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This Paper will identify, evaluate and explain global brands. It will be followed by the key reasons for a company to go global with its brand. A global brand is one that shares the same insight and values with people across the globe. Global brands create a strong and lasting relationship with people from different cultures and who speak different languages. These are the products that are sold in international markets which have little or no difference to the value of the same brand as they are perceived in a similar way across borders. Some examples of global brands are Coca Cola, Dell, Apple, HSBC etc. The use of these brands is to retail the same merchandise in various markets and with no trouble identified by a diverse range of consumers.
With the tremendous growth in the business market it has given rise to globalisation. This interdependency of markets from across the globe has led firms to form a global name or a global brand for the products they sell. Globalisation of businesses has been an important aspect in the terms of development of global brands. It has led companies to think and visualise on the international front rather than paying more attention to just the local or domestic market. This paper will also explain in depth the major factors of global brands with different examples.
According to AC Nielson (2001) a brand is considered global only if it is operating in four major regions of the world and that 5% of its revenue or sales is coming from anyplace other than its home country while some author's state that global brands should have "widespread regional and global awareness, availability, acceptance and demand" (Ozsomer and Altaras, 2008). A global brand must fulfil a certain criteria to be considered as a global brand. One of the criteria is that it must be identified globally and that it should be easily available to the consumers. It should be a standardized product that is apparent to the customers across the world.
The development of a global brand has several stages. The focus of the brand first starts in the domestic market. Its marketing strategies and structure are mainly focused locally at the very beginning of the brand. The second stage focuses on going international by extending the company's marketing strategies and based on its performance evaluation against the home country market share. The third stage would include the brand to go multinational. In this stage, the company is thinking of a more polycentric focus. Here the firm adapts different marketing strategies based on each host country. The fourth and final stage for a brand is to go global. Here the brand has a lot of host countries that help it have a more geocentric focus. The management style for a global brand is integrated.
Globalisation has developed a lot more in the last decade owing it to the growth in technology. This has improved the worldwide markets making it want the companies to improve the geographic reach of their products to the consumers. Any company's key criteria to enter international waters, is to see if their sector is an underdeveloped one in that particular place, if the consumers in that country have the spending power and will be able to afford their product, if the market will help the firm grow and if they will be able to lead that market. Any brand that wants to go global needs to be flexible since not all the markets are the same. Some companies may have to change their approach to fit into the market they are entering. The firm also needs to make sure that they have a more local approach in that particular market since it makes the transition for the product a lot easier if they understand the local consumers, cultures etc.
Push and Pull Factors
The Push and Pull factors mainly decide for a brand to market its product globally.
Impending saturation in the domestic market
Distribution of threat
Higher profit margins
Unexplored consumer market segments
Pursuing existing consumers abroad
Source: Adapted from Wrigley and Lowe, 2002, Table 8.7, supplemented with Author's own editions.
Locating a brand to a foreign land is very appealing to most companies that could be capable to do so. These factors are described using the push and pull format, where push factors make the domestic market not as rewarding as the pull factors in an international market.
Some brands like IKEA, Nike etc. Sell the same products worldwide and do not necessarily adapt to the local products. While other brands like McDonald's adapt to the local cultures. McDonald's cannot sell a beef burger in India because the number of vegetarians there, instead they have come up with different types of vegetarian burgers that appeal to most of their consumers. The consumers benefit from and appreciate the company's flexibility.
Market segmentation is a process which identifies, defines the different sub-market for products and services.
Market segmentation helps understanding the needs of the consumers while having a structured process to achieve the target. Now the different type of market segmentation has been discussed below.
Organisational Market: The organisational market is defined as organisation which buys goods and services for their own operation in a business. For example, Dell purchases software products from Microsoft.
Institutional Market: This market is defined in the term of hospital, universities and other identical organisations. For example, Costa sells coffee and other products at the University cafeteria.
Government Market: This market is taken together by local and state governments to fulfil the demand of goods and services by the government. For example, big security service utility vehicles used by the political leaders for their protection.
Consumer Market: The consumer market has been defined as a personal market where the consumer purchases goods for their own personal and non-business purpose. For example, one buys a vacuum cleaner from Argos to clean ones own house.
It is important to identify the market a brand would be dealing with in order to introduce their product there. Each of the markets discussed above deal with tangible and intangible products. Once the type of market has been identified by the brand it can move on to identifying the different segments it has. For any given product it is important to consider the distinct aspects for segmenting any particular market. Every market demands the company to understand and segment market types because it helps the firm to bridge the gaps, if any.
In the Consumer Market there are four dimensions that are traditionally used for segmentation.
Geographic Dimension: This dimension is related to the people living in different regions of the world. For example, Sunscreen products sell much higher in places that are sunny throughout the year.
Behaviouristic Dimension: The behaviouristic dimension talks about the company's expectation of the consumer use of that product. For example, many products are sold in bundles because people are expected to buy multiples of those products.
Psychographic Dimension: The psychographic dimension speaks about the customers' behaviour towards any given product. For example, products sold to the consumers based on their manner of living and drive.
Demographic Dimension: Demographic dimension consists of features like age, gender, educational background and other attributes etc.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This paper concludes after taking in consideration all the aspects of different markets a brand that is going global should consider. It also tells us why brands want to sell products on the global front with the help of push and pull method. The different markets, segments and dimensions have been taken into consideration that help the company to understand any particular foreign market they would be dealing with and how one can promote and sustain there or be one of the top selling products. It would take years for a company to be in the top selling products in the global market. The product should be state of the art with today's demanding consumers. Considering the different dimensions of different markets has more scope for the product to sell well in any given country. The dimensions give aid to the marketing team of any given company the surety to sell the brand and its products.
The above strategies mentioned in this paper have been applied by the top five global brands in 2011 as follows
Source: Top 100 most valuable global brands 2011
This assignment has evaluated and explained how global brands work and sustain. It helps understand how a company must test the waters through research before entering any given foreign market. It also understands and evaluates the different market segments and dimensions.
Globalisation has given rise to the consumer expectations which demands the company to come up with innovative and state of the art products. If these expectations are not met, the consumers will move on to a brand where they are indeed satisfied. This is where brand name comes in. The global market is a multiethnic one where we have different cultures and languages. The global companies need to understand and respect these differences. A product with a name in a local language may not have the same effect in another country where the same language is not spoken. The name of the brand may not make sense to the consumer which would then result in the company not being able to satisfy the consumers' intangible needs. Since English is used more frequently as an international language, a product with an English name would not have trouble selling itself. But in the case of domestic names in international markets could cause a stir especially if the name means one thing in the domestic language and another in a different language. For example, Langnese is a subsidiary of an Anglo-Dutch company Unilever. They are the best selling ice cream company in Germany but the same brand has different names in different countries. In England they sell the same ice cream under the name of Wall's, in India its known as Kwality Wall's, Frigo in France and so on and so forth. The brand names are different but the brand logo remains constant throughout the world. Sometimes the brand names have to be different due to copyright issues if the same name has already been taken in that particular country. For example, Burger King in Australia is known as Hungry Jacks, the logo remains the same, since the name Burger King was already registered by some other country.
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Wrigley and Lowe (2002) Reading Retail: a geographic perspective on retailing and consumption spaces, Arnold, London.
www.principlesofmarketing.com (Accessed on 24th November 2011)