Global Branding in the Technology Industry

Programming code abstract technology background of software developer and Computer script

As globalization continues, several industries in particular have benefited more than others. Some of these industries include technology, financial services, consumer products, and construction just to name a few. The technology industry in particular has benefited more than most. It is expected to reach revenues of $398 Billion in 2019. Some of the top companies within the industry that have successfully globally branded themselves are Apple, Alphabet(Google), and Microsoft. These companies in particular have established very strong, well known global brands and are a great example of strong global branding.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Four of technology along with Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Apple has 506 stores in 24 countries and had revenues of $265.6 Billion in 2018.Their biggest product is the iPhone which makes up a large majority of their revenue. They have sold over 700 million iPhones to date and have established themselves as an elite and consumer friendly company world wide. They are a great example of establishing a strong global brand that is known in almost every country in the world.

Google is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing, software, and hardware. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies, alongside Amazon, Apple and Facebook. Google operates in 219 countries and had revenues in 2018 of $136.22 Billion. Google is best known around the world as a search engine. However, in addition to their search engine services they gain a major of portion of their revenues from advertising. They also have recently released a phone, the Google Pixel, in addtion to their email services and Google drive services similar to Microsoft Office. They have established a well diversified and well known company world wide almost as successfully as apple.

Lastly, Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Microsoft is very similar to both Google and Apple in the products and services they provide. Microsoft currently operates in 190 countries around the world and had revenues of $110.36 Billion in 2018. As you can see, even though Microsoft is well diversified across 190 countries, it is not as well known or as popular or Google and has room to improve when it comes to global branding.

Something all of these companies do have in common is their strong global presence and an unwavering brand image that successfully translates across almost all countries. They are all well known and have managed to establish themselves in order to be recognized beyond borders which is something not many companies can say.

Hatfield, Morgan. “Total Consumer Tech Revenue Will Reach Record $398 Billion in 2019.” CTA, 2019,$398.aspx.

“Global 2000 – The World’s Largest Public Companies 2018.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 2018,

Villas-Boas, Antonio. “Google Just Announced Its First Smartphone, Called Pixel – Check It Out.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 4 Oct. 2016,

“IPhone History: A Timeline From 2007-2019.” History Cooperative, 6 Apr. 2019,

Shaban, Hamza. “Google Parent Alphabet Reports Soaring Ad Revenue, despite YouTube Backlash.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 1 Feb. 2018,

“Microsoft Annual Report 2018.” Microsoft,

Challenges of Global Marketing

Globe Simulation Model

Expanding your business globally can be an amazing opportunity for any business. However, successfully branding your business in a global scale can be fore challenging. We recently came across an article from Certona talking about the major struggles any company will face when transitioning into a global business model.

The biggest issue to overcome is breaking through cultural barriers. A big mistake several companies make is anticipating that they can copy and paste their present brand strategy across all borders with no adjustments. In order to successfully infiltrate a business across borders you must focus on the things that differentiate each country and make adjustments to branding and strategy where needed. It is without question that if companies don’t take the time to adjust accordingly to each culture that these companies will fail.

Another major issue in globalization is the wide spectrum of technological advancements throughout different countries. Transitioning from a country like the U.S. to a country like Singapore or Thailand can be a very difficult expansion depending on what field you’re currently operating in. If technological advances are not up to speed an organization may have to adjust operations distributions etc. in order to operate in a new country.

Another issue is difficulty communicating across borders and maintaining a strong brand. If a company is not careful and ensuring that communication is not strong across borders it is likely that a company’s brand image will be skewed and interpreted differently in different countries. Although this is sometimes the strategy companies opt to take, when it is not the selected strategy it is very important to maintain strong communication and strong implementation and management strategies to keep a cohesive brand.

The last major obstacle we’re going to discuss that companies face with global branding and expansion is dealing with laws in different countries. Laws and regulations in certain countries can greatly affect how a company operates from one country to the next. It is critical that a company does extensive research on rules and regulations in a country before entering to be sure none will detrimentally affect operations and infiltration.

Global Retailing: Amazon and Win Bigly

Amazon is ranked as the world’s 2nd largest global retailer with sales around $233 billion US even though its market capitalization is the largest at $778 billion. Amazon has dominated e-commerce with 49% market share although in the United States, as of December 2018, e-commerce represents only 11% of all retail.

