18 Global Marketing Strategies and Examples

18 Global Marketing Strategies And Examples


So, let’s see what a great international marketing strategy looks like for these wildly successful global companies that operate numerous sub-brands, products, and services. In some cases, they are juggling tens or maybe hundreds of brand strategies and international marketing strategies. It’s no wonder then that these multinational brands need a corporate brand strategy to tie all these brand strategies and international marketing strategies together!

Index of Global Marketing Strategy Examples discussed in this article


Example 1: Netflix – Video Streaming, The USA

Streaming video is the new internet. It’s no surprise that Netflix is so successful since just about everyone wants a subscription. The company has developed an agile and integrated approach to its brand strategy and international marketing strategy.

First of all, Netflix adopts a customer-centric approach to marketing. The company collects, analyses and applies data insights across all stages of the customer journey and blends them into one user-friendly and personalised streaming experience. It pulls out all the stops to meet its audience wherever they are—for example, by using advanced algorithms, machine learning, and viewer data to rearrange programs over time, based on factors like your viewing history and preferred genres. This leads to the creation of tailor-made content advice that perfectly matches the taste and preference of individual viewers.

Netflix’s international marketing strategy is also multi-channel, innovative, and integrated. You often come across Netflix advertising on mobile phones, although most people watch Netflix on larger devices, such as TVs or tablets.

Traditional marketing strategies that concentrate on getting sales through a few channels are being replaced by modern marketing methods that evolve with the market. Your brand, like Netflix, may interact with customers across a variety of media, devices, and touchpoints if you utilise constant analysis and optimisation.

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Example 2: Apple – IT, The USA

In terms of revenue, as well as its brand ranking, Apple is the most important technology company in the world. Time and time again, Apple has introduced groundbreaking products that have revolutionised the IT market.

Apple focuses on a distinct target audience. As the most high-end IT brand on the market, it generally employs lifestyle segmentation. The urban demographic with sufficient purchasing power to acquire Apple items is the typical segment the company targets.

Apple’s marketing strategy is primarily founded on four ultra-strong pillars:

The superior technology behind its products. Items like the Macbook and Apple Watch are clearly leaders in their particular market segments because of the OS and technology used.
Apple shines when it comes to brand equity and has had a cult following of “brand fans” for quite a while.
Apple’s high margins provide revenue over time.
Apple invests a lot of time and expertise in R&D. The brand doesn’t only live in the present but also has a continuous focus on the future.

Apart from this, Apple has a very smart retail set-up that is focused on helping its customers rather than constantly stuffing new products down their throats. Besides operating its own retail stores, Apple is also present in many other modern and premium retail stores. Apple is one of the most elegant advertisers in the business. Printed ads and television commercials have a clear message and are visually appealing.

In the last decade, Apple started to bring more of its production line in-house, including its chip design. This has given the company a huge advantage over competitors that are stuck with slower silicon by Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm. Apple’s biggest strength in the Tim Cook era is the operations side of the business.

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Example 3: Toyota – Automotive, Japan

Toyota is a popular brand worldwide. Its cars and pickup trucks are known for being comfortable, reliable, well-manufactured, and fuel-efficient—a feat that has helped the company gain momentum during and after the oil crisis of the 1970s. And all this at a competitive price!

Toyota started conquering the global markets in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s using a variety of strategies based on the company’s unique selling points. Take, for example, the global communication structure that Toyota has created throughout the years. It allows the Japanese car manufacturer to communicate with different offices across the globe through an impressive plethora of online and offline channels (email, telephone, app, chat, video conference, satellite phones). Modern communication technology also allows Toyota to control and monitor its worldwide business activities in an easier and more efficient fashion.

Toyota has also effectively harnessed traditional strong points like outstanding vehicle performance and low fuel consumption to cater to the growing legion of environmentally aware car users. High commission fees and an emphasis on the important role of local dealers fuel the proactive promotion of Toyota vehicles on the local markets.

By around 2000, Toyota had produced more than 100 million vehicles for export. To cater to the luxury segment and compete with the likes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes, Toyota created Lexus as a separate brand, which was also the first car company to produce a hybrid consumer car in the 2000s.

