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Delivering Brilliance
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Delivering Brilliance
« on: 30 Jul, 2019, 07:24:17 »



Delivering Brilliance

Global brand leadership, especially in these days of media clutter, requires real brilliance in brand-building efforts—simply doing a good job isn’t enough. The dilemma is how to balance the need to leverage global strengths with the need to recognize local differences. Our research indicates that those who aspire to brilliant execution should do the following:
First, consider what brand-building paths to follow— advertising, sponsorship, increasing retail presence, promotions. The path you choose may turn out to be more important than the way you follow through with it. Experience shows that if the path starts with advertising, as it usually does, other sometimes more innovative and more effective brand-building approaches get the short end of the stick. Second, put pressure on the agency to have the best and most motivated people working on the brand, even if that means creating some agency-client tension. Third, develop options: the more chances at brilliance, the higher the probability that it will be reached. Fourth, measure the results.
P&G finds exceptional ideas by encouraging the country teams to develop breakthrough brand-building programs. Particularly if a brand is struggling, country brand teams are empowered to find a winning formula on their own. Once a winner is found, the organization tests it in other countries and implements it as fast as possible.
For example, when P&G obtained Pantene Pro-V in 1985, it was a brand with a small but loyal following. The company’s efforts to expand the product’s following in the United States and France did not increase the product’s popularity. In 1990, however, brand strategists struck gold in Taiwan. They found that the image of models with shiny healthy hair resonated with Taiwan’s consumers. The tagline for the ads was “Hair so healthy it shines.” People recognized that they couldn’t look just like the models but inside they said, “I’ve got to have that hair.” Within six months, the brand was the leader in Taiwan. The concept and supporting advertising tested well in other markets and was subsequently rolled out in 70 countries.
Another way to stimulate brilliant brand building is to use more than one advertising agency. It’s true that a single agency can coordinate a powerful, unified campaign; using only one agency, however, means putting all your creative eggs in one basket. On the other hand, using multiple agencies can lead to inconsistency and strategic anarchy.
In Europe, Audi gets the best of both approaches by following a middle course. It has five agencies from different countries compete to be the lead agency that will create the brand’s campaign. The four agencies that lose out are nonetheless retained to implement the winning campaign in their countries. Because the agencies are still involved with Audi, they are available for another round of creative competition in the future. A variant on this approach would be to use several offices from the same agency. That may not lead to as much variation in creative ideas, but it still provides more options than having just one group within one agency.
Adapting global programs to the local level can often improve the effectiveness of a campaign. Take Smirnoff’s “pure thrill” vodka campaign. All of its global advertising shows distorted images becoming clear when viewed through the Smirnoff bottle, but the specific scenes change from one country to another in order to appeal to consumers with different assumptions about what is thrilling. In Rio de Janeiro, the ad shows the city’s statue of Christ with a soccer ball, and in Hollywood, the “w” in the hillside sign is created with the legs of two people. The IBM global slogan “Solutions for a Small Planet” became “small world” in Argentina where “planet” lacked the desired conceptual thrust.
And yet managers won’t be able to tell how well they’re building brands unless they develop a global brand measurement system. The system must go beyond financial measures—useful as they are—and measure brand equity in terms of customer awareness, customer loyalty, the brand’s personality, and the brand associations that resonate with the public. When these measures of the brand are available, a company has the basis to create programs that will build a strong brand in all markets and to avoid programs that could destroy the brand.
All multinational companies should actively engage in global brand management. Any company that tries to get by with unconnected and directionless local brand strategies will inevitably find mediocrity as its reward. In such cases, an exceptionally talented manager will, on occasion, create a pocket of success. But that success will be isolated and random—hardly a recipe that will produce strong brands around the world.