Louis Vuitton: Retailing the International Way

When you think of International Retailers, many companies come to mind, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, but what we forget at times is that many luxury brands are also winning at this strategy.  In this last blog Elizabeth and I will discuss French brand Louis Vuitton and how its strategy of International Retailing is taking this company to the top of its industry.

Louis Vuitton is one of the world’s leading international fashion houses; it sells its products through standalone boutiques, lease departments in high-end department stores, and through the e-commerce section of its website.  With over 130 locations on all continents except Antarctica, the company works hard to customize their marketing strategies to meet the needs of the local consumers. Their biggest strategy is to appeal to the local consumers through their store locations and advertisements to make them feel like Louis Vuitton understands them.  Below are just a few snapshots to illustrate what we are talking about.

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Because the company is not in all countries the e-commerce section of their company works to tend to the consumers who are not able to get to the closest store available to them. The company changes the product lines, to a small extent, to meet the customer needs, but for the most part it stays the same.  Additionally, there have been recent reports of the company making an exclusive product line for China.  Chinese consumers do not like the fact that the bags have the logos all over them, but those rumors have been shot down by the company.  It would actually be a very interesting strategy to have exclusive lines in these international retail stores because it would draw other international consumers to those stores to purchase the products because they would not be able to get it back home.  Below is a map illustrating some of the locations that these stores are located.

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Either way, Louis Vuitton is “doing it right” when it comes to International Retailing.  For the past 6 years the high end brand has been named the most valuable Luxury brand at over $25 billion USD.

As this is our last post of the semester, Elizabeth and I hope that you have enjoyed all of our posts and learned something about Global Brands and their multiple executions. Thanks for reading and good luck on Finals!

Global Brands and Global Pricing

For any company, global pricing is a lot more difficult to assess than domestic pricing because of international currency fluctuations, price escalations due to tariffs, price controls, transfer pricing regulations, and the different forms of payment methods across the world.  This week Elizabeth and I will discuss how global companies such as the Kellogg Company have to consider the different fundamentals that steer the decision processes when it comes to global pricing.

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Kellogg products are manufactured in 35 countries and marketed in 180 countries.  Every country that the Kellogg Company conducts business in, they must use the local currency.  This can affect profitability for the company because each currency is susceptible to sudden appreciation and depreciation.  Exchange rates can affect how the Kellogg Company conducts their business.  If exchange rates for example continue to be unfavorable for an extended period of time, the Kellogg Company may decide to export products to that company in a different way, limit products that are exported, develop a manufacturing plant in the country of business, or completely stop all exports to that country if they deem it unprofitable.

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Kellogg can also decide to determine transfer pricing which is used to attribute a multinational corporation’s net profit (or loss) before tax to countries where it does business.  All in all it helps the company adjust the pricing of the related goods between parties.  In the case of Kellogg, pricing would be adjusted for their food products, while keeping in mind fairness for the country they are conducting business in and satisfying their local laws.

Another important aspect of Global Pricing is that each company must remain competitive in markets.  The Kellogg Company must work hard to price its products to retain a profit but to keep in mind that the consumer must still be able to purchase their products at a reasonable price.  With the success that the Kellogg Company has internationally it is clear that they are thinking of all parties when it comes to pricing and keeps their consumers coming back for more.

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Amazon: A Top Global Brand

Global branding is the best technique for a firm to create a consistent identity with consumers across the world.  In today’s blog we will discuss how Amazon is utilizing Global Branding to their advantage and boosting visibility across the globe.  Amazon is the largest online retailer.  Right now, according to Interbrand’s list of “Best Global Brands 2013”, Amazon is number 19 (see image below).  Amazon is one of those firms that has a stronger consumer awareness than other online markets in the world.

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No matter where you are in the world, when you purchase a product from Amazon, you are going to receive a box with that same smile signifying that they serve you from A to Z. (See below).  The firm currently has websites for 12 countries, but has international shipping for certain products to certain countries.  Being a Global Brand adds to Amazon’s perceived value, because they are a reliable firm that services a multitude of people.

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Of the four Global Branding strategies, Amazon is using the family (umbrella) branding strategy.  By using this strategy they are using the name Amazon as a symbol of authority and then as a number of products brands under the corporate name.  Amazon produces its own products but also has many smaller producers that are able to sell their products using the website (see image below).