One product that has been sold globally through Amazon is Win Bigly. This book is written by Scott Adams who is also the comic strip ‘Dilbert’ creator. In the 90’s, Dilbert connected with working white collared Americans in the quirky Office Space environment. This book is written with entertainment in mind but it is about marketing and especially about the marketing of Trump and the liberal media hoax. My favorite example is about the “Fine People” Hoax Funnel where media claims are debunked by multiple sources but liberal citizens are incapable of accepting and continue a spiraling path predicted by Adams.

Persuasion in politics really does not rely on facts anymore. Fact checking whether by online sources, law enforcement, judiciary committees, special investigating counsels, or professors is no longer credible but instead repeating phrases until sub-conscious recognition swaying bias is the new normal. This book explains how Trump has mastered this marketing skill and how his opponents be them presidential candidates, news anchors, critics, or congressional leaders are not matched in skill set. The book either will give a laugh, a dizzying realization on reality, and/or a stubborn confirmation that it cannot be right.

Amazon is now quietly attempted to change the freight shipping industry without national level press coverage. The business model appears to charge rates that merely break even with costs displacing every existing freight company that relies on profits. This is a standard move from our Chinese rivalry for long term planning and even similar to Walmart’s versus the mom/pop retailers (except of course Walmart still sought profit but improved distribution through technology). This seems to be an obvious win barring any lobbying efforts among labor or corporations. This seems better thought out than drones everywhere. Will this begin a road map of Amazon brick and mortar stores nationwide?

What Niccolò Machiavelli can tell us about Netflix

“There is a revolution happening, and within two years I think that Netflix will be built into all the televisions.” – Reed Hastings, Cofounder and CEO of Netflix Inc

Netflix Inc. started as DVD-by-mail service in 1998 and now is the leading worldwide provider of film and television. In recent years, Netflix has expanded to virtually every country in the world except for China. Through shrewd business acumen, strong corporate diplomacy, and a dedicated corps of employees; Netflix has become a significant global media powerhouse. Their remarkable and inspiring rise to power has illustrated many of the fundamental ideals of Italian Renaissance thinker, Niccolò Machiavelli. Netflix’s “Machiavellian” expansion strategy has paid off, but how and what can we learn from this?

Niccolò Machiavelli was born in 1469 during a tumultuous time in Italian history. This era of warring Italian states saw the rise and fall of many short-lived Republics and Principalities. In 1513, after years serving as a senior official in the Florentine Republic, Niccolò Machiavelli completed his Magnum Opus, a political treatise called “Il Principe”. This 16th-century political discourse on statesmanship is still widely studied and applied today. In recent years, Netflix has used cunning and duplicity outlined in The Prince, to shape their corporate practice and business strategy.

 “Men always dislike enterprises where the snags are evident, and it is obviously not easy to assault a town which has been made into a bastion by a Prince who is not hated by the people.” -Niccolò Machiavelli, Il Principe

In order to avoid possible invasion and takeover, a prince must be able to amply secure their principality, against enemies both foreign and domestic. The trials and tribulations of the modern business world are the new warfare on a global scale. In this new hyper warfare of the 21st century, Hostile Takeovers embody the violent military invasions of old. A Hostile Takeover is the acquisition of one company by another by going directly to the company’s shareholders to replace management to get the acquisition approved. In 2012 Netflix exemplified this Machiavellian principle of securing one’s self, with their response to American investor, Carl Icahn, and his attempted Hostile Takeover of Netflix.

On November 2, 2012 Carl Icahn revealed he intended to acquire a 10 percent stake in Netflix Inc. Initially open to the idea of Icahn taking over Netflix; within a week, Netflix’s board of directors soon made 180 degree turn and began to prepare for “battle”, setting the stage for a potential Hostile Takeover. In opposition to Icahn, Netflix’s board of directors approved a shareholder rights contingency plan, also commonly referred to as “Poison Pill” plan within the industry. The “Poison Pill” plan would be triggered only if an individual investor acquired more than 10% of Netflix’s shares or if an institutional investor attained more than 20% percent of shares. Once the trigger is activated, Netflix’s shares would be sold at a considerable discount, causing the purchases of the shares to skyrocket. Once enough shares are sold at a low price, the “Poison Pill” starts to dilute the shares and liquidity of Netflix until it makes a potential Hostile Takeover unattractive. Through its calculating and shrewd maneuvering, Netflix was able to implement enough snags and obstacles, in true Machiavellian fashion, to dampen any potential Hostile Takeover.

