Culture is essential for companies to understand and especially for brands that operate globally. Navigating across various different cultures, markets and countries must be done correctly by businesses, so that the brands don`t fail and are able to grow themselves to their fullest extent. Many companies have confused the era of globalization with an era of homogenization. Yet, the cultural differences between and within countries have a great effect on the chances of success for a brand. Knowing the customers and learning the culture are crucial, rather than the amount of dollars spent on marketing the products.
There are many marketing models and theories for companies to help build their brand globally and the global proposition model is one of these tools. The global brand proposition model is designed to analyze brands in their local and global contexts, to determine the many influences on brands in different markets, to help resolve local versus global brand tensions, and to develop strategic options for the brand. When companies are faced with issues in markets, they must analyze and find out what have caused the problems. Therefore, business strategies need to take into consideration the culture of the market they are doing business in and be able to adapt to new circumstances as quickly as possible to maintain their image.
For example, Kellogg`s, an American company, had a cultural issue when they decided to sell their product, Corn Flakes, in India in 1994. Eating cereal for breakfast was not common in the area, and soon it became apparent that cereal was not going to be as big of a hit in India as it was in US and Europe. They later realized the mistakes made, and started selling biscuits in India, but the locals had no real connection and trust with the brand anymore at this point. The most important lesson to learn from this example is to do your research on the markets culture and to remember that it`s not a smart attempt to try to change the consumers tastes.
Cultural differences are still as present as ever even though globalization and world-wide connectivity have increased dramatically in the past years. Sometimes in business, culture is looked on from a more general level rather than seeing the differences between regions in countries. This makes understanding culture sometimes complicated for companies. So when building brand recognition abroad, it is important to adapt to the local culture, but also the brand should remain recognizable on a global level.
- Brand Failures: The truth about the 100 biggest branding mistakes of all time; Matt Haig
- Global brand strategy: Unlocking brand potential across countries, cultures & markets; Sicco Van Gelder