If you’re taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by Brexit, and expanding your brand’s reach to include a global audience, then one thing you’ll need to consider is your global brand positioning.
Or, if you’re launching a start-up as a global brand, you’ll want to get off on the right foot by positioning your brand with regional and cultural differences in mind.
Unlike your current brand positioning, your global brand positioning will be multifaceted. Every country, region and culture has its own unique market and therefore a unique place for your brand.
Expanding to a global market may not always seem like the next logical step; however, it does come with some distinct advantages, including higher assessments of quality and prestige that accompany the buying of a “foreign” brand.
Read on for global brand positioning advice, as well as some global positioning statement examples.
Customised Positioning Statements, for Global Branding
In Germany, Volkswagen is marketed to a mature audience, whilst in The United States, its target is a younger, more frugal driver.
This is just one example of how a brand has used a simple formula to decide how it can fill a particular audience’s needs, without ascribing those standards to every culture.
USP + Strengths + Values + Audience Needs =
Brand Position (your value proposition, i.e. highlight benefits)
After you identify those regions and cultures that will have the most need for, and which will be most interested in, your brand, work through this equation for each one. Here’s how:
- Name your brand’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition). This is the thing that sets you (and your brand) apart from the competition. It’s about the gap you’re filling, or the unsolved problem you’re solving, or the unique procedure you’re using to accomplish your goal. It’s what consumers will say when they hear your brand name. For example, “That’s the bakery that bakes only gluten-free and sugar-free treats,” or, “That’s the car dealership that donates used cars to veterans,” or, “That’s the grocery store that delivers orders to your home.”
- Name your strengths. These could be the qualities that make you unique, or they can be the everyday things you’re good at. It can help to look outside yourself for this one. Ask family, friends and colleagues what they see as your strengths. What comes easiest for you? What have you always exceled at? What do others envy about you? Your customers will benefit from these strengths; therefore, your strengths are your brand’s benefits.
- Name your corporate values. These are the things you admire in others and that you expect from yourself. Some examples are timeliness, honesty, fun, encouragement, competitiveness, etc. These values will be communicated through every brand heartbeat, and will work to attract those who share and respect those values.
- Name your audience’s specific needs and preferences. The previous three steps have shaped your general brand positioning statement—and these elements will NOT change. However, here is where you will start to customise your brand experience and image, according to region. This will take some serious research into each country, region and culture. Learn about the meaning of your brand’s colours, the translation of your brand name and tagline, the regional audience’s specific problem, how they prefer to communicate, how they prefer their solutions to be delivered, their financial statuses, their work and family dynamics, work and leisure habits and more.
After you have completed these four steps, you will be prepared to create a global brand positioning series—with a version that aligns flawlessly to each region you intend to serve.
Your positioning statement should only be one or two sentences in length, and should be created for internal use. Your audience will likely never read or hear your brand positioning statement; however, they should feel it in everything your brand does. The statement should name your audience, the brand’s main benefit, the customers it will serve and the unique way in which it will serve.
Here are a few examples:
- Volvo: “For upscale American families, Volvo is the family automobile that offers maximum safety.”
- Heinz: “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.”
- Starbucks: “There is nothing else like the Starbucks experience, a real indulgence, every day.”
Here’s the thing: you can create a brand positioning statement that you expect to be received identically across the globe; however, the results of your branding and marketing may not be as much within your power as you believe. Cultural differences, from region to region, will colour how your brand is perceived—and if you fail to position your brand with those cultural influences in mind, your brand could be grossly misunderstood.
Do you need help with creating your global brand positioning statement? And all its targeted versions? A good place to start is with our Marketing Planning Wheel, a FREE tool for crafting your brand message and completing the right steps, in the right order and at the right time. Click here to get yours for FREE.