How do you launch globally?

How do you launch globally?

With globalization and the technological advances of the last few decades, it comes as no surprise that for many the world has become a much smaller place. Consumers of today have unlimited access to media across continents and regions; they travel considerable distances, more frequently, and are exposed to the messages of global brands more than ever before.

While products on the global market are increasingly standardized, it becomes increasingly difficult to standardize communication, since consumer behavior varies from market to market. Many companies understand that globalization of brands is not that simple.

’One size fits all’ is rarely the solution

While products on the global market are increasingly standardized, it becomes more difficult to standardize communication, since consumer behaviour varies from market to market. Many companies have experienced that the globalization of brands is not that simple.

It's important that the core of the campaign is founded in universal and global insights and values.

It often seems to be about creating a balance between costs and branding advantage over locally based messages. While most would agree that global companies will have to move towards developing global brands, it does not necessarily require a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. It's important that the core of the campaign is founded upon universal truths and global insights and values. This can be achieved by working with emotional messages that have cross-border relevance, in contrast to rational messages, which often require greater consideration of the local culture.

Involve the target audience and local representatives

Culture is of huge significance for brand acceptance and appeal, especially when it comes to above-the-line media, events and social media communications. Whereas before the age of digital, cultural dimensions were seen from a geographical angle, distinctions are now due to other factors such as age, interests, household composition and lifestyle. International studies show that consumers are increasingly defined by interest-related and value-based communities, more than geographical and cultural affiliation. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that you involve the target audience on their preferred platform. Test, qualify and evaluate marketing concepts with input from the target audience – this is the only way to ensure cohesion between product, brand and target audience. If it’s not possible to adequately involve the consumer, at the very least allow the company’s local representatives to be heard and to add their input. That said, make sure their involvement is not allowed to dilute or take the creative edge off the concept.

Local vs. global

When developing global concepts, it’s crucial to assess how anchored – global vs. local – the campaign needs to be. Three perspectives generally come into play: a 100% global campaign, where even the language remains the same; a version where messages, language and to a certain extent the product are adapted to the market; and finally a 100% locally-based campaign. For most companies, it often ends up somewhere in between. With this in mind, it’s important to consider how the target audience is likely to respond to the overall message of the campaign, and also other branding elements such as style of photography, tone-of-voice, communication of product benefits, the interaction between digital and physical marketing channels and more.

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