What is Global Branding?
A typical definition of a global brand is “a brand that is marketed under the same name in multiple countries with similar and centrally coordinated marketing strategies” (Czinkota & Ronkainen 2006). Global brands have the goal of creating and maintaining a consistent identity with consumers all over the world. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, but it is no simple task.
Global Branding Strategies
- Solo Branding – A branding strategy under which each product that the parent company sells has its own name brand. An example of this is Coca-Cola. Each of their products such as Sprite, Fanta, Dasani, Minute Maid, etc., have their own global brand names that they are marketed and sold under individually. This strategy is beneficial for targeting specific market segments and consumer groups.
- Hallmark Branding – In this branding strategy the firm tags one brand, generally the corporate brand, to all of the products and does not use sub-brands. Examples of this include most banks, such as Wells Fargo or Chase using the same brand name for all of the services and branches the company has. This strategy keeps the branding simple for consumers to remember and allows the company to focus on one brand name.
- Family (Umbrella) Branding – This branding strategy focuses on the parent company brand name, and everything the company sells is under that brand name, no matter the product. An example of this is the Virgin Group, which includes Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Voyages, and more. This is a corporate brand name focus so that consumers associate one of the company's business units with the quality and reputation of the all-encompassing brand.
- Extension Branding – A company with a pre-existing established brand enters a new product category using the same branding, now over multiple product categories, by extending the brand to the new markets. An example of this is Samsung, who have extended the brand from televisions to cell phones, washers and dryers, refrigerators, and more. Having established their name with a strong reputation, they extended the corporate brand name from the original product of TV's to all of the products the company offers today. This is a good strategy for a company with a pre-existing good reputation entering a similar market that people will perceive well.
Is Global Branding Worth It?
When it comes to global branding, there are as many, if not more stories of failures than successes. Companies must make many considerations before deciding on a global branding strategy. However if a company succeeds in creating and maintaining a global brand, the great level of exposure and sales that comes with a global brand make all of the marketing expenditures and difficult decisions worth it. Just make sure you are aware of the various strategies available and conduct adequate market research to improve the chances of success.