Importance of Branding in International Marketing
‘Brand orientation’ and ‘International brand repositioning’ are two terms that are gaining importance. A good brand is one which high return on investment for a firm after having created a good perception of the product or service in the consumers’ minds, thereby encouraging them to try the product.
The brand orientation approach stresses that customers and brands should be the central focus so that brand issues are better co ordinate. Branding should go a step ahead of merely communicating the product’s value and should be an integral part of the business strategy.
A brand can be a reference point while devising strategy. It can help align the firm’s capabilities with the external environment. Brand orientation can have a positive impact on the firm’s performance in the long run by giving it a competitive edge over others.
Branding has always been discussed in domestic markets, but gained little importance in the international arena. Researchers argue that much emphasis has not been laid upon the cultural aspect while devising strategies in the era of increasing globalized markets.
Brand development on an international scale helps an organization in developing potential for global markets, targeting multiple segments and achieving economies of scale. There has been an ongoing debate on whether a firm should go for brand name standardization or if it should adapt its brand name after studying various cultural factors like individualism/collectivism, cultural interpretations and symbols etc. ‘Think global act local’ approach seems to be the most ideal one. The branding strategies should have the ability to adapt to diversity in external environments.
A customer from another country might have different needs. The product shall also have different competitive position and different channel structure out there. Keeping these differences in mind, it is necessary for the organization to implement ‘International Brand Repositioning’ i.e. bridging the gap between the domestic needs and the international requirements. Adapting to marketing mix involves changes in physical aspects like packaging; color etc. whereas brand repositioning is a broader term which includes creation of the brand image and then placing it in the minds of the consumers.
An extensive research was conducted by using statistical tools and techniques, the results of which are as follows:
- Brand performance has a strong impact on the financial performance of a firm.
- Brand orientation and international repositioning strategies should be incorporated while developing a global marketing strategy.