Moving From Globalisation to Globality

Is being a global brand in today’s world a blessing or a curse?

This was a very compelling question that was asked within the presentation Jessica Davey, Chief Marketing Officer, McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific, gave to the audience at AWAsia2018. How do these emerging trends and contexts affect how we, as brands, communicate? What new tools do we need to be developing and what do we need to be understanding about our audiences? First off let’s start with what makes GREAT global brands.

Global brands need to stand for something. They can shift and have different emphasis but always have a north star.

McCann Worldgroup took a survey to find out what people thought of global brands.

  • 85% believe that global brands have the power to make the world better
  • 78% believes the world IS a better place because of global brands and what they are doing
  • 87% believe global brands have the power to expand opportunities for themselves, their families and their cultures.
  • 83% like global brands that involve themselves within their communities making a local effort

This next statistic was surprising to them:

  • 67% said their biggest fear is that global brands can overcome local brands

There needs to be a balance between how global brands behave and local brands can thrive in their communities as well. People believe in brands. That means that marketers have a responsibility to develop and maintain global brands respectfully. Respectfully of what the brands stand for and respect for the cultures in which the brands operate. In order to do that, you have to shift the way you think of yourself and the way your brand operates.

Globality is a fluid process. While global obviously has a huge influence on how a brand behaves that they too are open to balance and impact from local markets and how that meaning is manifested in a market

Can a global brand behave in a local way? 5 years ago if this question was asked, the answer would have been yes it can. Today the answer is yes, it’s absolutely necessary. So, what are the implications? You have to think as much around effectiveness. It’s not enough for work to work in a market, it needs to work FOR that market. Identify the meaningful role that brand plays in that market. Create a great product that does a great job.

Understand how your product might be applied in a local culture – what are the universal and local tensions that you can bring to life and have a point of view on?

Jessica gives a great example with a global brand in Mastercard – to CHOOSE to have a priceless experience to further the work like balance challenges that many in the Japanese culture face. In another Mastercard commercial Jessica showed, we see how a global brand understands the challenges a local community was facing in New Zealand and how their campaign drove local awareness up to gain 97% of New Zealanders reached. Both campaigns came out of the same idea as priceless but were manifested completely differently.

“We are as much brand guardians as our clients are”

Global businesses are under a huge amount of pressure as they are competing with local businesses, social media driven brands, healthier options. Pressure to reduce costs. They need to be faster to change. It’s all about finding the balance between long term thinking and short term activation.

Amy Swanson

Writer at Advertising Week

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