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            Furthermore, Amazon utilizes the extension branding strategy.  By expanding into other product categories such as the Amazon Kindle, Amazon Art, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon Local and many others, the firm is able to grab a larger consumer grouping that may not necessarily need their retail services.

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Lastly, because of the Global Brand awareness that they now have they are able to set up fulfillment and warehousing centers in the different countries it mostly serves.  These distribution stations show that Amazon is committed to serving each country to meet their needs in the best way they can.  From here on out Amazon will continue to grow Globally.

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Coca-Cola: Bringing the World Together One Coke at a Time

Coca-Cola is that one company that no matter what country you are from, you can recognize their name and logo.  Why is that?  Well its because Coca-Cola has succeeded in utilizing Cross Cultural Marketing, to make their brand identifiable around the world.  Part of Coca-Cola’s mission has been, “To refresh the world.”  It is also part of their focus to “Possess a worldview.”  To achieve either of these, Coca-Cola has worked with their marketing teams to brand themselves as World Company, providing products that everyone can enjoy.

Just to start you off and put you in a feel good mood, enjoy one of Coca-Cola’s most memorable commercials signifying a joyous celebration and unity.

Coca-Cola has implemented many strategies to appeal to the international consumer.  These strategies incorporate cultural values and standards of each of the countries that they are advertizing in.  Furthermore, they are executed in a way that consumers can see themselves and identify with the people in the ads and feel an affinity with the Coca-Cola brand.

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As you can see in the ads above, Coca-Cola has modified each to properly market their product; changing the language and using models that match the ethnicity they are gearing towards.  The company works hard to match the interests of each country, including sporting events.  Coca-Cola can be seen advertizing in the World Cup, Olympics, and many other organized sports.  Below are a few ads that feature this.

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Coca-Cola over the years has been very successful in communicating its worldly message, “To buy the world a coke.”  By implementing consumer behaviors into their marketing campaigns they have properly utilized the idea of Cross Cultural Marketing and even breaking the barriers of cultural boundaries, bringing the world together one Coke at a time.

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McDonald’s: Winning at Global Marketing Strategies

Many franchises that market their products on a worldwide scale can either fail miserably or succeed in attracting their audiences overseas.  One company that is doing it right is McDonald’s.  They are a franchise that has succeeded in incorporating Global Marketing Strategies by taking advantage of the cultural differences each country has, by incorporating these cultural differences tastefully into their marketing strategies.  In this week’s blog, Elizabeth and I are going to examine just a few of the many successful strategies that McDonald’s has employed overseas and how they are able to encompass those cultural differences and deliver value to customers worldwide.

The video below displays various McDonald’s television commercials around the world.  It also shows how McDonald’s has incorporated appealing approaches to the different international markets.

If you jump to 2:13 you can see that the advertisements in Malaysia try to feature the importance of family values and how McDonald’s can bring them closer to each other. It is execution like this in international markets that helps McDonald’s continue to be a successful franchise around the world.  You can compare this to how commercials are in the United States and how it works domestically as well. In the United States, the franchise does not focus so much on the family dynamic, rather they focus on the food itself and fun that can be created by eating the food.  This can be seen below.

McDonald’s is also know for creating marketing strategies that appear in different countries, but are altered to fit the demographic.  For example, McDonald’s asked celebrity musician Justin Timberlake to do a commercial for the United States.  Although, JT may be popular in China, they franchise believed that they would be able to attract the Chinese market better by using a Chinese celebrity.  Jump to 0.18 to watch the video below.

They are similar jingles with the same tactic, to attract the younger age demographic of each of the countries.

McDonald’s winning strategy not only incorporates outstanding visual advertizing that relates to their international markets, but they also create options that satisfy the pallets of those countries that may not like all American cuisine selections.  These new options give those international markets the ability to enjoy McDonald’s while staying true to their cultural customs.  The figure below shows some of these options.  In India, a country where eating beef is frowned upon, they have created the “Pizza McPuff” and the “McVeggie.”   It is choices like this that make their international markets feel as though McDonald’s is trying to serve the country’s cultural differences.

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            We can certainly come to the conclusion that McDonalds is winning when it comes to successful Global Marketing Strategies.  It is those ploys that bring us into their restaurants, get us to buy their fries and have moments like this…

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Comeback next week as we will discuss Global Marketing Intelligence!

Elizabeth and Nicole