International Brand Presence

One thing I am consistently amazed by is just how widespread American brands are all over the world. In particular, and I think I have written about this before, I am always bewildered every time I see that all too iconic nike swoosh in the most bizarre of places.

Credit to Nike, I see the swoosh everywhere.

I see it on 5th Avenue in New York – where tiny apartment condos soar tens of millions in appraisal value. I see it in the suburbs near my home in Arizona.

But I also see it in Central Vietnam. I took a bike tour the other day – in the middle of nowhere (rural, Central Vietnam) – and the guide, her name was Tram, was wearing pink nike sneakers. I do not know if they were “real” or not…but seriously…how?!?

How can a brand make something so iconic that not only the richest people in the world are interested in wearing but also people who get by off of less than $100/month?

How can you build a brand that people will spend $200/pair of sneakers – still to see the same exact shoe on the foot of someone who only has $200 to their name?

That…is brilliant.

International brand presence, in my mind, is an incredible amount of influence. There are other brands who have managed to do this well too.

Pepsi, comes to mind, as I see their logo in most countries I am visiting. It is amazing to me just how much impact and economic influence a single brand can exert by investing in foreign economies.

McDonalds and Starbucks do this very well.

In Shanghai, I saw Starbucks planted everywhere – in prime locations. They have successfully managed real estate at some of the top locations in the world.

Seeing these brands achieve global impact is an important reminder to me of two things:

1 – To dream bigger than what I know and can see today. The world is huge. Massive. There are infinite problems to work on that not only affect a small segment of the United States – but also the entire globe. Thinking global expands my potential 100x, immediately. Think big.

2 – Understanding¬†human¬†problems, versus a particular niche’s problems, widens your target market 100x. While this may come later, expanding to reach a wider set of humanity is certainly an interesting exercise in translating product-market fit from one area of the world to another. This seems like a cool opportunity to make a big impact.