When you own or work at a business that operates internationally, your marketing strategies are going to vary a little bit from that of local business strategies. Yet, a budget still needs to be established. To do that, the right questions need to be asked and answered. What options do you have, and how do you know if the money you are investing for marketing is giving you the return you want?
globalEDGE Blog Archive January 2010
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. unveiled its new enormous cruise ship last month. It has been named ‘The Oasis of the Seas’, and rightfully so. Onboard passengers will have access to countless restaurants, clubs, spas and bars. They will be able to try surfing, scuba diving, zip lining, or even see a Broadway show. These are just a few of the activities that are available on this colossal ship. Obviously, customers are extremely excited about this new ship.
One of the quirkier tools used to examine the Purchasing Power Parity between two currencies has been the Big Mac hamburger, responsible for being the basis of The Economist’s Big Mac Index, which compares the price of Big Mac hamburgers in each country. It may be difficult, however, to apply the Big Mac index to Iceland’s króna, as the hamburger giant has pulled out of the country. Don’t pity Iceland, however. Fast Company’s Robert Walcott and Michael Lippitz visited Iceland in December, and are quite optimistic regarding its potential.
Tokyo, Japan is famous for the outrageous fashion designs that are found not only in expensive boutiques, but all over the streets as well. The Harajuku street styles are known for being extremely unique and inspire fashion designers all over the world. For years these distinctive looks have sparked global trends, but many Japanese designers still have not taken advantage of their designs’ popularity.
A couple of years ago, customers were delighted because they were able to order products online from their living rooms. It is easy to compare prices and products online using different websites.
Now, the way we shop is changing once again. Companies are not waiting for shoppers to find them; instead they are approaching people online using social media such as facebook and twitter. Imagine just making a post whether to buy a new car or not, and an offer to test drive a car is sent to you in your mail box. This is one way GM is trying to gain more customers.
Doug Barry of the U.S. Commercial Service has another market brief for our blog readership. In this brief, he interviews Amer Kayani, who is a Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia. The interview covers the potential of emerging markets, with a primary focus on Saudi Arabia. Additionally, Mr. Kayani clears up some misconceptions some may have regarding Saudi business sentiments towards U.S. investors and businesspeople.
Business is an ever changing field due to how Global it is. International business deals are made every day and traveling abroad for business reasons is a typical activity. However, there is one thing to keep in mind every country has a different manner of conducting business meetings. Fortunately, business people around the world are becoming more open to different cultures and thus more understanding to cultural mistakes.
Facebook? Myspace? Twitter? Which one of these websites have you heard of? Thanks to a study provided through marketingtechie.com, findings show that most of the developing world has not only heard of these social networking sites, but they are spending an extraordinary amount of time on them. Without a doubt, social media has evolved from a way to simply connect with friends and share ideas, to a commercial opportunity for corporations to connect with people in new and different ways. However, there is another important aspect to consider in this exploding industry: How have social media websites impacted the work culture around the world?
Each culture has its own set of business customs and rules to live by. By growing up in one culture, it can be difficult to properly acknowledge and understand another. Most cultural errors made by businessmen and women start with simple things like business dress, appropriate conversation, or how to address someone. Since business etiquette varies between cultures all over the world, it is very important to be humble and open to learning. Here are some of the most common errors made by businessmen and women today.
International expansion is certainly no small task for companies around the world. Recently a success story of a Dome manufacturer highlights a few lessons that can be applied to any product or industry. Domes International is a United States-based firm that manufactures round structures molded out of fiberglass. They are used in a variety of applications including housing, offices, schools, military barracks, and warehouses.
Time for another blog series! I'm pleased to announce we'll be having a culture week here on our blog. This week we'll be discussing many exciting topics covering culture ranging from social media on the internet, to common mistakes in business settings, to the future of global culture.
Heineken has just announced that it will be buying the beer operations of Femsa, a large beverage company in Mexico. The beer industry has experienced several acquisitions this past decade, so this move was not exactly a surprise. Many brewing companies have done this to tap into different markets across the world.