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Example 4: Sony – Consumer Electronics, Japan

Sony is a well-known Japanese global conglomerate. A leading designer and producer of consumer and professional electronics, as well as the world’s largest video game console company and video game publisher, it is one of the world’s top technology firms.

Additionally, Sony is one of the world’s most important music companies (largest music publisher and second largest record label), as well as the third largest film studio, making it a very comprehensive media corporation. It is Japan’s leading technology and media conglomerate.

Like many other Japanese brands, Sony is known for its quality products, whether those are cameras, image sensors, or screens. Sony has effectively embraced the concept of market mix and segmentation as an integral part of the marketing strategy. Sony offers a variety of products to serve specific needs in the market. Television and projectors, home audio, home video and gaming (PlayStation), in-car entertainment, home theatre systems, digital photography, handycam video cameras, and storage and recording media. Each category of these items is broken down into subcategories to serve niche interests in the market, creating a wide and highly diversified product lineup.

Additionally, Sony also embraces globalisation. The Sony brand is present in over 200 countries and is highly recognisable. The company has managed to market its products all over the world as if it’s acting as a national or regional company.

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Example 5: Nintendo – Consumer Electronics, Japan

Nintendo is a famous consumer electronics company that produces both hardware and software. Its games are very distinct in style and have given rise to popular sub-brands, like the Mario games, over the years.

Nowadays, Nintendo is concentrating on its Switch gaming console and making games for this device. It has also recently ventured into other gaming devices, like smartphones, with its games by launching distinct versions for iOS. The Switch is a handheld device that was launched to combat the increasing shift to mobile gaming. It has proven to be a top seller and a product that put Nintendo on the map again as a force to be reckoned with.

Nintendo provides a good example of an international market strategy and brand strategy where consistency is key. Catering to the company’s loyal followers is very important to keep sales going strong. Nintendo purposely focuses on a clear demographic and social target group: people from the age 15-35 who like video games but are not professional gamers.

When it comes to devising a promotion strategy, Nintendo focuses on the charisma and recognisability of familiar characters (Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Joshi) and a clever, multi-channel promotion through kid’s channels, prime channels, magazines, bulletins, and social media. The company presents itself as an affordable and fun alternative to Sony and Microsoft (PlayStation and Xbox).

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Example 6: Huawei – Telco & IT, China

Huawei was rapidly becoming one of the largest smartphone and telco/networking companies worldwide, leading the charge with the global transition to 5G. The ongoing trade war between the US and China has, however, thrown a spanner in the works, with the US outlawing sales of most of Huawei’s products in the US itself and pressuring allies to do the same.

The brand continues to sell well in China, and many countries around the world still use its networking technology and other products to roll out its 5G networks. Consistent and heavy investment in advertising and communications has been the mainstay of Huawei’s brand strategy. A significant part of Huawei’s leap from regional player to global leader is also the result of the company’s astute international marketing strategy of building brand partnerships (3Com, Symantec) throughout its development. Huawei also invests quite a lot of energy and money into influencer marketing.

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Example 7: Alibaba – E-commerce & IT, China

Alibaba is known for its B2B, C2C, and B2C e-commerce marketplaces. It was one of a number of fast-growing Chinese tech companies that ventured across the tightly controlled Chinese borders in the 2000s. Via sub-brands like the AliExpress marketplace, it gained international popularity among those wanting to easily buy cheap Chinese goods online. Many dropshippers also use the company’s B2B platform to do business.

Alibaba’s international strategy was based on a realisation by founder Jack Ma that in order to gain international appeal, the company needed an international name that was easy to pronounce. It actively did this by pioneering the “new retail” philosophy. A household name in China, Alibaba’s approaching adolescence on the global stage helps brands unlock the potential of Chinese consumers. The company makes it easier for companies to do business everywhere in the following ways:

Seamlessly integrating online and offline by utilising data synergies to create operational efficiency.
Creating a global infrastructure of commerce through technology.
Building a comprehensive, globally present commercial operating system that facilitates “Retail as a Service”.
Creating the ultimate shopper-centric platform by combining huge data assets to launch a powerful suite of marketing services.
Alibaba managed to make good use of the fact that China is more or less the factory of the world, and that the sellers on its platforms quickly catered to both domestic and international demand. Nowadays, Alibaba is involved in numerous other ventures, such as artificial intelligence, payments, and cloud computing.

