Case study – Global strategy: Create a strong and consistent brand culture

ASmallWorld (ASW) is an upmarket social network that hosts an international community of 550,000 people in more than 200 countries.

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The platform offers tools and user-generated content to help members manage their private, social and business lives. Members share similar backgrounds, interests and perspectives and can find jobs, investors, collaborators, discuss ideas, get advice (especially travel related) and buy, sell, rent or swap things, from vacation homes to vintage cars. Membership is by invitation only and existing ASW members can invite a limited number of friends to the network.

“ASW was initially created to bring together on one platform a group of people who were already very connected to each other, meaning they had a lot of the same friends and generally frequented the same places,” says Patrick Liotard-Vogt, chairman of ASW.

The reason for its success as a global brand is that it’s pitched at a very specific demographic, argues Liotard-Vogt: “Ensuring your brand remains relevant across the planet is a real challenge. As they say, ‘You can only please some of the people, some of the time.’ In the case of ASW, that’s all we need to do because we’re going after a niche audience. Our members, whether they come from Germany or Pakistan, share a common point of view.”

The rise of digital platforms and social media has revolutionised the way brands reach a more global audience, offering the ability to target the audience (age, gender, profession and so on) and to measure results more efficiently.

Liotard-Vogt explains: “In the old days a brand had to work hard and spend a lot of money to be global. Now a small brand can be global very cheaply and easily.”