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At Issue } essential reading

10 Innovations That Improved the World in 2013

Zoe Fox
Dec 4, 2013

Never before in history have new innovations unfolded so quickly, and that pace will only keep accelerating. But we're not just talking about long-lasting cellphone batteries and self-driving cars. Brilliant minds around the world are using today's latest technologies to make the world a better place.

How Chinese Companies Can Develop Global Brands

Martin Roll
Nov 20, 2013

To many skeptical consumers in developed markets, Brand China still means lower quality. As has been the case elsewhere in Asia, companies in China traditionally focused on asset-intensive industries and low-cost manufacturing and paid little attention to intangibles such as brands and human capital. To become major branded players away from home, Chinese companies must address their challenges in three strategic ways.

A New Model for Innovation in Big Companies

Beth Altringer
Nov 19, 2013

It seems we’re all racing to get more entrepreneurial. Increasing creativity and innovation is not only on the priority list for start-ups; it’s also a strategic goal for CEOs of small, medium, and large-sized companies. Despite this growing obsession, however, big companies are still not very good at it.

10 Brands That Changed the World

Robert Klara
Nov 18, 2013

From fast food to fast fashion, a glass telephone to plastic money, some brands don't merely influence our spending habits—they determine who we are. All are household names, not just on our shores but all over the globe.

The Global Rise of Female Entrepreneurs

Jackie VanderBrug
Sep 4, 2013

Women-owned entities in the formal sector represent approximately 37% of enterprises globally — a market worthy of attention by businesses and policy makers alike.

Google Claims More than Half of Mobile Ad Pie, but Facebook's Slice is Growing

Cotton Delo
Aug 28, 2013

Facebook is laying claim to a fast-growing share of mobile ad dollars, but Google still brings in more than half the money spent on mobile advertising -- including both search and display -- worldwide.

The World's Most Reputable Countries, 2013

Susan Adams
Jun 27, 2013

Which countries have the best reputations? What does that even mean?

Visualizing The “Globesity” Problem

Ben Schiller
Apr 2, 2013

America isn’t the only country in the world getting fatter. Obesity is a growing problem around the world.

Our Dated Immigration Policies Could Torpedo the Tech Economy

John Feinblatt
Feb 25, 2013

For the time being, America remains the destination of choice in the global economy. But talented individuals can now also find very attractive opportunities in other countries around the world.

The Future Of TV Is Two Screens, One Held Firmly In Your Hands

Kit Eaton
Jul 18, 2012

The connected TV, sometimes called the smart TV (and even branded as such by Samsung) is a growing phenomenon: TV makers are adding limited apps, Net connectivity, and even streaming media powers to their newer TVs in the hope they'll persuade you to upgrade your newish LCD for a flatter, smarter unit. They're desperate to, given how flat this market is. But according to new research from Pew, the future of TV may actually be a little more closely aligned with the notion of a "connected TV viewer," an important distinction

Hilton Focuses On Global Experiences

Tanya Irwin
Jul 18, 2012

Hilton is evolving its current campaign to feature experiences that guests have at properties worldwide. Still using the two-year-old tagline “Stay Hilton. Go Everywhere,” the new interpretations include a series of print, online and out-of-home advertisements. Developed in collaboration with Cramer-Krasselt, the three creative executions are "Go Chill," "Go Refresh" and "Go Foodie."

Why Social Media Will Reshape the 2012 Olympics

Sam Laird
Jul 9, 2012

The 2012 Olympics in London are being touted by some as the world’s “first social Games.” While some question just how social they’ll actually be, there’s no doubt that networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will play an unprecedented role in how information is disseminated from London, and how the global sports conversation is driven during July and August. Why the big shift? It’s simple: Four years is an eternity in Internet time and since the last Summer Olympics in 2008, social media has exploded.

Google Wins Inaugural Mobile Grand Prix

Kunur Patel
Jun 20, 2012

A mobile-display ad from none other than one of world's biggest mobile-ad sellers, Google, won the first Mobile Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions ad festival today. In what's essentially business-to-business marketing, Google's winning campaign "Hilltop Reimagined for Coca-Cola" was designed to show adland that online and mobile display advertising aren't as low-rent or constraining as is often thought.

