Risk and Rewards for Global Brands

Very interesting Interbrand white paper which explores the attraction and risks associated with brands that are going global.

Successful global brands achieve a high degree of consistency in visual, verbal, sonic and tactile identity across geographies. They deliver a consistent customer experience worldwide, often supported by an integrated global marketing effort.

The risks of taking a brand global must be carefully weighed or the damage to the brand can be irrevocable. These risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Erroneously assuming the brand communicates the same meaning market-to-market, resulting in message confusion
  • Over-standardizing or over-simplifying the brand and its management, resulting in a culture of discouraged innovation at the local level
  • Use of the wrong (or tried and true) communications channels, resulting in inappropriate spending and ineffective impact
  • Underestimating the investment in spending and time for a market to become aware of the brand, try it, and adopt it
  • Not investing in internal brand alignment to ensure that regional employees understand the brand values and benefits and are able and willing to communicate and deliver consistently
  • Failing to modulate performance metrics based on local variables

Interbrand has identified a consistent set of principles shared by successful global brands.

Recognition
Well-performing brands enjoy strong awareness among consumers and opinion leaders. These brands lead their industry or industries.

Consistency
These brands achieve a high degree of consistency in visual, verbal, sonic and tactile identity across geographies. They deliver a consistent customer experience worldwide, often supported by an integrated global marketing effort.

Emotion
A brand is not a brand unless it competes along emotional dimensions. It must symbolize a promise that people believe can be delivered and one they desire to be part of. Through emotion, brands can achieve the loyalty of consumers by tapping into human values and aspirations that cut across cultural differences.

Uniqueness
Great brands represent great ideas. These brands express a unique position to all internal and external audiences. They effectively use all elements in the communications mix to position within and across international markets.

Adaptability
Global brands must respect local needs, wants and tastes. These brands adapt to the local marketplace while fulfilling a global mission.

Management
The organization’s senior leadership must champion the brand, ideally with the CEO leading the initiative. A leader’s continual articulation of the brand philosophy and the brand’s view of the world is meant to give the business strategy a recognizable face.

Download the full white paper (PDF)

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