Global marketing is no longer the expensive, time-consuming territory of the biggest, boldest brands. With the right creative strategy and understanding of world markets, a global presence can be a possibility for almost any business. As language specialists, we work with clients of many sizes, on projects and products targeting almost every corner of the globe. In this blog, we will aim to learn from the big brands, both those who have experienced success and those who have eventually fallen short.

What is global marketing?

Global marketing is the act of evaluating and understanding a product’s selling points and using that to satisfy the needs of potential buyers in other geographical locations. The core of a successful global marketing strategy is knowing your audience. By fully understanding who needs your product, what form they need it in, and how you can market to them – in a manner that strengthens the brand – you have the foundations for successful global marketing.

A global marketing strategy requires your business to do in-depth market research. You first need to identify those countries where your product might be successful. After that, you have to localise your brand to reflect the needs of consumers in the new markets. The below case studies demonstrate how important it is to understand and appeal to your target markets.

Red Bull – marketing that gives the brand wings

Red Bull is such a marketing and localisation pro that many do not realise it is an Austrian company. One thing Red Bull excel at is events, with the company’s extreme sports events having become a cornerstone of the brand. From the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix to the Red Bull Air Race in the United Kingdom to the Red Bull Soapbox Race in Jordan, the brand’s formidable localised event marketing strategy gives them a global reach and a tangible brand voice. They also famously own the highly successful Formula One team Red Bull Racing, cementing their place at the pinnacle of extreme sports.

Red Bull’s packaging has also been used to great effect, helping the brand to go global. Harvard Business School professor Nancy F. Koehn explains that “Red Bull really looks like a product of a global economy. It doesn’t look like a traditional American soft drink — it’s not in a 12-ounce can, it’s not sold in a bottle, and it doesn’t have script lettering like Pepsi or Coke. That matters.”

Red Bull’s international success might seem unobtainable to smaller brands. However, it is possible to learn from its success. You need to take the time to get under the skin of your product, to truly understand what makes your customers tick. In this way, you can localise your marketing approach to suit their needs but most importantly at the same time trusting in the power of your product.

Mattel proves that localisation can be the key to success…or failure

In March 2009, Mattel – makers of fashion toy icon Barbie – hoped to make the first step towards Chinese domination. The company decided to build a 36,000-square-foot Barbie “stronghold” in the flashy retail district of Shanghai.

The brand seemed to be in a strong marketing position with the celebration of the toys 50th anniversary being used as leverage, Mattel, however, did not take the time to thoroughly research this new market. In China, skill building and educational games make up the backbone of the toy market and consumers struggled to see the appeal of a novelty Barbie. Within two years, the sizable Mattel store had closed for business.

Mattel certainly trusted in the power of its product but failed to research its new market, making assumptions about consumer behaviour and failing to localise its offering.

How can Albion Languages help you succeed on the global stage?

If you have global aspirations for your business, it is important to take the time to research the marketplace in depth. Find out what customers in different markets have in common — and also how they differ. How you can localise your product and its’ marketing to best appeal to consumers in your new markets.

Take inspiration from Red Bull and be confident that global marketing really can give you wings…when it is done correctly. Speak to a member of our team to discover how we can support you and your business as you grow, helping you to fully understand your market and localise your marketing to achieve the best results.