Brand is bond in the world of business. The first thing we think of when someone mentions a company name is not their most recent financial statements or their internal initiatives to cut costs or boost R&D. The first thought is of the brand that company has built. Take for example, Nike. When someone mentions Nike, by and large it conjures images of cutting edge athletic wear and oozes cool. It is clear that brand is crucial to a company’s success, and while scores of other factors go into success with international business, one of the key components is building a global brand. You don’t want, however, to automatically assume that one broad brand for the entire world will be the perfect strategy for your particular company. Instead, in most cases it makes much more sense to approach different markets in varying ways.
There are many important aspects to building your brand throughout the world in a successful manner. Perhaps the most important, however, is understanding that different markets have different preferences, lifestyles, and expectations. Take for example, Wal-Mart’s troubles in China. When Wal-Mart made a big push into China, it decided to build many of its stores by industrial parks. This plan, as it turned out, was highly ineffective due to the fact that Chinese consumers prefer to shop closer to home as opposed to near work. Had Wal-Mart established a good knowledge of the market, and established stronger relationships in the country before they moved in to China, they would have avoided such a costly mistake. It also is vital to look at how your competitors in a new market may differ from competitors in your home market. For example, it must be determined if consumers in a certain culture are more accustomed to shopping online or in retail stores, if they prefer luxury or discount, or if they prefer brand names or boutique shops. All of these differences will be crucial in identifying how to tackle a foreign market and your competitors in that market.
Although companies need to be flexible and adapt for different markets, it is also crucial that they have some set of procedures or a coherent strategy when it comes to marketing and data. Using the same marketing decision making frame work between markets will allow the firm to be much more efficient and coherent in their efforts to build global brand. Although it is important to target different markets in different ways, it is perhaps even more important to make sure that the marketing and global brand building you do is efficient from a financial and strategy standpoint.
Overall, building global brand is a very involved process that requires large amounts of careful consideration and cohesion while also being flexible. There is no quick path to success in building a global brand, however, there are a plethora of resources available online to help you in the process.