' Donuts implements strategic changes and modifications in order to maintain relevance, and ultimately, build a sustainable competitive advantage. Olenski outlines that the following 4 factors serve as instrumental tools to the brand’s success.

  1. “Stick to the Basics but Make Them Better”
    Dunkin’ Donuts strives to embody its founding characteristics of fast, friendly service and affordability. These key elements have been the building blocks of brand success. Through implementing digital strategies and a mobile customer rewards program that helps customers save money through loyalty points, DD continues to build value by increasing customer convenience. Capitalizing on online and digital platforms allows for DD to stay relevant and competitive.
  2. “Global growth and Local Relevance”
    Relevance cannot be attained without constant growth. Dunkin' Donuts is 100% franchised, a business model that lends itself to promoting growth in local markets, and ultimately, growth on an international scale. DD locations are operated by local business owners who are connected to the population they service, and understand local tastes. This allows for DD to capitalize on meeting consumer needs through modifying small details, such as menu offerings, and further promote their strong brand.
  3. “Partnerships that Leverage Key Influencers”
    Dunkin' Donuts has also established valuable partnerships with celebrities, athletes, and influences the world over. The brand can leverage these relationships to increase visibility and further ingrain themselves in the mind of their customer.
  4. “Change is a Key Ingredient for Sustained Relevance”
    The next step for DD is, without question, to continue to evolve and embrace rapid change. By embracing modern consumer technologies and mobile applications, Dunkin' Donuts can become a part of their customers daily life and continue to meet consumer expectations.  In today's society, consumer tastes, preferences, and purchasing habits, rapidly shift.

Dunkin’ Donuts has proved to be an ideal example of how a successful global strategy can allow a brand to not only survive, but thrive.

Reference:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2017/03/06/time-to-make-the-donuts-how-the-dunkin-donuts-brand-stays-relevant/#7c8081015556

Categories
Global Marketing

Uniqlo: The Four Secrets of Global Branding

By, Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker

        In a recent interview with John Jay, the president of global creative at Fast Retailing, he gave the four secrets of building a global brand. Fast Retailing is the Tokyo-based parent company of casual-wear retail chain, Uniqlo. This chain is comprised of more than 1,800 stores in 18 different markets. They even have 47 stores in the United States, clearly demonstrating their brand has bridged the gap between East and West. It is the largest clothing retailer in Asia and the third-largest in the world. Being that the company was found in 1984, it is a relatively young company, especially when compared with one of its main American competitors, GAP, was found in 1969. So what are the brands secrets to success?

        According to Jay, the first principal in creating a global brand is to establish your why,’” meaning that a business should understand what their brand is based on and carry it throughout the business. The slogan of Uniqlo is Made for All; they are trying to democratize clothing by making it durable, affordable, and accessible for all. This democracy is underpinned by the founders business philosophy that equal work deserves equal pay.” The higher ranking executives are all paid the same, and in the future, the company would like to have a universal pay system for shop managers.  By knowing their why, they are able to carry it throughout their business.

        The next principal is truth-telling trumps story-telling. Jay believes that truth-telling has a universal appeal; what works in New York should work in Tokyo. By sticking to common themes and the why of the brand they create a global message. Their advertising sticks to their slogan by using people of all genders, race, ability, and other traits in their campaigns. They have used Paralympic medallists and the reigning Wimbledon wheelchair champion as their global ambassadors, which harkens back to their Made for all slogan.  

        The third principal is Be good, do good. Jay believes that brand trust is derived from making a good product and being an active global citizen. This global retail empire makes it a point to give back to local communities. Since 2007, Uniqlo has given $20.3 million worth of clothing items to refugees, victims of disasters, mothers in need, and others in partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. This is only one example of their strong stance on corporate social responsibility, adding value to their brand.  

        Jays final principal is plan your location, location, location; one of the most common mantras one hears when establishing a business. As simple as this principal is, it is the most important. It does not matter if a business is socially responsible, tells the truth, or sticks to their why,” if consumers cannot easily access their product. Uniqlo has a physical location in almost every major market from Tokyo to London to Australia. They are still continuing to expand to make their clothing accessible to everyone.  These four principals have clearly made Uniqlo a success and expanded them into the strong global brand they are today.

Reference:
http://fortune.com/2017/10/12/uniqlo-clothing-global/
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-story-of-uniqlo-2013-4

Categories
Global Marketing

“The World’s Lovin’ It”: The Global Brand Success of McDonald’s

By, Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker

In 2017, Interbrand named McDonalds as the twelfth most successful brand in the world. According to Interbrand, McDonald’s increased their brand value by five percent from the previous year. McDonalds has entered into 117 foreign markets and draws in millions of consumers daily.  McDonald’s continued success is worth examining in order to discover effective global branding strategies that the company employs.

The first key to McDonald’s success is their uniformity. Whatever country you visit a McDonald’s in, you are assured the same quality, experience, and food. Consumers rely on consistency, admiring the equal value regardless of the location.

The second key to McDonald’s global success is their cultural awareness. McDonald’s has clearly done their research before they enter into a foreign market. While the traditional American items such as the “Big Mac” appear on the menu, they make local adaptations to their menus. For example, in Thailand McDonald’s offers a “Samurai Pork Burger,” unique to the area. Another example is the Croatian “Tzatziki wrap.” McDonald’s has created additions in almost all of the countries they have entered into, suiting the local desires of the consumers they serve.

