Seven Common Characteristics of Global Brands

When we talk about international marketing and how brands translate globally, we’re really talking about how they show up and reflect value in different regions of the world. How they translate meaning in local communities and cultures, far from their hometown roots and origins. Even the best global brands originated at some single point, in some single geography, appealing to some single target audience at the time. For example:

BMW originated in Germany in the early 1900’s. It wasn’t until years later that they were produced and for sale in other places in the world.

UPS was founded in 1907 in Seattle, Washington in the United States. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that they started to deliver to international markets.

Ikea was founded in 1943 in Sweden. Today their products are sold in almost 50 countries.

Of course, there are also certain brand elements that need to evolve, change and be unique to regional and local communities. But, if you think holistically about global branding, there are common brand pillars that are consistent across products or services that ring true no matter what region in the world you are marketing. Inspired by the takeaways from the webinar “How Global Brands Translate” hosted by Vistatec of Dublin Ireland, this post focuses on seven of the most common connections and characteristics that global brands have to address in order to engage and demonstrate value to regional and local customers.

1. Keep strategy consistent. One of the most important factors in successful brand programs beholds strategy. Keep common global marketing strategies in all regions of the world to deliver a consistent experience among customers, and keen focus on growth across the global marketing team.

2. Fulfill your brand promise. Promise your customers an exceptional experience at every single interaction or touchpoint, no matter where in the world they are engaging.

3. Deliver value.  Customers seek value in the investments they make. Prove your value by building deep relationships, growing customer loyalty, and limiting opportunities for competition.

4. Demonstrate thought leadership.  Insights and intelligence reflect a brand’s leadership in the marketplace. Customers seek expertise from foremost industry leaders who use content to share new ideas, understandings, unique concepts and thoughts on different models to help them succeed.

5. Foster positive relationships. Your global brand holds many audiences and relationships, but the intimacy and loyalty built in one market, should be the same in all others served.

6. Show integrity. The quality, reliability and promise your brand makes to customers should uphold the highest level of integrity across global, regional and local marketplaces.

7. Build a solid reputation. If you have nothing else, you have your reputation. What you’re known for, how you do what you do, and the way in which you do it. Global customers appreciate brands that work hard to maintain strong reputations and corporate responsibility across industry verticals, geographies and those that serve local communities. Build a reputation and brand of impact and purpose wherever and whenever possible.

So, when you are thinking about developing or improving your global brand strategy and ways to execute or activate your brand, make sure you keep these seven global brand elements in mind as you build your go-to-market approach.