Managing Global Brands to Meet Customer Expectations

  • Customer Love Brands:
Platonic, idealized connection between consumers.

-"My son is obsessed, always wanting Coca-Cola, Mcdonalds, and Nike. (U.K)
-"It may be that, I have this dream; being like Michael Jordan and therefore I use his sportswear." (Colombia)
-"Global brands make us feel citizens of the world and we fear their leaving because they somehow give us and identity."

  • Consumers Want to Forgive and Forget:
They are reluctant to accept negative messages from the real world. They prefer to make their life easy, to forgive and forget.

-"I know Nike has sweetshops, like other manufacturers, but at least these people have jobs.

  • American Brands and American Values:
-"We can hate them, but we cannot change the world. We need the brands because we rely on them (S.Africa)
-"Our political view has nothing to do with our behavior as customers. If you go downtown you will see many young people handing out documents protesting the capitalistic system, but also wearing Levi's jeans..."(Turkey)

Getting the Global/Local Balance Right

Global consumers may react powerfully against the increasing ubiquity of global brands and their homogenized identities. In assessing a brand's need for localization, marketers must consider four key factors:
  1. Type of brand
  2. Nature of the category
  3. Level of aspiration
  4. Nature of the local culture
Four Distinct Types of Global Brands

1.Master Brands: Like Sony, Nike and Coca-Cola define their category and are built on powerful myths  or narratives.

e.g. Levi's theme of independence, Nokia's theme of connection

Master brands are needed to keep myths relevant to each new generation. Master brands are less exclusive than prestige brands. M.b. are likely "it is a status symbol, but anyone can have it."
"Coca-cola is for everyone, this gives a feeling of universality and at the same time it considers everyone's individuality."
"Brands that have become indispensible and unavoidable."

2. Prestige Brands: Such as Gucci, BMW, Rolex, Chanel have an appeal built on specific myths of cultural origin or the provenance of a founder or a technology (e.g. Mercedes as German design and engineering excellence.), high level of aspirational value.
*Prestige brands actively reject localization.

-"I bought it because it is Swiss, it is high quality just like watches, Swiss means precision and reliability." (Chile)
-"To me, it means differentiation from others. It increases my self-esteem and my self-confidence." (Germany)
-"Not everybody can buy it, then again it is not meant to be for everyone."(Greece)

3. Super Brands: Like master brands, however, super brands are defined more by their category than       by a myth or narrative.

-Gilette, Pepsi, Mcdonalds, Shell, Philips, and American Express... They are "thrusted, and silver-medal winners."

Super brands try to become relevant by localizing somewhat (e.g. Mcdonald's adopting versions of local foods to a quick service environment.) and remain relevant by constant product or service innovation. (e.g. the evolution of Gilette's shaving systems)

-"They represent good quality, but are not so unique or universal as Coca-Cola."

4. Glocal Brands: Such as Dove, Nestle, and Danone are available globally, but marketed locally. Often under a variety of local or regional product names... A glocal brand may "feel-close" and be seen as "one     of ours"

-"As Lipton has a long history in Turkey it has become like a local brand in our minds and we see lipton as a local brand." (Turkey)
-"They are ours. They are homely, approachable, close and warm-hearted. They form apart from our history."(Italy)

The Category the Brand is in and the Level of Aspiration towards 

-"Toyota while in a high display category is, for instance, viewed as local brand in many countries because its positioning is distinctly everyday and it successfully connects with local values."
-"Mika Hakkinen is acceptable as an aspirational role model for Mercedes in Finland, but his wife is rejected as a spokeswoman for Danone."
-"Nike sponsors a local marathon in Budapest (the Footapest), but is careful to use a spokesperson with a more international standing.(M.Jordan)

How customers typically relate to global brands?
  1. Hofstede dimensions
  2. Attitudes, cultures, values of the country
  3. Product

Leveraging Affinity Strengths By Brands Types

1. Authority: the brand's standing among other brands on the dimensions of hertage, trust, and innovation.

2. Identification: the relationship of customer and brand in terms of bonding (how the customer currently views the brand?), caring (what the consumer believes the brand currently feels about him or her?), and nostalgia (past relationship)

3. Approval: the consumer's evaluation of the brand through the lens of society at large and specific reference groups in terms of prestige, acceptibility and endorsement.

  • Master brands are tend to be strong an authority. Master brands are more " loved than loving"- that is evoke more bonding from customers than demonstrate caring toward them. Their ubiquity, long-term presence, and dominance give particular strength on acceptibility.
  • Master brands have myths, and they are narrative-driven.

  • Super brands totally focuses on high innovation presence.

  • Prestige brands have the coolest relationship with customers elitest appeal.

  • Glocal brands demonstrates the strongest identification. They project concern and caring.

  • Trust is the bedrock precondition of all successfull brands.

Kaynak: Managing Global Brands to Meet Consumer Expectations, -Malcolm Baker, Greet Sterenberg, 
Earl Taylor


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