Another key factor to the success of the global brand known as McDonald’s is strategic market segmentation. McDonald’s is aware of which audiences are their biggest players and consumers. In the United States, the largest market of the brand, McDonald’s specifically targets children. They cater to the needs of the children with “Happy Meals,” play pins and even the image of the brand “Ronald McDonald” the happy clown.

The fourth major factor that contributes to McDonald’s global success is their adaptability. McDonald’s keeps on top of cultural trends and adapts their menus in order to work cohesively with these trends. For instance, when the health trend swept the United States, McDonald’s added healthier options such as salads and fruit to their menus. This ability to recognize differences in culture and trends and change accordingly allows the company to thrive as a global brand.

McDonald’s is continuing to increase their brand value and shows no sign of slowing down. What can we expect from them in 10 years? If they continue to practice uniformity, adaptability, segmentation, and cultural awareness they should continue to persist as a global brand leader for  years to come.

Categories
Global Marketing

Elon Musk and the Power of Brand Planning

By, Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker

        Looking into the past, businesses focused on their business plan and assumed their brand would follow. They would focus on the financials and then figure out an advertisement to run on television or radio. These were simpler times. They were not concerned with building a brand. Today branding is a key to success. If you have a brand everyone can recognize just from the symbol, you have leverage for your business. Of course, you still need the capital to back a business, but entrepreneurs are focusing more and more on developing the brand before starting into the financials. So what does a branding plan entail? The branding plan is the umbrella under which marketing, sales, and product development fall. It details what each of these groups need to do in order to make the brand successful. Any good brand should start with a vision. What do they stand for? It needs to be a specific mission so they can have a plan of attack.  

        An excellent example of someone who has mastered branding is Elon Musk. He truly understands the emotional side of branding. Now, most of his products are out of a lot of peoples financial reach, yet, people are the world are still highly interested in his companies. People argue that he doesnt have customers, he has followers. People are connecting with his mission. He creates brilliant products that are environmentally friendly. Instead of just sitting back and talking about solutions, hes creating them, which is why people are connected with his brand. Musks brand is also big on transparency and accountability. When there were issues with Teslas catching on fire, he personally authored a blog post addressing this issue. He took accountability and people responded positively. He defended his brand. Often we see a lack of transparency or heads of companies just use the same buzzwords in apologizing for issues, but he made it personal.  Elon Musk has shown what the power of creating a positive brand can do. It gets people excited about future possibilities. And more importantly for a business, when people are excited about your brand, the profits increase. So if we harken back to simpler times where businesses were concerned with the financial aspects first, we see how important it is to develop a strong branding plan. Having a specific plan goes hand in hand with improving profits. Its something business should never leave up to chance.

Reference: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/309188

Categories
Global Marketing

Big Brands that Dropped the Ball when Going International


By, Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker

In the Firmex.com article, Seven Epic Fails by Businesses That Tried Expanding Into Foreign Markets, Andrew Seale outlines several mega-brands that dropped the ball when going global. The following US market giants failed entering certain international segments dues to falling victim to a common, disastrous and expensive mistake: Failing to understand cultural nuances and researching consumer purchase habits and trends.


Home Depot Fails in China
Home Depot’s brand is synonymous with DIY. China’s exponential economic growth has made it an appealing international option for many retailers. However, the home improvement mega-retailer failed to get a firm grasp on consumer behavior and how the idea of home improvement differs from Eastern and Western cultures when they opened 12 doors in the Chinese Market.  Home Depot is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia; In the United States, similarly to most Western cultures, the idea of home renovation and remodeling is commonly considered a hobby. Conversely, Eastern cultures regard working on one’s home themselves as a sign of poverty. By 2012 doors were shut and the DIY powerhouse lost $160 million USD.


Walmart Fails in Germany
Mega-retailer, Walmart, made the common mistake of failing to thoroughly understand consumer behavior before entering Germany in 1997. The retail hulk opened 85 doors in the German market with the intention of capitalizing on the consumers’ prudent spending habits and the growing discount segment within the retail industry. Walmart was unsuccessful in understating the cultural differences between US and German customers. German consumers were surprised and taken back by the stores front-entrance greeters and baggers at checkout stands – something expected at US doors. These roles are unheard of in Germany, which made consumers feel uncomfortable. Walmart closed all 85 doors by 2006, taking a hit of $1 billion USD.


Starbucks Fails in Australia
Starbucks, one of the most recognized brands globally, closed 61 locations and claimed a loss of $143 million USD after failing to successfully enter the Australian market.  In 2000, the iconic coffee house made the fatal mistake of assuming that Australian consumers embodied a similar profile to that of US consumers. The Australian coffee segment is largely dominated by local producers, something the mega-chain severely underestimated. When Australian coffee patrons do purchase from a bigger chain stores, Starbucks’ prices proved to be too high. Doors began to slowly close beginning in 2008 and remaining locations were handed over to local entities.


Best Buy Fails in U.K.
In 2010, tech-retailer Best Buy entered the United Kingdom market by acquiring half of the mobile phone company Carphone Warehouse for a staggering $1.3 billion USD.  Best Buy’s strategy to enter the UK market planned on launching 200 locations. Unfortunately, even the down-scaled strategy did not come to fruition. By 2011, stores began to close even though the electronic mega-store closely researched acquiring Carphone Warehouse for years before making a move.  Best Buy made their move during the height of one of the worst economic declines in recent history. By 2011, stores began to close. Failing to enter the UK market resulted in the company taking a hit of $318 million USD.

Reference:
https://www.firmex.com/thedealroom/seven-epic-fails-by-businesses-that-tried-expanding-into-foreign-markets/