The Czech Republic is rising as one of the premier tourist locations in Eastern Europe, primarily due to the draw of Prague. Prague, the largest city and capital of the Czech Republic receives over 4.1 million visitors annually. It has served as the political, cultural, and economic base of the Czech empire for over 1100 years. Overall, the income from tourism composes a significant portion of the Czech GNP (5.5%), and makes up 9.3% of its overall export earnings. Tourists that visit the Czech Republic overwhelmingly choose Prague, with over seventy percent of total tourists choosing to stay there. So what makes Prague so appealing to tourists that it can generate a substantial portion of the Czech Republic's GNP?
Owning a business that operates internationally provides multiple opportunities that a local business may not. On the other hand, all the meetings, trade shows, and other important events you have may not take place near your office. This is where traveling by plane, train or automobile come in. If you manage these expenses properly, you can reduce your company’s costs. Fasten your seatbelts; this could be a bumpy ride.
Recently, Doug Barry of the U.S. Commercial Service, interviewed Rich Steffens, who is head of the Senior Commercial Office in the Ukraine. In the interview, Mr. Steffens describes the learning curve required to effectively market and do business in the Ukraine and the larger former Soviet bloc. He also describes the major industries and natural resources which shape the way business is done, and the future markets that might emerge there. He also describes ways in which the U.S. Commercial service can, and has provided assistance to those seeking to do business in the Ukraine.
Check out the video version of the interview, or read the transcript!
In India today, there is a plentiful supply of up-and-coming entrepreneurs. With the advent of microfinance, less privileged communities throughout the world are given opportunities to start businesses in conditions that would otherwise be impossible. So, what is microfinance? Microfinance is the practice of making credit available to individuals in the form of small loans, who would otherwise not have the required income or collateral. The loans generally require in-depth involvement by both the lender and other community members.
The Burj Dubai Towers (now renamed the Burj Khalifa) opened for business this Monday after about six years of construction. At 2,727 feet (828 meters), the tower is the tallest man-made structure in the world, beating out the KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota, United States and the Guangzhou TV & Sightseeing Tower in Guangzhou, China (which was topped-out in 2009 at 610 meters). Check out this video from Al Jazeera for an interview with Bill Baker, the chief structural engineer at designing firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP.
A recent report conducted by Community Food Enterprise, backed up by a number of case studies, highlights the importance that local businesses in the Food and Beverage Industry play in economic development. The report focuses on twenty-four food ventures from around the world, such as an organic farming co-op, as well as a caterer in Zambia. All of the enterprises examined in the report aim to become sustainable business models which are not dependent on government aid.
Did you ever wonder what happens to airplanes when they “turn in their wings?” Well, when airlines can’t fill seats or sell their old, inefficient jets, they send them to an airplane scrap yard. Kemble Airfield, located in Cotswold, Britain, is now the hot spot for the dismantling, crushing, and recycling of aircrafts that are out of a job.
One of the fastest growing technologies in the world has been the cellular telephone. Interestingly, this apparatus has come to represent more than just a convenient, universal solution. The use of a cell phone, or as some call it, the “mobile”, has been used differently in different cultures.
I recently stumbled upon a television commercial showing a great website. There are multiple great social networking sites online and many opportunities to meet other business people in the world, but this is a great opportunity. OPEN Forum is a community of small business owners, and gives the tools to connect and collaborate. It gives the chance for small business owners to help small business owners. There are multiple tools available to users, which can do anything from help generate new leads by intelligently matching businesses with similar needs and interests to having a digital trading post of ideas and insights from industry experts and owners. This is a great website for businesses to get informed and inspired.
I’ll give you a reminder that we too have a network system. You can sign up for a members only globalEDGE Network™ which allows other globalEDGE Network members to contact you. You can search people by industry or country to possibly find prospective collaboration partners and industry experts. Whether you are trying to expand your company into a new location or just need expert feedback, the globalEDGE Network allows all of our users to find the right person in the right place. The globalEDGE Network is free, and members will have exclusive usage of the members directory (searchable by industry or country) and email service via globalEDGE. If you are already a member of globalEDGE, please login above and update your profile, clicking the check box next to the globalEDGE Network™. Once your profile is updated, you will be a part of this new network. If you are not already a member of globalEDGE, join the network of opportunity!