Managing Brands Over Geographical Boundaries and Market Segments
As they search for ways to achieve economies of scale, maximize growth and profit,
diversify risk, and satisfy the needs and wants of increasingly mobile consumers, more
and more firms are defining the marketplace in global, rather than domestic, terms.
Global marketing programs are attractive because they allow economies of scale in
production and distribution, result in lower marketing costs, convey expertise and
credibility, communicate a consistent brand image, permit quick and efficient leverage of
good ideas, and enhance the uniformity and control of marketing practices worldwide.
Critics of standardizing marketing programs contend that they are based on “lowest
common denominator” approaches that ignore differences across countries and cultures.
Such differences may be related to consumer tastes and responses to marketing mix
elements, product or brand life cycle stages, competitive sets, reactions of country
managers, legal requirements and restrictions, and the marketing infrastructure.
Development of a global marketing program requires that a firm decide 1) which markets
are most attractive in terms of their fit with corporate objectives and marketing
capabilities; 2) whether to enter a given market by exporting established brands,
acquiring another company’s brands in the local market, or forming a strategic alliance
with a local market firm; 3) what the balance between standardization/globalization and
adaptation/localization in the marketing effort should be; and 4) whether the marketing
organization should be centralized in the headquarters country, decentralized in the local
market, or reflect a mix of the two.
In order to build global customer-based brand equity, brand awareness and a positive
brand image must be created in each country in which the brand is marketed. This entails
balancing the degree of standardization/globalization and adaptation/localization in the
choice of branding elements, design of the supporting marketing plan, and leverage of
secondary brand associations. The chapter uses the concept of the “Ten Commandments
of Global Branding” to provide guidelines for marketers looking to take their brands
The chapter concludes by a discussion on building brand equity across market segments.
There a number of different types of market segments that firms can expand into.