Building the brand in emerging countries

Today, all eyes are turned towards the East, where companies are keen to compete in countries that were once part of the Soviet bloc. Beyond lies Asia – the five ‘tiger economies’ and China. Pioneer managers sent into the field are faced with the task of achieving major sales objectives within a short space of time. There is a great temptation to use an internationalised version of the flagship brand as far as possible, for example the Kraft, Müeller or Campina dairy brands. In fact, everything encourages managers to do so:

  • Their managerial freedom – in these distant countries they feel less restricted by the constraints of head office.
  • The pressure of sales and objectives, combined with a lack of resources.
  • The pitfalls of market research – since the brand is weak and not yet crystallized around a prototype, it seems able to be used anywhere.
  • It is therefore tempting to actually use it anywhere, on all products, all the more so because this type of initiative proves effective at sales level. As a symbol of quality, in countries that are not used to quality, a brand is reassuring and boosts the sales of anything it endorses. Any new initiative works.

It is a well-known fact that the first thing multinationals do in these countries is to rationalize production. The skill of manufacturers lies in their ability to significantly increase the quality of production, which gives local consumers access to levels of quality worthy of the name. Is not the primary function of a brand to guarantee quality? The brand therefore serves to endorse production and symbolise the newly acquired quality and reliability. By adopting this logic, the international brand becomes a strong umbrella brand from the outset, a source of reputation and power. The way to creating a strong brand appears to be clearly mapped out.

It should be pointed out that most examples of globalisation cited in managerial literature written in English are in fact ‘product globalisations’ based on a model of geographical extension from the country of origin, as with McDonald’s, Mars and Coca- Cola. In many cases, however, this model is not applicable since companies are not seeking to impose specific tastes on the inhabitants of other countries, but to recreate their brand (Kraft, Müeller or Président) at local level.

For example, while it is reasonable to assume that most Russians would not want to eat Camembert, it is quite legitimate for Lactalis to try to globalise its flagship brand Président. But this can only be done via largevolume local products to get the business off to a good start, otherwise it is not worth investing in a sales force or advertising.

The first problem is that, by covering all segments in a new country, the brand may deviate from the strategy (positioning) that has been fixed for it, in Europe or the United States for example. What is not a problem for Thailand or China can be a serious issue in Russia. But the strategy is global and has to be reflected in each country. Creating an umbrella brand that covers all segments in a country from the outset may favour shortterm sales but does not really prepare for the future.

The second problem is that establishing an umbrella brand quickly from the outset may fill the brand catalogues but does not really create a strong brand for the future. So what will happen exactly?

It will not take long before all the brand’s western competitors will be in the country as well. The levels of quality between these competitors will therefore be comparable. So what will differentiate the brand from all the others? It will be a general brand, with no real identity, no prototype, no strong differentiation.

How long can you go on introducing new initiatives that keep working? This type of success can be short-lived if a competitor also decides to launch an innovation. Taking the easy option does not lay foundations for the future. It is essential not to lose sight of the long-term objective and to bear the middle and long term in mind when considering short-term initiatives, for example when promoting difference(s) to create preference over future competitors.

It is therefore essential to build firm foundations at the outset and extend the brand later. This means making choices and selections, despite the temptation not to do so. But this is the way global brands are constructed.

