Companies that use global brand management focus on consistency across markets and products, meaning that a brand presentation looks similar across geographic regions (Harvard Business Review). For example, Wal-Mart is known in the United States for being a low-cost retail industry leader. Wal-Mart has successfully maintained its competitive advantage due to its operational expertise and bargaining power over suppliers. In recent years, Wal-Mart has successfully expanded into various countries with the same/consistent value proposition. Companies that seek to build a sustainable global brand stay true to their values and strategy.
Companies should tailor their service offerings to meet regional or cultural differences. Not all cultures are the same, meaning customers may not respond similarly to company standardized products or advertising strategies. When KFC began operations in China, management tailored its menu options to meet customer taste preferences. KFC's advertising slogan, “Finger-Lickin' Good,” did not translate well into Chinese culture because customers viewed finger-licking as unsanitary. Adaptation to the product, operational supply chain, and advertising was necessary to compete in China successfully. While some companies can successfully market a standardized product across countries, many seek to adapt their product/service offerings to meet local needs.
Top 25 Global Brands – 2020
Global Branding Ranking Changes
Balancing Expansion and Consistency
Companies seeking rapid international expansion need to consider the impact growing too fast may have on product/service quality and consistency. OYO, a company leveraging its technology platform to enter the hospitality industry, entered various markets within a short time frame but saw growing concerns over accommodation quality. Companies can leverage Hofstede Insight's to identify how cultures differ from one another. Properly identify cultural differences will allow management to understand the best way to enter and adapt to new markets.
It is imperative for companies who strive for global branding to set themselves apart from their competition. The way to do this is by making your brand unique. Companies need to have some type of distinguishing factor that can stand out to potential consumers. For instance, the red circle in the Coca-Cola logo is distinguishing and has come to be universally recognized. Consumers around the world don't even need to see the writing on the circle to know that it is Coca-Cola. In other countries, people even refer to soda as a Coke. Overall, the goal is to have your product become easily recognizable. Recognition can garner interest and future sales.
Companies need to ensure that they have a strong corporate identity in order to effectively build their global brand. This is of extreme importance because consumers need to know that they can trust these companies. One way that a company can show that they are trustworthy is by offering quality products and services. Also, companies need to be ethical in the way that they run their business. A company can self-regulate itself by exercising corporate social responsibility. The last thing a company wants to happen is to be caught running an unethical company and tarnishing the brand worldwide.