The Economic History of the Last 2,000 Years in 1 Little Graph

Derek Thompson
Jun 19, 2012

That headline is a big promise. But here it is: The economic history of the world going back to Year 1 showing the major powers' share of world GDP, from a research letter written by Michael Cembalest, an analyst at JP Morgan.

Coca-Cola Opens Happiness in Myanmar With $3M Grant for Women

Sheila Shayon
Jun 15, 2012

“Myanmar is one of only three countries on the globe where Coca-Cola does not do business. The other two are Cuba and North Korea,” Coca-Cola stated this week. That's about to change. The global beverage giant has not done business in Myanmar, a.k.a., Burma, for more than 60 years, but The Coca-Cola Foundation just announced plans to grant $3 million to support women's economic empowerment job creation.

Diversity Management is the Key to Growth: Make It Authentic

Glenn Llopis
Jun 13, 2011

Diversity management is the key to growth in today’s fiercely competitive global marketplace. No longer can America’s corporations hide behind their lack of cultural intelligence. Organizations that seek global market relevancy must embrace diversity – in how they think, act and innovate. Diversity can no longer just be about making the numbers, but rather how an organization treats its people authentically down to the roots of its business model. In today’s new workplace, diversity management is a time-sensitive business imperative.

Globalization in the World We Live in Now: World 3.0

Pankaj Ghemawat
Jun 1, 2011

So far, 2011 has been a remarkable year. With events like those that have changed the power dynamics throughout the Arab world, or the tsunami in Japan that disrupted many global supply chains, it's http://www.unboundedition.com/admin/articlelinks/articlelink/add/easy to think that the world is becoming ever more connected and interdependent.

My Big-Bang Change Theory

Jun 28, 2010

Business is moving fast and furious -- which is great, but I keep hearing and reading about two general overarching themes that are going to collide and change how we manage our business. We are globally climbing out of a recession and now budgets are returning. This growth is in stark contrast to a lot of other industries, which we should all be thankful for, but this growth creates opportunities and is theme one. According to MAGNAGLOBAL, paid search leads global online advertising, representing "49% of total revenues," a trend that could continue for the next five years. Beyond search, MAGNAGLOBAL claims "online advertising [overall] will rise by 12.4% in constant currency terms during 2010, to $61.0 billion dollars globally.

In Global Deal, Unilever Readies First Dove Work on IAd

Jack Neff
Jun 11, 2010

Unilever may be a global marketer, but it hasn't been able to do many truly global ad deals -- at least not until its multimillion-dollar deal with Apple to be the consumer goods "presenting advertiser" on the new iAd platform was announced June 7. For Unilever, the deal aims at tapping the two biggest, and largely interdependent, trends it sees shaping marketing: globalization and mobile digital media.

Android's Apple-Smashing a U.S. Phenomenon

May 19, 2010

Lies, damned lies and statistics: You can play games with numbers, and recently the game has been to show Android phones are beating the iPhone in the U.S. Now new data proves that in the rest of the world, Google's still chasing Apple.

Nike Looks Beyond 'Swoosh' for Growth

Miguel Bustillo
May 10, 2010

Nike Inc. Chief Executive Mark Parker took an unusual path to the top: The former Penn State University runner spent years as a shoe designer before starting to climb the corporate ladder. Now, he's taking Nike in a new direction, targeting overseas expansion—and not just with the Nike "swoosh." Last week he set the ambitious goal of increasing sales 40%, to $27 billion, by 2015. To achieve that while Nike sales growth in the U.S. is slowing, he's betting on such markets as China, India and Brazil, and on their burgeoning middle classes.