Strategic Brand Management Related Practice Tests

Strategic Management Practice Tests
Brand Equity In Question What Is A Brand? Differentiating Between Brandassets, Strength And Value Tracking Brand Equity Goodwill: The Convergence Of Finance And Marketing How Brands Create Value For The Customer How Brands Create Value For The Company Corporate Reputation And The Corporate Brand Strategic Implications Of Branding What Does Branding Really Mean? Permanently Nurturing The Difference Brands Act As A Genetic Programme Respect The Brand ‘contract’ The Product And The Brand Each Brand Needs A Flagship Product Advertising Products Through The Brand Prism Brands And Other Signs Of Quality Obstacles To The Implications Of Branding Brand And Business Building Are Brands For All Companies? Building A Market Leader Without Advertising Brand Building: From Product To Values, And Vice Versa Are Leading Brands The Best Products Or The Best Value? Understanding The Value Curve Of The Target Breaking The Rule And Acting Fast Comparing Brand And Business Models: Cola Drinks From Private Labels To Store Brands Evolution Of The Distributor’s Brand Are They Brands Like The Others? Why Have Distributor's Brands? The Financial Equation Of The Distributor’s Brand The Three Stages Of The Distributor’s Brand The Case Of Decathlon Factors In The Success Of Distributor's Brands Optimising The Dob Marketing Mix The Real Brand Issue For Distributors Competing Against Distributor's Brands Facing The Low-cost Revolution Should Manufacturers Produce Goods For Dob's? Brand Diversity: The Types Of Brands Luxury, Brand And Griffe Service Brands Brand And Nature: Fresh Produce Pharmaceutical Brands The Business-to-business Brand The Internet Brand Country Brands Thinking Of Towns As Brands Universities And Business Schools Are Brands Thinking Of Celebrities As Brands The New Rules Of Brand Management The Limits Of A Certain Type Of Marketing About Brand Equity The New Brand Realities We Have Entered The B To B To C Phase Brand Or Business Model Power? Building The Brand In Reverse? The Power Of Passions Beginning With The Strong 360° Experience Beginning With The Shop The Company Must Be More Human, More Open Experimenting For More Efficiency The Enlarged Scope Of Brand Management Licensing: A Strategic Lever How Co-branding Grows The Business Brand Identity And Positioning Brand Identity: A Necessary Concept Identity And Positioning Why Brands Need Identity And Positioning The Six Facets Of Brand Identity Sources Of Identity: Brand Dna Brand Essence Launching The Brand Launching A Brand And Launching A Product Are Not The Same Defining The Brand’s Platform The Process Of Brand Positioning Determining The Flagship Product Brand Campaign Or Product Campaign? Brand Language And Territory Of Communication Choosing A Name For A Strong Brand Making Creative 360° Communications Work For The Brand Building Brand Foundations Through Opinion Leaders And Communities The Challenge Of Growth In Mature Markets Growth Through Existing Customers Line Extensions: Necessity And Limits Growth Through Innovation Disrupting Markets Through Value Innovation Managing Fragmented Markets Growth Through Cross-selling Between Brands Growth Through Internationalisation Sustaining A Brand Long Term Is There A Brand Life Cycle? Nurturing A Perceived Difference Investing In Communication No One Is Free From Price Comparisons Branding Is An Art At Retail Creating Entry Barriers Defending Against Brand Counterfeiting Brand Equity Versus Customer Equity: One Needs The Other Sustaining Proximity With Influencers Should All Brands Follow Their Customers? Reinventing The Brand: Salomon Adapting To The Market: Identity And Change Bigger Or Better Brands? From Reassurance To Stimulation Consistency Is Not Mere Repetition Brand And Products: Integration And Differentiation Specialist Brands And Generalist Brands Building The Brand Through Coherence Defining The Core Identity Of The Brand Confirming The Presence Of Brand Core Facets In Each Product Identifying The Role Of Each Product Line In The Construction Of The Brand Graphically Representing The Overall System Of The Brand Checking The Coherence Worldwide The Three Layers Of A Brand: Kernel, Codes And Promises Respecting The Brand Dna Managing Two Levels Of Branding Growth Through Brand Extensions What Is New About Brand Extensions? Brand Or Line Extensions? The Limits Of The Classical Conception Of A Brand Why Are Brand Extensions Necessary? Building The Brand Through Systematic Extensions: Nivea Extending The Brand To Internationalize It Identifying Potential Extensions The Economics Of Brand Extension What Research Tells Us About Brand Extensions Avoiding The Risk Of Dilution Balancing Identity And Adaptation To The Extension Market Segments Assessing What Should Not Change: The Brand Kernel Preparing The Brand For Remote Extensions Keys To Successful Brand Extensions Is The Market Really Attractive? An Extension-based Business Model: Virgin How Execution Kills A Good Idea: Easycar Brand Architecture The Key Questions Of Brand Architecture Type And Role Of Brands The Main Types Of Brand Architecture The Flexible Umbrella Brand The Aligning Umbrella Brand (masterbrand) Choosing The Appropriate Branding Strategy New Trends In Branding Strategies Internationalising The Architecture Of The Brand Some Classic Dysfunctions What Name For New Products? Group And Corporate Brands Corporate Brands And Product Brands Multi-brand Portfolios Inherited Complex Portfolios From Single To Multiple Brands: Michelin The Benefits Of Multiple Entries Linking The Portfolio To Segmentation Global Portfolio Strategy The Case Of Industrial Brand Portfolios Linking The Brand Portfolio To The Corporate Strategy Key Rules To Manage A Multibrand Portfolio The Growing Role Of Design In Portfolio Management Does The Corporate Organization Match The Brand Portfolio? Auditing The Portfolio Strategically A Local And Global Portfolio – Nestlé Handling Name Changes And Brand Transfers Brand Transfers Are More Than A Name Change Reasons For Brand Transfers The Challenge Of Brand Transfers When One Should Not Switch Analysing Best Practices Transferring A Service Brand How Soon After An Acquisition Should Transfer Take Place? Managing Resistance To Change Factors Of Successful Brand Transfers Brand Turnaround And Rejuvenation The Decay Of Brand Equity The Factors Of Decline Distribution Factors When The Brand Becomes Generic Preventing The Brand From Ageing Rejuvenating A Brand Growing Older But Not Ageing Managing Global Brands The Latest On Globalisation Patterns Of Brand Globalisation Why Globalise? The Benefits Of A Global Image Conditions Favouring Global Brands The Excess Of Globalisation Barriers To Globalisation Coping With Local Diversity Building the brand in emerging countries Naming Problems Achieving The Delicate Local–global Balance Being Perceived As Local: The New Ideal Of Global Brands? Local Brands Can Strike Back The Process Of Brand Globalisation Globalising Communications: Processes And Problems Making Local Brands Converge Financial Valuation And Accounting For Brands Accounting For Brands: The Debate What Is Financial Brand Equity? Evaluating Brand Valuation Methods Brand Valuation In Practice The Evaluation Of Complex Cases What About The Brand Values Published Annually In The Press? Strategic Brand Management Interview Questions