Monday, August 30, 2004

Global Branding Strategy

According to Douglas B. Holt, John A. Quelch, and Earl L. Taylor (HBR September 2004) it's time to rethink your global branding strategy.

Many corporations are following hybrid globalization approaches (striving for global scale on backstage activities such as technology, production, and organization, but customizing product features, communications, distribution, and selling techniques to local consumer tastes). Global brands have been under siege of antiglobalization protests. The reaction of most transnational companies has been to try to fly below the radar.

But global brands shouldn't try to escape notice. Many consumers are awed by the political power of companies that have sales greater than the GDPs of small nations and that have a powerful impact on people's lives as well as the welfare of communities, nations, and the planet itself. Not surprisingly, consumers ascribe certain characteristics to global brands and use those attributes as criteria while making purchase decisions.

A survey turned out that consumers predominantly base purchasing preferences on three characteristics dimensions of global brands:
- Quality Signal
- Global Myth
- Social Responsibility

Holt, Quelch and Taylor recommend transnational companies strive for superiority on these global characteristics, besides 'working the basics' like the brand's price, performance, features, and imagery.