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International Branding entails creating a corporate image globally. Branding is used in both commodity and service market. Service marketing helps to create an image about the value of the given product. Both product and corporate level employ branding world over. In corporate branding, the service or even the product can be easily recognized in the market. Moreover, after thorough international marketing, meaning attached to the service or product by the consumers all over the world. International Branding also enables business organization to create a positive corporate image, which enables businesses champion certain ways of carrying out business. Companies give preference to branding due to various reasons. The corporate image demonstrates what the company, as a business organization, stands for. Customer loyalty is bolstered, since consumers derive utility in associating with a company with a positive international brand (Gardner & Gittinger, 1999).
In service or product international branding, therefore, the company acquires a particular image, as far as the service or product is concerned and thus facilitates marketing. Companies equally engage in rebranding activities now and then to ensure its products keep abreast of market dynamics. In service assists the firm in communication of distinctive benefits and experiences, which are linked to the particular service concept. This entails creating customer experience. Moreover, creating brand promise and shaping differentiated customers experience are the major objectives for service and product marketers. Moreover, employees are given tools, skills, as well as supporting processes are also some objectives achieved through service branding. For effective international branding to be realized, communication with all stakeholders is also given premium (Egan, 2007).
There are different brand types. These include individual services and products, organizations, groups, events, geographical places, and ranges, persons, private labels, e-brands, and media brands. The most widespread brand types are tangible individual products like drinks and cars. Product brands may be related to a range; for instance, Colgate toothpaste varieties and Mercedes S-class. Most recently, companies have started moving from the manufacture of products towards the deliverance intangible deliveries and complete solutions. Service branding is characterized by a need to maintain a high consistent service delivery level. Service category comprise of service brands like banks and airlines, providers of pure services, such as member associations, professional brand services like advisors, travel agents, as well as retail brands like restaurants and supermarkets. Equally, events such as space-rocket launch, town-hall dances and Olympics have brands. Product and service brands have been given preference world over and are, therefore, ranked far much ahead of the other brand types.
In service or product international branding, the company acquires a particular image and thus facilitates appropriate marketing. Companies equally engage in rebranding activities now and then to ensure its products keep abreast of market dynamics (Hankinson & Cowking, 1996). In service international branding, communication of distinctive benefits and experiences are linked to particular service concept, which entails creating customer experience. Moreover, creating brand promise and shaping differentiated customers experience are the major objectives for service and product marketers. Moreover, employees are given tools, skills, as well as supporting processes. Some objectives are achieved through service branding. Communication with all stakeholders is also given premium. This underscores the centrality of proper communication in business. All stakeholders should be brought on board, if any positive results are to be realized from international branding.
Four decades ago, companies such as IBM, Shell, PepsiCo, Colgate-Palmolive and Coca-Cola were some of the few internationally recognized brands. Later, Microsoft, Honda, Nike and Apple further pushed their brand reputation up to realize higher sales. This was achieved through the creation of a widespread message, as well as mounting brand awareness. Lately, the internet has played a very significant role as far as international branding is concerned. It has also enabled business organizations curb international trade barriers. Building international brands is now realistic for businesses world over. KFC, Panasonic, and BP are some of the companies that have emerged as international brands.
Brand can be thought of as reputation. Creating a positive reputation is the first step as far as international branding is concerned. Through word-of-mouth, advertising, as well as service and product contact, are instrumental in international branding. Brand reputation is done with existing and potential customers. In modern day business, companies spend a lot of money and time in creating brand recognition (Hankinson & Cowking, 1996). People pay a lot more on products or services, which are recognized as trusted and leading brands. Building an international brand will also involve the maintenance of quality. The business should ensure that it has a market. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is important. The existing rules and regulations should be examined too. A thorough re-examination of the product or business names should be considered. The companys logo needs another look. International branding entails an understanding of packaging requirements. This should be followed be the registration of domain names and trademarks.
The brand growth stages are integral for international branding. Discovery, definition of the essence of the brand and implementation of the brand, are important brand growth stages. Primarily, brands are trustworthy and recognizable origin signifiers, as well as emotional and functional delivery promise. It serves as an organizations reputation. A brand should tell us the services origin, as well as the organizations roles. The international brand should serve to reassure customers of the quality of product or service produced by the company. The companys objectives and organizational culture should be communicated to the international market (Hankinson & Cowking, 1996). This can only be accomplished through a well-staged process.
First, discovery is important. This should entail in-depth analysis. The reasons why the current brand is failing should be identified. The customers expectations and experiences with the current brand are assessed to. The motivation and experiences of the important stakeholders should be understood. Secondly, defining the essence of the brands is critical. This should involve the distillation of the pertinent information collated earlier. An insight concerning the mission, values and vision of the organization is provided at this stage. This should serve to appeal and motivate the targeted audience. Finally, brand implementation is the last stage. The business organizations values, vision, and mission should be in tandem with the creation of an international brand. International branding should equally give credence to the market dynamics. The vagaries of an open market should be considered (Rogers, 2002).
In conclusion, international branding entails the creation of elaborate branding strategies to bolster the corporate image of the organization and, consequently, improve profits for profit-motivated organizations. Moreover, engaging the staff and every other stakeholder with the brand is important, as they play an important role in the creation of a positive corporate image. The brand should be managed on a daily basis to ensure evaluation of business strategies. This underscores the centrality of evaluation and monitoring exercise for any business with an intention of international branding. All the three stages should be incorporated into the international branding process. If the stages are not considered, the business organization risks creating a brand which citizens and the staff will not be able to engage and identify with. When these stages are followed appropriately, wastage of the companys money and time used in international branding will reduce.