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With so much variation, why force local affiliates to use the global agency?This is a battle seldom worth the fight.
The epitome of global marketing is characterized by a highly centralized, consistent, and efficient brand platform that provides the organization with increased return on their marketing investment. Ideally, the brand platform would achieve global relevance, consistent from market to market. Although theoretically ideal, this is rarely achieved. Most often, we accept somewhere in the middle as being "just right"—a consistent global brand injected with local relevance.
Ken Begasse Jr
Before working with our clients globally, we do an analysis of the Global Universal Truths (GUTs) to determine what level of globalization is achievable. Our 6-point GUT Check identifies similarities and differences across markets.
Disease: Does the disease affect the populations in key markets similarly?
Guidelines: Do medical practitioners use similar treatment algorithms?
Treatments: Do medical practitioners have similar access to treatment options?
Policy: Does the healthcare system policy create market-to-market differences in the competitive set?
Culture: Are there cultural idiosyncrasies that shape customer attitudes toward the disease or treatment?
Organization: What are the resources of the organization within key markets?
In the end, the process helps to determine where global activities end and local activities begin.
The global team and agency simply need to provide a unified brand strategy, essence, and identity, with clear direction for local market adaptation. Then the organization can work collaboratively with local markets to address strategic issues or capitalize on local opportunities. This enhances the brand's local relevancy while globally amortizing key brand expenditures across markets.
Recently, we performed a number of branding and packaging assignments for a global client. China was the main market, along with other Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Most significantly in China, what we learned confirmed the willingness of families to purchase premium products above those already available. Even in a global economic crisis, there wasn't a cost ceiling for a fully supported premium brand. Product X contained a medical or scientific advantage. These advancements were branded to elevate their end benefit; however, it was evident that packaging played a more significant role in selection. In some instances, parents would be willing to work additional jobs to provide this product to their children. After purchase, the marketer must continually reinforce their customer's purchase decision with a mix of mass-marketing brand building that justifies their expense with more individual, value-added mobile and digital educational support that increases their satisfaction.