Starbucks' Via: One Doorway to Worldwide Synergies

Karlene Lukovitz
May 10, 2010

After a concentrated period of regrouping and refocusing, Starbucks is on the move -- and its expansion of Via Ready Brew in the U.S. and other markets is a pivotal component of a worldwide push to leverage synergies across business segments, channels and media platforms. It's still early in the game for Via, introduced last September, but the new line's roles within that global game plan as a revenue stream, door-opener and template for ongoing brand expansion is becoming increasingly visible.

Nike Ramps Up Global Swoosh

May 7, 2010

Yesterday may have seen a plummeting stock market, but that's yesterday. For the next five years, the world's leader in athletic shoes is planning to run with the bulls. In the company's first meeting with analysts in three years, Nike boldly proclaimed it has plans to fuel growth by more than 40% over the next five years, hitting $27 billion in annual sales versus its $19.2 billion sales tally for last year.

Going Glocal: Managing A Brand’s Global Social Profiles On Facebook

Apr 14, 2010

While Twitter’s growth is apparently stalling, Facebook goes from strength to strength and is now, arguably, the world’s largest digital media ‘owner’ other than Google. Its audience is now a very international one, with 70% of users being outside of the US, and its largest audiences are in countries as varied as the UK, Indonesia and Turkey. With this massive growth has come massive opportunities; not just for Facebook but for brands too. But it has also brought challenges, including one that is cropping up more and more frequently – how should multinational companies manage their Facebook profiles? Globally? Locally? Or, dare I say it, somewhere in between: glocally? For brands with a presence in multiple markets, understanding how best to manage their resources to best provide users with relevant content and ensure the highest possible chance of success in the social marketing efforts, this is a challenge that deserves attention.

Today in Most Innovative Companies

Apr 9, 2010

News of note from our Most Innovative Companies, including Twitter, GE, Netflix, and HTC.

Is Facebook Becoming The Whole World's Social Network?

Apr 7, 2010

Facebook's growth, which we already know is massive, is truly a global phenomenon, it turns out. And nations with the fastest membership growth rate are in South America, and Asia. Is Facebook becoming the global phone book? The data's surfaced at InsideFacebook.com, with detailed analysis of both the numerical growth rate of members per nation for the month of March 2010, and the penetration Facebook's achieving among each nation's population. Check out the table above--some of those figures should stagger you. Particularly the monthly growth rate for Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, Argentina, and Malaysia--each of which showed around a 10% jump in Facebook membership in a single month. That's frankly astonishing.

Novelty Proves a Hit for Taco Bell in India

Mar 30, 2010

Taco Bell is off to a promising start in India, with thousands of customers visiting the American fast-food chain's first Indian outlet daily, even though most have never tasted a taco. Encouraged by strong growth at its KFC and Pizza Hut chains in India, Yum Brands Inc. opened its first Taco Bell in Bangalore on March 16. The store in a mall in India's technology capital has attracted an average of 2,000 to 2,500 customers each day since then.

NBA, Adidas Shoot for Europe

Mar 25, 2010

America's National Basketball Association has ambitious plans for Europe: arenas in London, Paris, Madrid or Milan; permanent teams here within the next decade. First, it's shooting for a more familiar target: increasing its overseas revenue. The NBA and sportswear giant Adidas AG will today announce an extension to their existing partnership that will see the brand become the league's official apparel supplier in Europe. The deal means Adidas, which is already the league's official uniform supplier, now has full world-wide rights for NBA apparel.

Stance by China to Limit Google Is Risk by Beijing

Michael Wines
Mar 24, 2010

This is a nation that builds dams, high-speed rail lines and skyscrapers with abandon. In newly muscular China, sheer force is not just an art, but a bedrock principle of its seemingly unstoppable rise to global prominence. Now China has tightened its grip on the much more variegated world of online information, effectively forcing Google Inc., the world’s premier information provider, to choose between submitting to Chinese censorship and leaving the world’s largest community of Internet users to its rivals. It chose to leave.

Zittrain: Google Stands Alone

Mar 24, 2010

Don’t expect an army of web companies to rush to Google’s defense in China v. Google. The lines are drawn but Google will stand alone, according to internet law expert and Harvard Professor Jonathan Zittrain. Other companies, Zittrain argues, are too timid to go toe-to-toe with China, especially with the web’s biggest market at stake. That decision to remain neutral seems like a no brainer — at least from the short-term, dollars and cents perspective — but there’s an argument to be made that Google could eventually emerge as the victor.

