The drivers of globalization are a combination of many factors which have forced businesses to look outside their home markets for growth opportunities in new markets, and very often to gain economies-of-scale and to diversify their risk/reward balance. However, the competition in the global business environment is increasing, which makes achieving a unique position and competitive advantage increasingly more difficult and expensive. The high level of investment necessary to maintain production capabilities and rising cost of R&D for product differentiation efforts to steer clear of becoming generic puts totally new requirements on Asian management teams to cover these heavy investments.
Therefore, creating and implementing global brand marketing strategies are inevitable for tomorrow’s successful Asian companies in order to capture a larger part of the financial value and enhance the profit streams. Additionally, strong branding enhances the competitive position in the market place and helps fight competition. Asian companies need to move up the value chain through strategic branding and they have all the capabilities needed to achieve this in the years to come.
Leaders Are the Ultimate Brand Component of Their Corporation
It needs to be no less than the CEO who embodies the branding efforts and serves as the company’s and thereby the brand's primary advocate and nurturer. The approach is particularly well suited to companies whose top executives have a passion and talent for brand strategy, but in tomorrow’s tough environment all top-executives must be able to represent and lead the brand. Companies like Sony, Virgin, Starbucks, Microsoft, Nokia, Giorgio Armani, Singapore Airlines and Nestlé all meet that description.
Tomorrow’s CEO must be a brand champion who leads corporate and product branding strategies, all brand-portfolio decisions and monitors the presentation of the brand worldwide. A strong CEO has credibility and respect not only because of business talent and organizational power but also because of a depth of experience, knowledge, and insight. A suggestion from a visionary CEO with branding talent and experience gets careful consideration.
Asia’s Role in the Global Branding Battle
In the next five years, we will see a rapidly changing landscape in Asia where the opportunities for Asian companies to benefit from international corporate and product branding efforts will be larger than ever before.
The growing emphasis on international branding will move up the boardroom agenda and branding will become one of the most prominent drivers of value in Asia-Pacific in the next two decades. Businesses with a sustainable business model and with a visionary and passionate CEO with branding talent will benefit from the rising opportunities for taking on the global scene. But having the branding know-how and marketing technology is no longer adequate. The modern Asian company leader needs to be a complete player who covers all grounds and have the vision to follow through and improve. Being a marketing wizard is no longer enough. One also has to be an excellent business leader and brand marketer with a truly international edge.
Traditionally, new senior executives among the Asian companies are recruited from within the ranks of the organisations and they tend to come primarily from technology and/or financial related career backgrounds and departments. Much fewer are the talents coming along with in-depth and high-level marketing and branding backgrounds compared to Western companies. Therefore, many companies tend to lack experienced top-leaders who have spend their entire executive careers in marketing and branding hence bringing with them the important capabilities and international experience in the branding field.
Therefore, reconsider the management teams in New Asia and take on more highly skilled people with outstanding capabilities and global experience in branding strategy and execution, and also talent with preferences for rapid change, new knowledge and best practices. All these factors are no longer a luxury but a necessity to win a lucrative position in the global branding battle. New Asia has all opportunities at hand.