What is Global Branding?
Global brands are brands that are recognized throughout much of the world. Many companies intend to create global brands through various marketing and branding efforts. This global branding strategy is when a company effectively offers a product or service where the advertising, positioning, strategy, personality, that successfully look and feel are the same from one country to another!
This approach essentially means utilizing standardized global advertising and global marketing strategies. This method allows for a company to gain a sustainable competitive advantage by developing a product or service that is recognized worldwide, regardless of the country, continent or region where it is marketed. There are many brands which do a great job at this, such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Nike, and McDonalds. These products and services, or brands, are relatively the same whether they are being sold in China, Japan, Russia, Europe, or many other countries or regions worldwide. These companies are able to use a very similar marketing strategy successfully in order to promote the brand everywhere the brand is offered, regardless of the country or region.
Benefits of Global Branding
There are many benefits of global branding. First of all, it can greatly help a company’s profit margins. Brands with a strong, well-known global presence create strong brand awareness and brand loyalty, which allows companies to charge a premium because consumers are willing to pay more for products they perceive as dependable, of high quality, and that provide consistency. It also can create a stronger competitive advantage for companies. Once a company is able to successfully compete locally, or even within a nation, it makes sense to expand globally. It increases customer awareness for a company, improving and creating a cohesive customer perception of a brand on a global scale. Some other advantages to creating a strong global brand include improved perceptions of product performance, economies of scale, less vulnerability to competition, greater trade cooperation, and increased marketing communications effectiveness.
Using a standardized global branding approach may be cheaper and more effective for companies to create ads locally than to import ads and then adapt them for each market, but could prove to create many challenges if not executed perfectly. Cultural differences may make it hard to pull off a global campaign, proving it to be extremely important to find the perfect balance between a standardized and adaptive global branding strategy. For example, a brand’s image may not be the same throughout the world. Honda means quality and reliability in the United States, but in Japan, where quality is a given for most cars, Honda represents speed, youth, and energy.
Starbucks & Their Global Branding Success
Starbucks was founded in 1971 in the city of Seattle, and is responsible for creating the concept of a third place between home and work where people can relax, enjoy a cup of coffee and experience the inviting ambience. Global branding has been one of the pivotal elements of Starbucks strategy over many years, with the company investing significantly in creating a standardized look and feel of its stores, merchandise and food and drinks. The Starbucks logo has become one of the most recognizable logos in the world and their global expansion strategy has a key objective of recreating the Starbucks experience in every new country the company enters. The consistency of Starbucks branding and experience is what has made it an internationally recognized brand. Starbucks' consistent brand message spans every communication medium, every piece of branded collateral they create, and every aspect of their in-store design and experience.