Friday, July 28, 2006

Creating (Global) Opportunity One Bite At A Time

The mission of South African-based Khayelitsha Cookie Company is to create a company that could not only produce the best cookies in South Africa, but which also radically changed the lives of everyone involved in the company.

For customers, they produce the biggest, best range of baked goods: chocolate chunk cookies, ginger snaps, nutty fudge brownies and shortbread biscuits. For employees, they give every opportunity for significant growth and career expansion.

They also hire previously unemployed women from Khayelitsha and then train and skill them in permanent, affirming employment.

Visit the Khayelitsha Cookie Company here.

What's your global cause?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Exports: The Recipe For a Healthy and Prosperous Economy


Read the article and think along the lines that no matter where you are located in our big flat world that the recipe for fostering a healthy and prosperous economy is to have a vigorous and dynamic export sector ...

Note:  The article may have been removed since the original date of publication.  Go here for more information.  To learn more about exporting, go here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Going Global: Risks and Rewards

Interbrand’s annual Best Global Brands study of brand value generates great interest and debate. A recurring question is whether being global affords a brand more benefits than a geographically-focused one. Many brand owners are interested in the attributes shared by successful global brands (i.e., BMW). Interbrand’s work with leading global brands and the conclusions reached through our ranking indicate significant implications for brands that choose to operate globally.

The criteria for the study states that a global brand must achieve more than a third of its sales outside of its home country and have a visible external market presence. A global brand is one that is available in many nations and, though it may differ from country to country, the local versions have common values and a similar identity. The brand’s positioning, advertising strategy, personality, look and feel are, in most respects, the same but allow for regional customization. What remains consistent market-to-market are the values communicated and delivered by the brand.

This paper explores the attraction and risks associated with going global.

And the first question asked: Why go global?

Read the paper here.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Globalization: Synergy and Discontent

Ingram Publishing/ThinkStock
Globalization continues its advance, but is market convergence a net positive for the US and world economies? Who benefits from globalization, and who might suffer?

Read the article here.

Note:  The link may no longer be active.  Try this on for size.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

New Generation of Global Entrepreneurship

Patrick Casserly started small in the business dedicated to the provision of back office processing and call centre services. His primary duty on his first day of operation was to mop the floor. But he was thinking big, building on the advantage of Jamaica as the third largest English speaking country in the hemisphere, and their propensity to talk, and now Patrick has a business that employs 2,100 people, which is likely to grow to 2,600 by year-end. How did he do it?

Hints: Start small. Position globally. Think BIG.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Harvard Professor Who Coined "Globalization" Dies

One of my favorite people (minds) on the planet and the person who coined the term "globalization" died at age 81: Theodore Levitt. The reason why Professor Levitt became such a force in my life was because in the '80s -- before any individual or company was thinking about going global -- he turned me on to the importance of looking at the world as your market. He also knew how to deconstruct and solve problems by asking the right questions. Something to this day I still find myself doing. Here are some things I will remember the most about Levitt:

• Harvard Business Review -- He holds the record with Peter Drucker for publishing the most articles in HBR.

• What turned me on to Levitt -- "The Globalization of Markets" and five other great articles authored by HBR talents.

Using the term "globalization" in a 1983 Harvard Business Review article about the emergence of standardized, low-priced consumer products. He defined that globalization as the changes in social behaviors and technology which allowed companies to sell the same products around the world.

• Marketing Myopia -- HBR Classic: A groundbreaking article originally published in the Harvard Business Review (1960) in which he asked managers, “What business are you really in?” And that's probably why Starbucks is doing so well with its business model because they figured out early on that they were not just in the "coffee" business but in the "people" business. Levitt would be proud that his ideas were turned into practical solutions. Even Wikipedia features Levitt's work. We all know that focusing too narrowly on anything creates limited results.

Another way Levitt posed a question is like this: “What problem are we trying to solve for our customers?” For tool makers, the implication is that it is not really about the tool. Rather, it is about the resulting condition that customers desire from the use of the tool. That is to say, it is holes in the ground they want, not shovels. Fascinating stuff. So pure. So simple. But so many people just don't get it. Levitt did.

Design Sense magazine No. 26 -- And I bet you didn't know Levitt contributed to this publication. Here's the title his work went under:

"How Major Companies Change Their Names"

An analysis of successful -- and not-so-successful -- name changes by New York Stock Exchange-listed corporations in the late 1950s and early '60s. Also: excerpts from Innovation in Marketing, by Harvard Business School Professor Theodore Levitt.

Marketing Imagination by Theodore M.Levitt -- My absolute favorite book (and according to my notes in the inside cover, I read it in 1984) on marketing that I still refer to today. It's so relevant that you never want to put it away.

• Two favorite remarks by Levitt that were made in "The Marketing Imagination" -- Henry Ford's: "They can have any color car they want, so long as it's black." -- Page 142. And Levitt's: "The purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer." -- Page 5.

HBR obituary on Professor Levitt can be found here. My sympathies go out to the Levitt family during this time of great sadness.

May Professor Levitt rest in peace in our brave new world and I thank him for helping me and millions of other people understand (global) marketing.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Abridged Borderbuster: 7/5/06


If you are not a subscriber to Borderbuster, here's a glimpse of what you missed this month:

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. Exploring the International Market for Data*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Lost in Translation*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie*
9. The Starbucks Effect*
10. Innocents Abroad*
11. The Soft Skills of Global Managers*
12. Blog World: MarketingProfs*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

Despite nearly two decades of corporate globalization efforts, many organizations still struggle to find managers who are comfortable and effective in the increasingly global economy. Most suffer both from a lack of cultural awareness when dealing with employees and partners overseas and from a lack of experience managing increasingly complex processes over long distances.

To read the lead story, visit here.


To subscribe to Borderbuster, visit:
Sign Up For Borderbuster!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Gates Goes Global

Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Gates recently announced plans to ease out of his chief executive position at Microsoft over the next couple of years and dedicate more time to his $30 billion (now $60 billion thanks to Buffett) Gates Foundation.

Read the article here to find out how Gates is going to conquer the world on health problems.