Managing Brands over Geographic Boundaries and Market Segments

Whether their hand was forced or it happened naturally, most companies want to expand and conquer the global market. However, expanding globally isn’t that easy. For starters, you have to adapt your marketing strategy for global consumption. Such adapted marketing programmes are the only way to achieve strong brand equity that knows no borders and barriers. Your brand has to be strong no matter the location and the market segment.

 

Regional Marketing and Regional Profiles

If you don’t want to go global, you can always focus your efforts regionally. In fact, that’s a great way to counter globalisation. Regional marketing entails treating one specific geographical region as a separate market segment. Of course, each market segment needs a particular marketing strategy, tailored to the needs and specifications of that particular segment. Even global brands are going regional. Pepsi has divided the USA into four regions and implements specific strategies for each area.

 

Why Regional Approach Is on the Rise

Mass marketing is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Companies must become global, but that doesn’t mean that one-fits-all marketing approach will work. Target audiences are diverse in ethnicity, culture, and religion. Therefore, you can’t please them all with one strategy. You have to adjust your marketing so it’s appealing and relatable to every member of your target audience.

Take USA brands for example. The US is a very diverse country. That means that for any given brand, the target audience is made from people of all ethnicities, educational backgrounds, races, social classes, etc. That creates a gaping hole in the field of marketing. That hole needs to be filled with customised, regional marketing strategies. These strategies can reach consumers easily and make the product more accessible.

 

Why Should Companies Take a Global Approach?

Means of communication are constantly evolving, just like means of transportation, connectivity, and all other elements that were once barriers to globalisation. People are migrating more than ever, and the labour market has officially become global. That means that every company has to follow suit.

Huge markets like India and China provide brands with ideal opportunities for brand expansion. Furthermore, they are much cheaper regarding production and distribution channels, which lowers the overall cost of going global. Therefore, it’s no wonder that these markets are the goal of many companies looking to go global.

 

The Advantages of Global Marketing Programmes

The advantages of global marketing programmes are twofold.

From the Production Standpoint:

  • With the increase in production, your company will see a decrease in the cost per unit.
  • A decrease in the cost per unit leads to smaller necessary marketing budgets.
  • Mass production made for global needs will lead to standardisation of the packaging process. That will lead to decreasing the costs of packaging, distribution, and packaging-related marketing.

From the Consumer’s Standpoint:

  • A global presence of your brand makes it more trustworthy and appealing to consumers.
  • The consumers are more inclined to accept your brand if it has a global presence.
  • Global marketing programmes are consistent and, therefore, the brand awareness levels are high.
  • The first mover advantage — companies can sell a good product universally.

 

The Disadvantages of Global Marketing Programmes

  • Globalisation doesn’t allow for a more narrow marketing approach — you can’t meet everyone’s needs, and different demographics have different expectations.
  • The perception of need varies in different regions — if you own a soda brand, you won’t have the same success in China and the US.
  • Customer response is inconsistent.
  • The life cycle of your product won’t be the same in different countries. In some places, it might even be very short-lived compared with other locations.

Aside from these, companies also face barriers in social, political, and regulatory terms. Not to mention that each of these disadvantages has a specific impact on the marketing strategy. Therefore, adjusting it to fit a global plan isn’t that easy. In fact, your marketing strategy has to vary depending on the region, country, and environment you’re implementing it in.

Creating global consumer-based brand equity depends solely on effective regional marketing programmes. Brand building takes time, even for companies who stay local.

Global marketing campaigns need to highlight the similarities and differences of the brand. Furthermore, they need to think about how they will appropriately communicate their messages via logos, brands, and symbols in different areas. Finally, much like the local marketing programmes, the global ones also need a measuring system. When you’re going global, it’s crucial to have a brand equity measurement system so you can see if your massive investments were worth it.