As consumer confidence in America falters, more and more iconic manufacturers are turning their sites to the East. Fortunately, there is a lot of room for growth in places like China and India, but unfortunately, that means a shift in focus.
Nike has become the most recognizable and dominant brand in American sports. Every year, they hire hundreds of the top athletes to show up for print, television, and internet advertisements, and just about everybody in America probably owns at least one piece of clothing, shoe, or accessory with the iconic Nike “Swoosh” on the side. Apparently, the standard doesn’t hold true in one of the largest emerging economies in the world: India.
Adidas and Reebok are the dominant players in the world’s second largest country, and Nike is having a hard time establishing itself using their predominantly US sports portfolio. There are several reasons for this, but I think one of the most obvious is worth mentioning – Nike has overly wrapped itself up in the American culture and market.
The case for more international marketing
One of the biggest trends I see in marketing over the next decade – and likely the next century – will be the move towards increased demand for global marketing. Many of us born and raised in the United States tend to have very ethnocentric perspectives, and we tend to forget that while our economy is experiencing a sluggish stall, India is on track to be the 5th largest consumer in the world by 2025. Marketing departments – even at small companies – can’t afford to be ethnocentric.
So how can you stay on top of the trend?
My caution here to those of you getting involved in marketing right now is to remember that you can not stop learning. If you didn’t pick one up in college, I’d recommend going back and learning a language. If you haven’t taken time for a trip abroad, I’d highly recommend taking at least a short trip down to Central America. If you’re looking to move up the ladder in marketing, this international experience will be an invaluable investment down the road.