This is the first post in a three-part series featuring our blog competition winners from Michigan State University. The author of today's post is Lauren Kuiper.

What does value mean to you? There are many ways to perceive value based on the company you are dealing with. For most companies, value is the foundation of the business. If the company cannot get the customer to see the value in their product or service, they will essentially fail. They need their customers and employees to believe in their product or service in order for them to be successful. For international companies, this is even more important. When operating internationally, there are many factors that go into creating value within the company. Marketing 310, an international business class that I am currently in, has helped me to understand how important creating value is for international companies because they are dealing with a wider range of customers. This post will discuss some examples of international companies who have been successful based off of their value creation and the different techniques they use.

Netflix has done a tremendous job of creating value within their company. Most people nowadays are either using Netflix or know what it is. Netflix has focused on specific tools in order to create value within their business. Their main value creation idea is branding. With Netflix being such a large company, they want every customer to have a unique story that they can recall when they hear the company name. Netflix started out focusing more on an international strategy, however, now that they are so large they have moved to more of a localization strategy. Each country is a bit different with their tastes of entertainment. Because of this, Netflix has changed the TV entertainment presented based on the country for in order to meet the needs of the customers of each country. By moving to this localization strategy, Netflix can position themselves to create a unique story for each customer so that they will have a positive feeling when they hear “Netflix”. Another way they have been so successful as a large international company is by creating convenience to its customers. Customers are able to pick any shows they would like or stream TV shows in the comfort of their own home. Through these value creation tools, Netflix has been able to be a successful international company.

Apple has a much different idea of value creation when operating internationally. Apple’s goal is to be innovative to help customers solve everyday problems. This company focuses on people as their main source of value creation. Apple thinks that their people are the foundation of the company and are their greatest asset. If something goes wrong with an Apple product, most customers usually do not know how to fix it. Apple has focused on training their employees to be as helpful to their customers as possible. For example, last year I accidentally bought a movie on iTunes that I did not want. Instead of going into an apple store I was able to chat with an employee online and they were able to refund me for the movie. The employee understood that accidents happen and trusted my word. Without the people, Apple would not be operating at the level they are today.

Finally, Nike is a prime example of an international company who is successful through their value creation. Nike focuses on social media as their way of differentiating themselves from the competition. Nike uses social media as a way to communicate to their customers the different products they have. Some of the social media accounts they use are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google. Through these websites, Nike can connect with their target market and understand the needs of the consumers. Clearly, this has worked for Nike because they are one of the most successful international companies today. The value creation they have created is unlike many other companies.

Creating value is the backbone of all successful companies. When operating globally, companies need to make sure they can help the customers to see the value they have put into the product or service. Netflix, Apple, and Nike are three of the most successful international companies because they customize their value to meet the needs of the customers. Although the companies all have different strategies, they create value through what will make them most successful. Next time you are using a product or service from an international company, think of how that company creates value in order to be successful.

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