'Make Our Brand Come Alive Worldwide'

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Networks come in many shapes and sizes, but at their cores they should comprise partners that deliver extremely relevant local insights, proven processes, locked-down execution, and deep data capabilities--and all within the context of global-marketing best practices.

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'Make Our Brand Come Alive Worldwide'

  1. 1. By Ted Kohnen, Vice President, Integrated Marketing, Stein + Partners Brand ActivationMake Our Brand Come Alive WorldwideBrand activation is hard–and global activation is branding’s Mount Everest.But, rightfully, that doesn’t stop clients from asking for it. The plea embodied in this post’sheadline has been uttered by brands since the dawn of cross-border communicationsand commerce. And just such a client request was described earlier this week by GudmundSemb,head of German agency WOB AG, to the agency leaders attending the Business BrandingNetworks (BBN) annual meeting.Stein + Partners Brand Activation (SPBA) recently joined BBN, and the group’s meeting, inChicago during the Business Marketing Association’s (BMA) International Conference, turnedout to be the perfect place to explore this anything-but-simple request. After all, how often to youget to share a day with the top guns of elite agencies from London, Manchester, Paris, Moscow,Munich, Madrid, and Stockholm–among other destinations I hope to visit soon?One reason its not so simple is because this phrase is incomplete. What smart agencies or brandmarketers hear is, "Make our brand come alive worldwide...relevantly and sustainably.” But toomany of even the largest brands still think that global marketing is just syndicating campaignsacross multiple markets.And that’s what causes the cautionary tales we’ve all heard from brands that entered new globalmarkets--only to fail spectacularly because the product didn’t match local needs, colloquialphrases didn’t come through as intended, or a global design gave the campaign the wrong feelfor a particular local market. 1
  2. 2. Drawing on the presentations, panels, and conversations of the day-long BBN meeting, I beganto see a three-point pattern emerge for answering the charge to "make our brand come aliveworldwide":1. Planning process: For agencies/marketers, this is not your typical process for a single-marketlaunch. This process must extract relevant and necessary insights from global-local markets. Forexample, the research question you ask to a target in New York isn’t the same as the one you aska target in Berlin. The diversity of personalities, cultures, business fundamentals, etc., requiresthat the manner in which you extract information is locally sensitive.2. Execution: This is where we can talk about transcreation. Adapting content is simply notenough. Brands must localize the call-to-action, delivery channels, images, and other designelements, as well as the text. With a sound global-planning process, brands can ensure thattranscreation carries through the essential messaging and brand elements.3. Optimization: Sustainability depends heavily on the ability to analyze and optimize on a locallevel. A particular call-to-action may resonate with your target in Sao Paolo, but it’s unlikely todo so in Shanghai.All three buckets imply that a critical component to making a “brand come alive worldwide” isthe network of partners that help orchestrate and execute. Networks come in many shapes andsizes, but at their cores they should comprise partners that deliver extremely relevant localinsights, proven processes, locked-down execution, and deep data capabilities--and all within thecontext of global-marketing best practices.Essentially, that’s the reason SPBA is now part of BBN.The next time you meet with your agency or internal marketing and communications teams, putthe request out there to "make our brand come alive worldwide." Do their responses put you onan optimal path?Read more: http://www.cmo.com/branding/make-our-brand-come-alive-worldwide#ixzz1wqNYwmfx 2

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