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The Collaborative Three-Box Model

As we track the evolution of the customer’s perception of value, we also trace the evolution of global marketing. The changes of global brand marketing go from 1) the global standardization approach: a one-box model where the focus is on brand globalization; to 2) the “Think Globally. Act Locally.” mantra: a two-box model where the center created the strategy and the regions were responsible executing the global strategy; to our approach, 3) The Collaborative Three-Box Model, today’s most relevant approach (see Figure 1.3).

Figure 1.3

Figure 1.3 Approaches to global marketing

The Model is structured as follows:

  • Box 1: Create the brand vision.
  • Box 2: Define the global brand plan to win.
  • Box 3: Bring the brand to life.

Although the new model may feel intuitively correct, it is not so easy to implement. This is because The Collaborative Three-Box Model is more than a process; it is a mind-set change, a leadership change, with a change of corporate focus and structure.

For The Collaborative Three-Box approach to work, global and regional teams need to collaborate. Effective collaboration requires cross-functional teams (CFTs). CFTs break down silos and stimulate productive discussions and actions. Carlos Ghosn initiated CFTs as a critical ingredient in the Nissan turnaround.12 Collaboration is difficult when the organization is highly centralized or highly decentralized. Our marketing approach requires a new method for evaluation and metrics that define accountabilities. Instead of teams that are coalitions of the willing (prepared and considering to do something), brands today need coalitions of collaboration (working jointly together).

This new approach looks at the role of the center as the place for Global Brand Leadership. Global Brand Leadership is a combination of five factors:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Education
  3. Influence
  4. Support
  5. Evaluation

In many organizations, “who is responsible for brand performance” is one of the most divisive issues. Is it the center? Is it the regions? Where does accountability reside? Most organizations are burdened with brand structures that reflect a different world. These outdated ideas of global brand management are a holdover from decades-old marketing theories. In an environment of the three colliding forces, relevant, productive, global brand management has to evolve from old-think to new-think marketing.

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