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Example 8: Booking.com – Travel & Accommodation, The Netherlands

Booking.com has made booking accommodation online easy. While it started out as a Dutch company way back in the Web 1.0 era of 1996, it mostly started gaining widespread popularity during the Web 2.0 era in the 2000s.

Both its mobile app and website make it very easy to instantly book and pay for any accommodation in just about any country in the world. That’s a huge differentiator compared to going to a local travel agency and booking something there.

Other successful aspects of Booking.com’s marketing and brand strategy are:

The option to book special and exclusive accommodations through its Preferred Plus programme.
The active promotion of actions aimed at building customer loyalty. Credit for future bookings, promo codes with discounts, free taxis, and savings on commissions are some prime examples of marketing geared towards creating customer loyalty.

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Example 9: Philips – Medical & Consumer Electronics, The Netherlands

Philips made a big name for itself in consumer electronics. The Dutch international was founded way back in 1891, when it started producing light bulbs. Over the years, the company has made products like radios, TVs, electric shavers, and video cassette recorders. It even invented the CD (and later the Blu-ray) and brought it to the market with Sony. However, medical devices are where the company’s current focus lies.

More importantly, Philips recognised opportunities and used its engineering prowess to bring revolutionary products to the market, such as the CD or Blu-ray. It also saw that collaborations with the likes of Sony were necessary to produce these items at a mass scale. Branding-wise, Philips is known for providing usable, quality products at a reasonable price. The company follows a set international marketing strategy of “keeping it simple” and plans to launch “experience zones” that allow potential customers to explore a product before purchasing it. Do-it-yourself and experiential videos are aimed at strengthening the connection between Philips and its customer base.

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Global marketing strategy example 10: Heineken – Beverage, The Netherlands

Heineken is a Dutch beer brand that was founded in 1873. Over the years, the company managed to create a unique flavour and gained recognition by winning prestigious international awards.

By tweaking its branding to perfection, like implementing a smiling letter “e” and switching to green bottles instead of the brown ones used by most other brands of the time, Heineken really did stand out. Heineken also brands itself as a company that holds corporate social responsibility in high regard. It actively communicates that it wants to protect the environment. That’s why its products are green and recyclable. Moreover, Heineken promotes responsible alcohol consumption.

With its marketing and branding prowess, Heineken is going places by sponsoring strategic sporting events like the Olympics, where there’s usually a Holland Heineken House, big soccer events, and Formula 1. And, of course, Daniel Craig’s incarnation of James Bond also regularly drinks a bottle of Heineken in the more recent 007 movies…

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Example 11: Unilever – Consumer Goods, England

This Dutch/British company was founded in 1930 and currently sells a vast assortment of consumer products around the world. Unilever is known for its thorough customer and market research. Not a bad international marketing strategy!

For example, the Dove brand is well-known for using forward-thinking marketing campaigns, like the “Real Beauty” campaign, that redefine stereotypes of its target audience—in this case, predominantly women. In general, Unilever has become and managed to remain top of mind thanks to a clever combination of traditional and large-scale advertising (billboards, video advertisements), sales promotions (for example, giving customers free ice cream or a beverage when they buy products like Dove, Lux, or Surf), smart, clearly defined and globally uniform distribution processes, and a product strategy that focuses on the relationship between a specific product and the culture of a specific area.

The Axe/Lynx brand is usually a little more ironic in its tone, and the Axe Apollo Space Academy (AASA) campaign was quite ambitious. However, it fits the target audience.

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Example 12: GlaxoSmithKline – Pharmaceutical, England

GlaxoSmithKline, also known as GSK, is the sixth largest pharma company in the world with around 45 billion USD in revenue.

Its overall marketing efforts are focused on the brands and products that provide it with the greatest growth and highest profits. The company has seven so-called global power brands, such as Sensodyne, Voltaren, Panadol, and Theraflu, as well as 12 regional core brands like Tums and Excedrin. The goal of its international marketing strategy: bring together two highly complementary portfolios of trusted consumer health brands, which cements and further strengthens the image of reliability that the company seeks to present.

