Does global have to mean going vanilla?

The picture painted by The Secret Marketer of “committee-based global brand management” in his column (MW 10 March) is not at all uncommon. In fact, we have research which shows that less than 15% of today’s organisations fully agree that their own global brands are being managed effectively.

Many companies struggle to find the right balance between local relevance and global leverage, either trying to force one answer for all, or making huge compromises and aligning to ’vanilla’ brand solutions through a committee exercise. The result being frustrated global marketers (in spite of accumulating “record levels of air miles”) and disempowered country marketers, who fail to deliver on the full potential of the brand promise.

Unleashing global marketing potential can be a daunting task, but when done well companies can reap the benefits of scale, faster
innovation and roll-outs, transfer of best practice and better return on investment. All of this, while delivering a consistent brand experience to consumers across many regions. This requires global Marketers to excel at developing a winning global marketing mix, and importantly, building the ultimate global marketing machine. Johnnie Walker – ’Keep Walking’ is a great example of global marketing.

Teresa Octavio

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