Time Spent on Social Networks up 82% Around the World

Feb 24, 2010

Nielsen recently released a new report that officially documents what many of us already know, just never substantiated through data. According to a study published at the end of January 2010, Nielsen observed the online social activity of consumers around the world and discovered an 82% increase in time spent on social networking sites in December 2009. On average, users spent more than five and a half hours on popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter. In December 2008, users clocked just over three hours on social networking sites.

A Worldwide Look At The State Of Digital Marketing

Feb 23, 2010

Executives at ICOM, a global network of independent ad agencies, were surveyed by Ad Age about the top digital trends and issues facing their markets in 2010. Among the findings: Facebook and Twitter rule the world (except in China and Spain), but digital budgets are still small and, in some countries, mostly reserved for the bravest of marketers. Oh, and don't insult the monarch in Malaysia.

Budweiser Turns 'Big Brother' for World Cup

Feb 9, 2010

Anheuser-Busch InBev has kept largely mum on its marketing plans for this summer's FIFA World Cup, but it tipped its hand a bit late Friday when agency DDB put out a casting call for an apparent Bud-themed reality show. "Budweiser is looking for passionate fans of each of the 32 FIFA World Cup qualifying countries to participate in the ultimate football getaway!" read the notice that was posted online. "If you are selected to represent your country, you will be flown to Cape Town, South Africa, for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Luxurious accommodations, thrilling excursions, and the opportunity to have the kind of access few fans ever have.

Davos to Hear of Tentative Rebound in Public Trust

Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson
Jan 26, 2010

Public confidence in companies, governments and non-governmental organisations has staged a recovery since last year's "trust Armageddon", but the rebound is patchy and fragile, according to data to be presented at the World Economic Forum tomorrow in Davos. Trust in business has risen from 49 per cent to 53 per cent around the world year-on-year, says the annual "trust barometer" of well-educated, highly paid and engaged "informed publics", conducted by Edelman, a communications consultancy.

Novartis Seeks Full Control of Alcon

Anita Greil
Jan 4, 2010

Novartis AG aims to get full ownership of Alcon Inc. through the purchase of a 52% stake in the U.S. eyecare company from Nestlé SA and by buying out minority shareholders, in a deal that will bring the Swiss drug maker much closer to its goal of becoming a global health-care conglomerate. Getting a strong foothold in the market for eyecare products is part of Novartis's strategy of branching out into fast-growing areas of health care to make up for slowing sales of branded prescription drugs. The Swiss group is also investing heavily to build its generic drugs and vaccines businesses, two sectors with double-digit annual sales growth.

The Apparatgeist Calls

Jan 3, 2010

How you use your mobile phone has long reflected where you live. But the spirit of the machines may be wiping away cultural differences.

Evan Williams on the Past, Present, and Future of Twitter

Nov 12, 2009

I recently attended the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco hosted by Tim O’Reilly, John Battelle, and TechWeb. One of the highlights of the conference was a discussion between Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and FM Media’s John Battelle. It was a revealing and enlightening examination of the rise, state, and future of a social network that has been nothing short of transformative in its few short years of existence. What appeared pervasive with every question, answer, and observation is that Twitter’s success prevails in spite of its obvious hurdles, limitations, and absence of clear direction and vision. Twitter is a wondrous marvel and rare phenomenon whose surge to profound cultural prominence has completely transformed how people communicate, share and discover events and information. Its success is one that cannot be retraced.

Fedex Rolls With Changes in Global Campaign

Oct 30, 2009

FedEx has begun a global ad campaign touting its reliability and expertise in helping consumers navigate a fast-changing economic landscape, a move that comes as the package shipping industry faces weaker sales brought on by the recession. FedEx and its competitor -- UPS, the world's largest package shipper -- have battled recent earnings slumps as tight-fisted consumers and businesses cut back on spending. The former reported an earnings drop of 53 percent for its most recent quarter, while UPS saw a 43 percent quarterly decrease.

