Each time a brand grows globally it inevitably has to ‘crack’ new markets. This can present an incredibly lucrative opportunity, but also a tricky one. Choices that consumers make are so heavily defined by their cultural context that transferring an unfamiliar product to an entirely new audience is not without risk.
All over the world when global brands expand successfully into new markets, we see meaningful changes – from marketing to NPD – to suit the new environment. McDonalds introduced a spiced veggie burger in India made out of mashed potatoes and peas, creating a familiar taste for Indian customers. Pricing the burger at just 20 rupees allowed McDonalds to compete with its low cost, more traditional competitors – street vendors.
Guinness changed its recipe to include local ingredients in Africa. This fostered a sense of localism for the brand, created a unique taste and also made the product more suited to the budgets of the local population. Sunsilk created a range of shampoos and conditioners specifically for hijab wearers – in largely Muslim Indonesia – which were immensely popular in a community where the majority of women wear the hijab.
Weetabix successfully offered two-biscuit packs in Kenya where shopping is more ‘little and often’. Then, in Mexico, they offered 48-biscuit packs where bulk buying is common.
So how do brands ensure they can carry their currency with them worldwide? What’s vital is avoiding complacency – what works well in one country often won’t travel, so take the time to understand your new customer base and then be prepared to adapt and innovate based on what you find.
However at some stage Coca Cola decided that one taste suites all. But even with Coke the taste may vary a little based on the available sugar and indeed the temperature at which the product is consumed.
Global relevance really is the Holy Grail for brands.
Given our global experience of growing brands in China and European markets let us help you to devise a strategic, research-based view on transferring and growing your brand into new geographical areas.
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