Building Our Brand and Reputation Globally
Over the past few months, I have been hearing the question, “given the current economic slowdown, is now a worthwhile time to invest in building brands in emerging markets like China and India?” In my opinion, the answer to the question is a resounding “yes.” Despite the global economic slowdown, China and India remain two growth engines of world economy and present long-term opportunities, especially when you factor in their growing brand consciousness and middle class.
I recently spoke at Columbia University about the FedEx experience of building our brand in China and India and wanted to share my insights on the topic.
First and foremost, it is important to remember that China and India are very different markets – from the composition of GDP, demographics, concentration of wealth to infrastructure. That means a one-size-fits-all approach to building a business and a brand in these markets won’t work. FedEx entered both markets in 1984 and it was quite clear that growing our brand in China and India would not be an “overnight” process like delivering packages.
However despite the many differences, our brand strategy has long tapped into the commonalities found in people – and the FedEx culture in particular. Having lived and worked in several countries, it strikes me as remarkable how the FedEx culture transcends borders. Irrespective of whether I am in a FedEx facility in Tokyo or Taipei or Toronto, the conversations we have are very similar. It’s the manifestation of this culture that we seek to portray through our brand.
Because our people continue to serve as our greatest assets and brand ambassadors, the centre piece of our international brand campaigns revolves around our employees. Whether in China or India, our campaigns reinforce how the FedEx team goes above and beyond the call of duty to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Along the way we ensured our brand strategy infused local flavor and practices as well as the common ingredient of humor.