Telling Global Stories with a Local Tongue

Oct 29, 2009

Interesting article on global brands adapting to local culture in Market Leader by Nigel Hollis of Millward Brown. Nice one Nigel. First thing that hit me was that global brands beat local brands in the five categories researched across eight countries. The global brands were more often considered for purchase, and scored better on statements including 'easy to recognize', and having 'distinctive identities'. The two global brands which stood out were Coca-Cola and McDonald's. Interestingly, both of these were seen by a significant share of local consumers as being part of their own national cultures. So much for the image portrayed by doom-mongers in the press of these brands being multinational, American dictators.

U.S. Consumer Confidence Up For First Time Since 2007

Susan Fenton
Oct 28, 2009

Global consumer confidence is rebounding, and in the United States has risen for the first time since 2007, amid signs the world economy is picking up although spending is still restrained, a survey showed on Wednesday. Confidence was highest in India, followed by Indonesia and Norway, and was weakest in Japan, Latvia, Portugal and South Korea, although in Korea it had improved markedly, according to a quarterly survey by The Nielsen Company, conducted between September 28 and October 16.

Coca-Cola to Teach the World to Be Happy via Social Networking Sites

Oct 22, 2009

Coca-Cola is no longer content to merely teach the world to sing in perfect harmony - it now wants to teach the world how to be happy, appointing a team of Happiness Ambassadors to show us the way. A team of three young people are to attempt to visit the 206 countries where Coca-Cola is sold in 365 days, finding out what makes people happy and sharing this with the world through social networking sites.

NBC Goes in Search of Universal Brand

Oct 6, 2009

NBC Universal is to undergo a complete rebranding of its international television business as the US company admits that it will not meet its target for overseas expansion. Jeff Zucker, NBCU chief executive, outlined in April 2007 an ambition of doubling revenues in international business from $2.5bn to $5bn within three years. Roma Khanna, the president of NBCU Networks and Digital Initiatives, said last week that, by that -target date, sales would be about $4.5bn and that the $5bn figure would be reached in 2011. She set out a new strategy in an interview with the Financial Times, saying the company would streamline its portfolio of nine different channels to five, all under the Universal Networks International name.

Small Country, Big Brands

Aug 24, 2009

In a February 2009 ranking of Swiss brands by Interbrand, the top five brands were, in order of brand value, Nescafé, UBS, Nestlé, Credit Suisse and Zurich. Other globally recognized brands in the top 20 included Rolex, Omega, Lindt, Swatch and Longines. How did a tiny country largely known for keeping to itself become such a branding powerhouse? It starts with Switzerland’s view of its own brand.

After Early Errors, Wal-Mart Thinks Locally to Act Globally

Aug 14, 2009

Having powered its way to the top in U.S. retailing, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has struggled to extend its dominance across the globe. But the world's largest retailer is learning in Brazil and elsewhere that the most successful ideas don't necessarily flow from its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. That has it tailoring inventories and stores to local tastes -- and exporting ideas and products pioneered outside the U.S.

Facebook Slowly Taking Over the World, Now at 250 Million Users

Jul 21, 2009

Mark Zuckerberg proudly announced on the Facebook blog this week that the popular social network continues its global dominance jumping from 200 million to 250 million users. To commemorate the milestone, Facebook created a map that visualizes connections and adoption worldwide.

You Can’t Have a Strong Brand Without a Strong Business

Nigel Hollis
Jun 26, 2009

While Professor Joe Plummer and I may not see eye to eye on everything (see my post on the definition of engagement), there is one thing we definitely agree on: an enterprise can achieve optimal results only when its business and its brand are aligned to work in synergy. When business and brand are out of synch (as happens all too often), the return to the company and shareholders is compromised.

The Global-Local Future

Jun 18, 2009

New Zealand-based Derek Lockwood is in charge of design for Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi. As such he has a different take on the future of global creativity.