Just as Machiavelli revolutionized the realm of politics, Netflix transformed the multi-media industry with the introduction of its Video on Demand service via the internet. As of 2016, Netflix has made a significant global expansion, and is now available nearly worldwide. During the course of its dramatic rise to power, the astute decisions made Netflix’s veteran officers and directors have been indispensable. All the while, Netflix has been able to skillfully defend its hard-earned empire from Hostile Takeovers, with the calculating adoption of the “Poison Pill” plan. From humble beginnings, Netflix has profited from using tactics which can only be described as “Machiavellian”, to slowly but surely conquer the world.  

The Tiger Effect: What It Can Do For A Brand

As a vehicle to differentiation and aspirational status, retail brands often pay a premium on sponsorships and endorsements of international athletes. Few do it on the scale of American Sportswear company, Nike. Nike has track record of renowned collection of global endorsers, including; Serena Williams, Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr. and Tiger Woods.

On Sunday April 14th, Tiger Woods completed a stunning victory at the 2019 Masters taking place at Augusta National Golf Club. This was Tigers’ fifth victory at Augusta and the 20th year of the partnership of Tiger and Nike. Although Tiger took home the “Green Jacket” Nike was able to reap much of the benefits from his Sunday victory. Tiger was wearing his iconic red Sunday shirt and black swoosh cap, which have become a symbolic outfit for the brand and Tiger himself. The victory sent a ripple through the markets- Nike’s stock price rose 2 percent after the Master’s tournament’s victory and added $2 billion to Nike’s market value, furthermore, the entire golf industry experienced a boost in sales. The phrase coined as “The Tiger Effect” touches on the power and influence one man can have on a brand and entire industry.

The Tiger Effect is something important for retail brands and consumers alike. A brand is essentially a compelling story. Certain technologies and materials can create a superior product but what majority of consumers buy in to is the messaging behind the brand or product.  Nothing stands truer than in retail industry. If compelling enough, retailers can leverage their brand image and it can be proliferated on an international level. Differentiation and value is so much based on the perception and value the brand holds within the eyes of the consumer. The path of dependence is often unique and subjective to historical conditions. Retailers can drastically influence market share and brand perception through the marketing and brand strategies acted on. For Nike, using many figures to tell a larger narrative has proven to give the company a sustainable competitive advantage.

Emerging markets & the global e-commerce landscape

Emerging markets have been a topic of discussion for quite some time now. E-commerce has enabled the idea of a global market for sellers and buyers a like. As retail in developed markets becomes saturated, furthermore, more favorable government regulations, these new frontiers prove to be lucrative opportunities for e-commerce growth.

According to a report by Business Insider, the current market leader is China as it is the world’s largest e-commerce market, nearly half of the population is actively making online purchases, leaving little room for growth. India, Southeast Asia, and Latin America are experiencing significant growth. E-commerce penetration rates in these areas hover between 2-6%, presenting a huge opportunity for future growth as online sales gain traction. Moreover, the graph below highlights markets that are expected to grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 31%, 32%, and 16% through 2021.

Things to Consider

Emerging markets offer immense growth and opportunity for firms, however, there are many obstacles firm must consider before making the leap abroad. One major concern is government regulations. US based retailers must understand the regulatory climate they are looking to venture into. Often times, firms will be forced to work with local companies or partner with the governing body as a joint venture. Although not a bad route and often times beneficial when entering foreign markets, it remains important to keep in mind in how strategies and operations will need to adapt. Second is logistics and supply chain management. When doing business in developing regions it can be challenging to implement operational practices done in the US as infrastructure is underdeveloped. Delivery and efficiently will likely be slower and costlier when building out supply chain in these markets Lastly, is retailers must successfully adapt brand, product offerings, and operation to meet cultural norms and practices. Retailers’ home markets will differ drastically than emerging markets. The landscape, what consumers want, and what is acceptable will shape a global e-commerce for firms.

Key Points:

  1. Developing nations are trending towards less restrictions on foreign investments. 
  2. Eastern markets consist of large populations, growing middle classes, increased spending power, affinity for western brands, and access to internet create massive opportunities for domestic firms to expand internationally.
  3. Logistically, doing business in developing regions can be challenging. In most of these emerging markets, infrastructure is underdeveloped and the population remain less educated.
  4. Retailers must successfully adapt brand and operation to meet cultural norms and practices, while not damaging current competitive advantages derived from domestic markets.

