The way a brand is perceived is important to its success. Research was conducted by Harvard Business School and market research company Research International to determine the three characteristics consumers associate with global brands. Quality signal, global myth, and social responsibility were found to the key factors of global branding.
- Quality Signal
Success is perceived to show quality. This is why consumers will buy popular brands. They assume that popular brands are of high quality. Often times, consumers will accept paying premiums because they believe that global brands have better quality. Global brands also have a perception of innovation and being dynamic. On the other hand, local brands are relatively static. The country of origin used to be an important factor, but now a brand’s global reach are most important.
- Global Myth
Consumers view global brands as symbols of cultural ideals and what they want to be. Consumers use brands to construct an imagined global identity to connect with the rest of the world. The post-World War Two era spread American myths globally. It used to be the American way of life that was coveted and see as the gold standard. However, the global myth has shifted and is now influenced by all dominant global brands. It has become more diverse. It was also commonplace for lifestyle and luxury brands to dominate the global market. Now it has become more diverse and expanded to even information technology.
- Social Responsibility
Consumers expect companies to handle social problems. Consumers will decide if they want to spend their money on a company based on the company’s decisions concerning problems such as poverty and global warming. There are immense expectations for oil giants to handle global warming. However, consumers do not expect the same kind of actions from local companies. Consumers believe that multinational companies already make an egregious amount of money, so it is their duty to give back. Even companies that hint at any type of racism, sexism, of homophobia will face extreme backlash.
The importance of the three dimensions holds true in most nations. Countries with strong local manufacturers and ethnocentrism would not be affected by global branding as much. However, global branding can be found to have an immense effect in countries that value a perceived way of life. The internet plays a huge role in a company’s ability to control these dimensions. It is up to them to position themselves correctly and market themselves effectively.