Nielsen Global Brand-Origin Report – April 2016

Over the past few decades, companies in search of new growth opportunities expanded beyond their borders to find a world of new consumers eager to try their brands. French retailer Carrefour, for example, started with a single storefront in 1958 and now operates stores in more than 30 countries, including Brazil, China and Indonesia. Likewise for U.S.-based Walmart, which now has stores in 27 countries. And some companies reach consumers in virtually every corner of the world: U.S.-based Procter & Gamble sells brands in more than 180 countries, and Japanese automaker Toyota sells vehicles in more than 170 countries. The entry of multinational companies (MNCs) into new markets— while a boon for local consumers who gain access to a greater range of products—can sometimes cause the demise of local companies, which are suddenly faced with daunting foreign rivals that have an array of advantages, including vast financial resources, diverse talent pools and sophisticated technology infrastructures, supply chains and operating practices. But just as David slew Goliath (not the other way around), many local companies have not only survived the multinational competition, but thrived. Indeed, some local companies’ flexibility and agility, as well as their superior grasp of the domestic operating environment, have propelled them past their global rivals. For example, in the Philippines, Jollibee has a greater share of the fast-food market than McDonald’s and has expanded to become a multinational company, operating restaurants throughout Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the U.S., while Mexico-based Bimbo not only edged out other on-the-ground rivals but expanded beyond their border to become the largest baking company in the world. And in China, whose Haier has long been the world’s leading manufacturer of a range of large appliances, not only is Huawei gaining share in the country’s midrange and high-end smartphone market, its telecommunication devices are gaining a stronger foothold in the global market. All of this cross-border expansion, however, has greatly complicated traditional definitions of country of origin. Some iconic “local”
brands are actually manufactured abroad, while some foreign brands have built a manufacturing presence in local markets. And some global brands have been in a market so long that many consumers actually perceive them to be local. Nonetheless, brand origin can be an extremely valuable asset for both global and local companies.

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