In a previous article, i spoke about how important it is for global brands that are growing in the context of emerging middle class markets to incorporate nuances of local cultural values into their strategies in order to gain relevance and share of wallet.
Another consideration that i feel spans the globe, especially in today’s more challenging economic circumstances, is the degree to which brands can empower consumer confidence.
Especially in emerging markets where consumers are striving for economic momentum through entrepreneurship, career and education lifestyle focus and pure intestinal fortitude, it becomes more important for brands to consider the implications both on product and brand communication strategy.
It is not enough to simply have your brand essence mirror local values, but it must “walk the talk”. What does your product do to help consumers achieve their goals, whether it be the small day-to-day wins or their long term personal vision? How does it help get the job done or instil confidence?
Additionally, with consumers demanding more and more information about the companies that get their share of wallet, what can you share with them about how the way your company operates benefits their local community? The global community? Where are jobs created? What is the brand’s bottom line contribution to the consumer’s personal world, the world they share with others (in their region, country) and the world at large?
This can mean several things. It can imply a re-assessment of how a product / brand’s functional benefits ladder into emotional benefits. It also makes a case for incorporation of national heritage into brand equity communication. It also means that factors about corporate practices like employment distribution and research and development (particularly market research and co-creation) are fair game for consumer-facing communication.
It’s worth assessment of what your competition is doing and how consumers perceive your brand’s performance. Those factors that may be taken for granted during internal strategy processes might just be the hidden facts that consumers are looking for to empower them not only to purchase, but to advocacy.