Additionally, GSK has also developed a strong focus on digital transformation. The aim is to deliver more meaningful interactions with consumers, fuel brand growth and achieve efficiency savings. This was done by hiring new digital talent, partnering up with a new media agency and developing new partners. The company has also allocated more financial resources towards digital innovation and transformation. And last but not least: GSK’s overall marketing strategy is highly targeted on the brands that deliver the strongest growth numbers and biggest return margins.

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Example 13: HSBC – Banking, England

HSBC is a financial behemoth that needs no introduction. A campaign that the British company released in the Asian metropole of Hong Kong seeks, in HSBC’s own words, to project optimism and confidence in Hong Kong’s future, as well as highlight HSBC’s commitment to playing its full part in supporting individuals, businesses, and the community of its home market.

A positive “can-do” attitude is at the core of HSBC’s marketing strategy, even in dire economic or pandemic-troubled times. The message that the company sends out by adopting this public attitude? Great brands are not just out there to make a lot of money but also to provide hope in both good times and bad.

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Example 14: Adidas – Sporting Goods, Germany

Adidas is all about wanting to be the best sporting goods company in the world. This broad but clear mission makes it easier for it to fit marketing activities into its international marketing strategy. That’s because sporting goods are fairly easy to attach to strong, positive emotions like winning.

The company supports its business strategy (a limited supply of key items) with an international marketing strategy that uses endorsements from big names in the sporting world and a focus on social media to capture the attention of its target audiences. The marketing and branding strategy of Adidas focuses on:

Collaboration through powerful endorsement contracts with well-known athletes and non-athletes (Pharrell Williams, Kanye West).
Innovation. Using recycled plastics in its shoes and clothing is a good example.
Limiting supply. Limiting the availability of a number of popular shoes helps Adidas to increase its merchandise margins.
Social media. Adidas has active Facebook and YouTube channels where it has uploaded thousands of promotional videos for its products.

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Example 15: Deutsche Telekom – Telecommunications, Germany

T-Mobile is a DT brand with international recognition because of its magenta logo and clear branding. It won a prestigious Red Dot Award for creating a simple, minimalistic brand that keeps on being reinvented and updated. It was the number four European telecommunication company in 2008 and currently leads the charts.

The company managed to do this by focusing on brand experience, experimenting a lot with messaging, and expanding rapidly into different countries. Telekom’s marketing strategy is all about inclusiveness. “Life is for sharing” highlights Telekom’s path away from a pure technology provider to a wider mission that still defines the company’s claim today: to foster the exchange of knowledge and experience.

The recognisable pink colour and logo is another trademark that accentuates and consolidates Telekom’s brand identity and increases the recognisability of the company. Atmospheric images, hip music, promotions, and powerful testimonials reinforce the overall message that everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of modern technology and fast internet.

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Example 16: Kindred Group – iGaming, Malta

The Kindred Group is a publicly-traded iGaming company with offices on four continents that provides a variety of entertainment offerings, including online poker, sports betting, and online casinos.

Kindred’s international marketing strategy is predominantly aimed at collecting and analysing valuable data. It translates information into actionable, easy-to-understand insights about its most effective channels, customers, and marketing efforts. In doing so, the company can drive customer retention and engagement, but also optimise ad spend.

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Example 17: Kerry Group – Consumer Goods, Ireland

Kerry Group is an Irish consumer goods company that’s big in Europe. The company’s marketing strategies are focused on innovation, different pricing approaches, such as premium brands mixed with more economical ones and pricing to match, as well as promotion planning and more.

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Example 18: Carrefour Consumer Goods, France

After spending five decades as France’s largest retail company, Carrefour has successfully expanded across Europe and the world, becoming one of Europe’s major retailers.

The secret behind Carrefour’s success is its constant pursuit of localisation. The majority of its market entries have been done through greenfield or collaborative strategies, subject to local legislation. This helps it to meet the demands and preferences of its local consumers.

The biggest differentiator for Carrefour’s success has been its more ingrained adjustment to the local environment and the appreciation of local consumer behaviours and cultures. The company is also committed to sponsoring local economic development wherever it is operating globally, an approach that creates a lot of goodwill and customer loyalty.

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