Global Considerations in Branding and Packaging
At the global marketing level, a company needs to launch appropriate marketing plans so results can be achieved across multiple countries.
Discuss how language, colors, customs, aesthetics, and placement affect global branding and packaging in products
- Language differences cause many problems for marketers in designing advertising campaigns and product labels. It is important to double-check the translation of a marketing campaign to make sure the meaning being conveyed in another language is the company’s intended message.
- Colors also have different meanings in different cultures. Marketers should pick country-appropriate colors to make sure the local consumers are not offended or pushed away from the product due to colors used in the packaging.
- All cultures have their own unique set of customs and taboos. It is important for marketers to learn about these so that they will know what is acceptable and what is not for their marketing programs.
- global marketing: Global marketing is marketing on a worldwide scale, reconciling or taking commercial advantage of global operational differences, similarities and opportunities in order to meet global objectives.
- dialects: A variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language’s speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns.
- economies of scale: The cost advantages that an enterprise obtains due to expansion. As the scale of output is increased, factors such as facility size and usage levels of inputs cause the producer’s average cost per unit to fall.
Global Marketing Plans
Ultimately, at global marketing level, a company trying to speak with one voice is faced with many challenges when creating a worldwide marketing plan. Unless a company holds the same position against its competition in all markets (market leader, low cost, etc.), it is impossible to launch identical marketing plans worldwide. When branding and packaging for international products, careful consideration must be placed on factors such as language, colors, customs, aesthetics and placement.
The importance of language differences cannot be overemphasized. There are upwards of 7,000 languages in the world. These differences cause many problems for marketers in designing advertising campaigns and product labels. Language problems become even more serious once the people of a country speak several languages. For example, in Canada, labels must be in both English and French, like this ad for Pepsi in Canada. In India, there are over 200 different dialects, and a similar situation exists in China.
Colors also have different meanings in different cultures. For example, in Egypt, the country’s national color of green is considered unacceptable for packaging, because religious leaders once wore it. In Japan, black and white are colors of mourning and should not be used on a product’s package. Similarly, purple is unacceptable in Hispanic nations because it is associated with death.
Customs and Taboos
All cultures have their own unique set of customs and taboos. It is important for marketers to learn about these so that they will know what is acceptable and what is not for their marketing programs.
The term aesthetics is used to refer to the concepts of beauty and good taste. The phrase, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is a very appropriate description for the differences that exist between cultures. For example, Americans believe that suntans are attractive, youthful, and healthy. However, the Japanese do not. These key differences apply to labels and branding as well.
How the product is distributed is also a country-by-country decision influenced by how the competition is being offered to the target market. Using Coca-Cola as an example, not all cultures use vending machines. In the United States, beverages are sold by the pallet via warehouse stores. In India, this is not an option. Placement decisions must also consider the product’s position in the market place. For example, a high-end product would not want to be distributed via a “dollar store” in the United States. Conversely, a product promoted as the low-cost option in France would find limited success in a pricey boutique.
Effective global advertising techniques do exist. The key is testing advertising ideas using a marketing research system proven to provide results that can be compared across countries. The ability to identify which elements or moments of an ad are contributing to that success is how economies of scale are maximized.