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Chapter 7 Global Branding
As companies expand globally, a brand like Coke or Nike can be the greatest asset a firm has, but it also can quickly lose its power if it comes to signify something different in every market. Successfully leveraging a brand’s power globally requires companies to consider aggregation, adaptation, and arbitrage strategies all at the same time, beginning with defining the universal “heart and soul” of every one of a company’s brands (aggregation) and then expressing that in suitable words, images, and music (adaptation and arbitrage). In doing so, allowance must be made for flexibility in execution because even the smallest differences in different markets’ consumer preferences, habits, or underlying cultures can make or break a brand’s global success. In allowing such flexibility, a key consideration is how a product’s current positioning in a particular market might affect the company’s future offerings. If a product’s positioning varies significantly in different markets, any “follow-on products” will likely have to be positioned differently as well, and this raises costs and can create operational problems.