Brand New: Emerging-market companies are trying to build global brands
AMERICANS can stop worrying about China’s plans to take over their country. The worst has already happened: on July 25th Lenovo, a Chinese computer firm, announced a deal to sponsor the National Football League. America will continue to provide muscle-bound linebackers, but the Chinese will provide the clever laptops and desktops that make their tussles possible.
Yet becoming a global brand is exceedingly hard. Emerging-market firms must struggle with limited budgets and unlimited prejudice. GfK, a consumer-research company, found that only one-third of Americans were willing even to consider buying an Indian or Chinese car. Wipro, a successful Indian outsourcer, points out that its total sales are roughly the size of IBM’s marketing budget. Only four emerging-market brands make Interbrand’s list of the world’s 100 most valuable: Samsung and Hyundai of South Korea, Mexico’s Corona beer and Taiwan’s HTC.
How can others make the leap? “The New Emerging-Market Multinationals”, a book by Amitava Chattopadhyay, of INSEAD, and Rajeev Batra, of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, offers some clues.