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BUILDING GLOBAL CUSTOMER-BASED BRAND EQUITY

In designing and implementing a global brand marketing program, marketers want to realize the
advantages while suffering as few of the disadvantages as possible. This section explores in more detail
how to tactically build strong global brands, relying on the Ten Commandments of Global Branding

Understand similarities and differences in the global branding landscape.

Explanation: The global market is made up of many, often vastly different, countries and regions.
At the same time some of these countries and regions may share similarities. It is important to
investigate the laws, consumer demand and financial guidelines of each potential market so that
you enter with the proper marketing approach and expectations.

Dont take shortcuts in brand building.

Explanation: Take nothing for granted in your research or your marketing development if you
wish to avoid future problems. Translating the same message into local languages for all markets
can be a potentially harmful shortcut. Subtle differences in meaning and symbolism can result in
vastly different results. Another hazardous shortcut to avoid is assuming that the success of one
brand will mean the success of another. Each product and company must be established from
the ground up in every location where it will be marketed.

Establish marketing infrastructure.

Explanation: Advertising campaigns and infrastructure should be designed to suit each country
or region. While some parts of the model may be transferable from one location to the next,
most times there will be differences in practices or goals. It is a mistake to expect similar results
across the board. For example, street advertisements in some European countries such as Italy
or France are less likely to be viewed during the month of July when nearly the entire nation
heads out on vacation. As a result your ad buys and target sales should be lower than usual
during the summer months.

Embrace integrated marketing communications.

Explanation: Combine traditional advertising with non-traditional methods of communicating


the brand message. Local radio and television appearances, sponsored events, social networks,
features in local publications and guerrilla marketing are all effective ways of getting the word
out.

Cultivate brand partnerships.


Explanation: Sharing the marketing expenses and logistical infrastructure with another global or
local brand can be a great way to cut costs, lighten the workload and find a way into the market
you desire to reach. Select your partners carefully so that no one brand cannibalizes the market
as you move forward. For example, a sporting goods retailer may partner with a popular area
team while avoiding other clothing outlets that might sell some of the same items.

Balance standardization and customization.

Explanation: While it is important to keep your company logo and appearance the same so it is
recognized by consumers worldwide, it is also important to understand differences in culture
and language so your message gets through loud and clear. For example, the color purple may be
viewed as a symbol of death by people in some Spanish-speaking countries, while it is without
meaning in most others. Thus, if your brand's logo is purple, you may want to make some
modifications before reaching out to certain Spanish-speaking markets.

Balance global and local control.

Explanation: Although branding may be managed from your company headquarters, it is


important to have people on the grounds who understand the local situation. The decision-
making process should be balanced between these two elements with final sign-off residing in
headquarters and local experts providing guidance.

Establish operable guidelines.

Explanation: A set of steadfast marketing rules and restrictions should be provided by the main
office and distributed to all local parties. Such guidelines can help to eliminate unnecessary back
and forth by creating a standard to be followed.

Implement a global brand equity measurement system.

Explanation: Monitor the global position of your brand carefully. Knowing the overall value of the
brand helps marketing professionals to determine what tactics and how much market saturation
is necessary to meet company goals. For example, if sales numbers drop in one part of the world
due to political unrest or a natural disaster, the difference can sometimes be made up elsewhere
in an emerging market or a high-performing region if the proper marketing is put in place
coupled with promotional deals and extra ad buys.

Leverage brand elements.

Explanation: Create unique and attractive logos and packaging for your global brand. Distribute
your brand icons widely and with discretion to reach the desired audience and create the
desired associations. Once established your brand images can be the most important element of
the business.
These guidelines can help a company retain the advantages of global branding while minimizing
potential disadvantages:

1. Understand the global branding landscape. One international market is rarely identical to or
completely different from another in brand development, consumer behavior, competitive
activity, or legal restrictions.

2. Avoid shortcuts in brand building. Build from the bottom up, creating awareness before
brand image (strategy) and developing the right sources of brand equity (tactics).

3. Establish a marketing infrastructure. Build marketing infrastructure from scratch or adapt


to and modify existing infrastructure in other countries.

4. Embrace integrated marketing communications. Many forms of communication work in


overseas markets, not just advertising.

5. Establish brand partnerships. Most global brands carefully choose marketing partners that
help improve distribution, profitability, and added value.

6. Balance standardization and customization. Packaging and brand name can often be
standardized, while distribution channels and communications typically require greater
customization.

7. Balance global and local control. Companies must balance global and local control within
the organization and distribute decision making between global and local managers.

8. Establish operable guidelines. Brand definition and guidelines let marketers everywhere
know what to do and not do. The goal is to communicate and enforce rules for positioning
and marketing the brand.

9. Implement a global brand-equity measurement system. Information from a global brand-


equity system lets marketers make the best shortrun tactical and long-run strategic decisions
in each market.

10. Leverage brand elements. Proper design and implementation of brand name and
trademarked identifiers can be an invaluable source of brand equity worldwide.