Chinese Brands Are Coming

Jun 16, 2009

Chinese brands have come a long way since the days of Mao where coats and boots came in two colors and consisted of dubious quality. Rising in complexity and caliber, brands such as Haier and Chery are not content to rule the middle kingdom and instead seek to invade new markets. Forget bringing your brand to China, are you prepared for the onslaught of Chinese brands in your home market?

Why So Many Media Companies Stumble Globally

Jun 15, 2009

There are plenty of global conglomerates in industries from finance to pharmaceuticals to, of course, advertising. But running a global news business requires a tricky combination of international brand appeal, regional relevance and subject expertise that both travels and translates.

Walmart, P&G, Unilever Learn from Their Mistakes

Jun 15, 2009

Paul Polman is the only senior executive to have worked at each of the three biggest consumer-product marketers on Earth in the past five years -- Procter & Gamble Co., Nestlé and Unilever. As such, he's seen a variety of takes on how to run global marketing, and his unique perspective is this: No single solution will work universally, even within the same company.

Tangled Web of Technology Can Be Both Boon and Bane

Jun 15, 2009

Twenty-five million births a year make India a fertile market for BabyCenter. But until recently the Johnson & Johnson-owned company reached fewer than 5% of Indian parents -- its scope limited by the country's low internet penetration. Its solution: the phone. India's mobile-subscriber base jumped almost 50% in the past year to reach 38% of the country's population. But it wasn't as simple as creating a mobile app or WAP site. Due to low mobile-web access and, in some areas, literacy, BabyCenter opted for an old-school approach: a "voice portal," whereby Indian moms call a local number to hear audio versions of the site's newsletters and other due-date-specific information. The undertaking is indicative of the challenges media companies and marketers face when trying to package a global mission into local experiences.

Marketing Execs Should Get Closer to the Local Level

Jun 15, 2009

Beginning July 1, the largest advertiser in the world will integrate all brand functions at the corporate level. That means Marc Pritchard will add design and PR to his control and the moniker of global brand-building officer to his title. Here Mr. Pritchard talks about how Procter & Gamble organizes itself globally and what it asks of its agencies.

The Tension of Glocalization

Tom Fishburne
Jun 14, 2009

I've thought a lot about "thinking global, acting local" since I moved to the UK to help launch an American brand two years ago. It's a constant tug-o-war between global consistency and local adaptation. Recently, I had coffee with Patrick Cairns, CEO of Plum Baby, who spent a lot of time in global roles with Unilever. He described the standard dichotomy as being either "mindlessly global" or "hopelessly local".

What Companies Should Know About Digital Natives

May 14, 2009

The kids born after 1980 are often thought of as Digital Natives but age doesn’t always matter as the generation is defined on: access to digital technologies, age, and have the skills to use the skills.

The Seven Markers of Passion Brands

Apr 27, 2009

The topic of passion brands is particularly important to consider in difficult economic times. When pressures mount on companies' bottom lines, they typically look first to the expense side of products, both in their development and marketing. The opportunity that a brand passion creates is the opportunity to conscript willing and enthusiastic consumers to spend their financial and social currency on those brands, exhorting friends and family to follow suit.

Economic Conditions Snapshot, February 2009: McKinsey Global Survey Results

The McKinsey Quarterly
Feb 13, 2009

Executives view their economies as bad but, in a change from recent months, do not see them getting much worse. Government actions have helped, many say. Companies are hanging on, and many are taking long-term actions to cope with economic turmoil.

Branding Lessons From Will Smith

Dec 18, 2008

USA Today recently ran a cover story on Will Smith that spells out how the affable actor has amassed over $2.45 billion in North American box office receipts. Just about any brand can learn from him.

Embrace Cultural Diversity? Ignore It At Your Peril

Nigel Hollis
Nov 21, 2008

For brand marketers today, "global" is increasingly the name of the game. Long the prerogative of American and European brands, now Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Brazilian brands are seeking to establish their position as global players. Underlying this push to globalize brands is the assumption that the world is becoming more homogeneous.


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