Global Marketing Channels: Inside General Dynamics

“Technically, we’re everywhere”

For 2019, General Dynamics is making use of as many global marketing channels to maximize growth in today’s economy. Phebe Novakovic, CEO of GD, ranked among the twenty-five most powerful women in the world, ranked 7th among worldwide female CEOs, predicted a “14% growth in revenues over 2018” which would be a hefty $36.2 Billion USD. According the the annual earnings conference call, the global marketing channels are combining excellent opportunities to deliver products.

Global B2B:

Gulfstream Aerospace G650 are among the highest profit margin product of GD with 145 business class jets due for delivery.

Global Business to Governments:

As a defense contractor, the GD M1 Abrams tank carries a profit margin of 15% and carries the revenues steadily for the past five years. The business to governments channels is interesting because politics can sway tides rather quickly. Don’t mess with this main battle tank!

Global Agents:

Canada has helped broker a deal for the GD ranks for 3000 light armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia for $13 Billion USD. This deal has had controversy due to a journalist being killed rather maliciously but is still set for completion.

Influence of Demographic Factors in the Global Marketing Environment

Demographics as a Guide to Global Marketing Strategy:

In any international marketing environment domestic or international, demographic factor plays an important role in determining target market and it also helps address consumer needs. Consumer behavior in demographics refer to statistical information about the characteristics of a population.

Marketers typically combine several variables to create a demographic profile of a target market. A demographic profile which is a term used in marketing and broadcasting to describe a demographic grouping or a market segment. Common demographic features which can be considered for global and domestic marketing purposes include the following:

Age: Age groups, such as 18–24, 25–34, etc., are great predictors of penchant in some types of products. For example, few teenagers wish to purchase face whitening cream.

Social class: Social-class groups such as wealthy, middle, and lower classes. The rich, for instance, may want different products than middle and lower classes, and may be willing to pay more.

Gender: Males and females have different physical attributes that require different hygiene and clothing products. They also tend to have distinctive male/female mindsets and roles in the family and household decision making.

Religious affiliations: Religion is linked to individual values as well as holiday celebrations, often tied to consumer preferences and spending patterns.

Disposable Income: Indicating level of wealth and quality of life.

Education: Level of education is often tied to consumer preferences, as well as income.

Geography: Area of residence, urban vs. rural, and population density can all be important inputs into marketing strategy and decisions about where and how to target advertising and other elements of the promotion mix.

Demographic analysis may include a variety of other characteristics used to separate a country’s population into groups that fit a company’s target customer profile. A demographic profile also provides enough information about the typical member of this group to create a mental picture of this hypothetical aggregate. For example, a marketer might speak of the single, female, middle-class, aged 18–24, college-educated demographic.

Demographics typically have two objectives in mind: first, to break the market by subgroups which exist in the overall population; and second, to create a clear and complete picture of the characteristics displayed by typical members of each segment. Once these profiles are constructed, marketers can use them to develop the targeting strategy and accompanying marketing strategy and marketing plan.

With the help of demographic profiles about target segments at hand, marketers evaluate the marketing mix. They make choices about whether to change, decrease, or increase the goods or services offered. Based on demographic data, marketers may adjust product features, distribution strategy, or other factors in order to reach a market segment that has the most potential.

A demographic profile can be very useful in determining the promotional mix and how to achieve maximum results. Advertising is usually part of the promotional mix, especially when businesses are still in the early stages of entering a global market and launching products that are new to that market. Advertisers want to get the most results for their money, and so in global markets as in domestic markets, careful research is conducted to match the demographic profile of the target market to the demographic profile of the advertising mode.

Cons About Demographic Factor in Global Markets:

Demographic factor is essentially a method in making generalizations about groups of people. With all such generalizations, many individuals within these groups will not conform to the large group. Demographic information is aggregate and offers probability about groups and not specific individuals. Critics of demographic mapping argue that such broad generalizations can only offer limited insight.

Conclusion: Marketers must also be careful to avoid interpreting demographic information using the mindset of their own “home” cultures that is stay away from the bias. For example, the generalizations that apply to children (9–12-year-olds) in the U.S. may not apply at all to children in this same age range in other geographies. Similarly, assumptions about how social class affects consumer preferences may be very different in a socially mobile society versus one with very rigidness between groups from different social classes. Marketing research should be done to understand a complete picture of demographic characteristics that tend to influence consumer behavior in a given market, rather than simply applying stereotypes.