- How to build a better global brand
By Kyle Hermans
Kyle Hermans is the Senior Director of Innovation Capacity of Gap Inc. Global, and was head of Synecticsworld’s West Coast office at the time of this article.
The “global” brand spans many different cultures, languages, backgrounds, religions, systems, governments, types of logistics and rules and regulations in terms of trade and infrastructure of countries and international commerce. Staying aligned to the core purpose of why a brand does what it does and the reason it occupied the market space it did at the start can be a tricky and easily derailed when expanding globally and bringing new diverse opinions and perspectives to that original core message.
So how do you build that success and maintain it?
1. Tenacity of Purpose.
- Constantly be mindful and in the practice of staying true to the core context
- Look for the common communication of that within global geographies
- Make sure people that work for the brand are passionately in alignment with this big purpose as to why we are doing this as a brand and for the sake of what.
What do i mean by purpose? Ask yourself what are you standing for? What is that Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal? What does the company get up and go for everyday?
Ideally as a brand expands around the world the employees and management that join the cause are aligned to the companies larger purpose and that all actions day to day from the smallest to the largest activities feed into that purpose.
Staying on the path in the face of adversity, market rejection, criticism and customer disconnect, disruptive trends and unexpected market movements – which can often lead to brands making permanent moves away from their core purpose to adapt to often temporary conditions that stand before them. So how do we continue with persistence?
If you commit to staying true to your context/purpose, you will use that as your platform from which to evolve, develop, pioneer and respond to market conditions. Your customers and market will experience your brand as being adaptable and creative while still providing authentic products and services.
It is important to know that businesses operate with two different mindsets internally: Innovative/creative mind and an operation mind. Persistence is born out of persuiting creative ideas which you commit to operationalizing while tanaciously standing by your purpose. How do we do that?
- Trust your context and push to see internally disruptive ideas turn into a reality
- Keep engaged with your customers and their voices
- Create and execute into local markets answering the need for local diversity, and even though it may look and even taste or feel different in different places, it stills chunks up to the same common purpose.
The success of persistence comes down to the brand climate, meaning, what this brand stands for, what the products represent, how they impact in the market, what the type of communication there is between the market and the brand. Persistance is also having the ability to always understand what is the thinking within the company, taking advantage of tapping into the company resources which in turn shows if the thinking and purpose has alignment.
3. Staying Power
The brands that have longevity and staying power have leadership that model a behavior that the masses can get behind, and successfully embed within others no matter what the cultural and international diversity. Brands that are open to co-developing with their markets and the consumers i.e. integrating real time cutomer feedback or doing it your way and and being empathic and observant to consumers adaption to your way of doing things, then your product and services will build your staying power and customer loyalty.
Building staying power, both internally and externally:
- Giving permission to your people to go & action on trends, creativity and respond to markets or consumers?
- Building a consistent and best in class pipeline process that collectively brings ideas to fruition and implement them into the market.
- Fine tuning the communication skills of being able to hear the market and its voice and respond to it.
Having a tenacity of purpose, a persistent drive and the goal of building staying power with your brand, are a few of the keys to building a better brand, for both the internal employees and for the external market and its customers. CREATE CHANGE.