Brand Building and Marketing in Key Emerging Markets
25 Strategies and Frameworks for Brand Growth
Welcome back to our series on the 25 strategies that will support your brand building and business development activities in key emerging markets. Today we want to explain how storytelling can be utilized in order to engage your customers in “Emerging Markets” and gain competitive advantage over local competitors.
Educational approaches and global heritage
For most companies, the brand is their key asset. However, the brand can only maximize its impact on targeted customers if they learn about the brand’s heritage, its promise, and its unique story. So what challenges do brands need to overcome in terms of storytelling and educating the millions of potential buyers in key “Emerging Markets”?
Early on, many brands are still relatively new to local target consumers and potential customers. For example, a staggering 70 percent of Chinese car buyers in 2013 were first-time buyers. As a group, they had a significant lack of product and buying experience when it came to cars. While most people in the U.S. or Europe have grown up with their parents owning cars of a specific brand, Chinese consumers had never visited a showroom or sat behind a steering wheel. In these cases there is more room for influence and the creation of the intended image through proper brand management and brand experience.
Part of any brand strategy, therefore, needs to be storytelling and the explanation of the brand’s heritage. Except for your intellectual property, this heritage aspect and related foreign brand image is probably the only sustainable competitive advantage that cannot be easily imitated by local champion brands. Telling your story is also the best way to allow your brand to ask for a price premium over local competitors.
But how can this be achieved? Consider “educational” campaigns to encourage your target groups to learn about your brand and specific differentiators. Make extensive use of digital and social media because if properly used, social media is an exquisite tool for delivering your messages as it is highly engaging and cost-efficient, and can create powerful viral effects that also drive sales.
A very successful example of such a campaign to explain a brand´s heritage is the “L`Odyssée de Cartier” by French jewelery powerhouse Cartier. It took two years to produce the 3 minutes 30 second commercial which takes viewers on a worldwide journey with the iconic panther (in this case a leopard), Cartier´s symbol since 1904.
The short film is an allegory of Cartier´s history. It navigates between dream and reality and leads the audience to magic and mystical places like the Grand Palace, St. Petersburg, China and India. Along the journey viewers rediscover the founding inspirations for the brand. By May 2017, the video had already registered 19.5 million views on Youtube and had attracted almost 3,100 comments. Cartier watches are the top choice for China´s wealthy, according to a recent RBC Capital Markets survey. The Cartier video makes use of the realization that brand history and a strong technical reputation are high priorities with Chinese watch buyers.