There are many global companies that have impressive global brand footprints, but few have the privilege of owning global brand points of view. At The Baiocco and Maldari Connection, we have a pedigree for doing just that for Procter & Gamble (Pringles), GlaxoSmithKline (Aquafresh and Sensodyne) and Diageo (Captain Morgan). We have a unique perspective and way to deliver and over and over again. Here are some principles we have learned, and you can implement if you want your brand to take flight in multiple countries.
• Know your constituents – Take the time to listen. In global companies, most senior leaders touch multiple brands. Chances are they have a point of view about the one you are working on. Get their perspective. Sounds simple right? Well, frankly it doesn’t happen. The US wants to do it their way. The UK wants to do it their way and China and India are completely unique and want it done their way. No one has a vested interest in the global brand except perhaps the Global Marketing Lead that doesn’t own the P&L or maybe just shares in it. Listen to their issues, concerns, and find the commonality that elevates the overall Brand position.
• Connect the dots – When everyone is driven by their own P&L, the Agency has the opportunity to be neutral. If you are an astute listener you will find all the ways to bring the leaders together. The key is to identify what motivates each leader, each region, and ultimately, the consumer in that region, and then bend the idea so there is something in it for everyone to participate and win.
• IT ALL ABOUT THE IDEA – Ideas speak to people and, regardless of their location, people share the same basic human needs. Ideas might need to be nuanced to fit culturally but the guiding principle is that we are more the same then we are different. A truly great idea has no boundaries because it is built from the DNA of the brand. Every brand should have a short, compelling phrase that nails the brand meaning. We call it a One Shot AnswerTM., a single message that is undeniably linked to the core of the brand and is communicated in the same voice with the same words regardless of location. This is the key to galvanize diverse leaders to act.
• Identify the ideal Champion – Every great idea needs a champion. Pick the leader that will deliver and serve as an inspiration to the other leaders. Someone who has the money and is willing to start the movement. Shine that light brightly and move fast.
• Get points on the board – Everyone gravitates towards winners. The fastest way to bring a team together within a large corporate structure is through success. Success is a great aphrodisiac. The wins don’t have to be big; they just have to be tangible and relatable.
• Be in it. Good or Bad. – The process is never pretty and it’s certainly not for those agency fly-by-nights looking to move on after the first production is finished. But it’s the most gratifying for those of us who are truly motivated by building great global brands. To us, it’s a gift because when you make it to the finish line, the brand is impenetrable.
Follow these principles and your brand will be on the path to an enviable global point of view. Once you have that, the creative options to activate will be contagious and create energy that only a great galvanizing idea can achieve.
CEO, The Baiocco and Maldari Connection