The case decribes Johnnie Walker’s efforts to move from a multi-local product-focused brand to a global master brand, underlining that the switch is a strategic business decision. It begins by understanding and addressing a global customer need, then managing the standardization of marketing activities across markets, with significant internal changes required to existing structure and process. Presenting the consumer data available to Johnnie Walker, the main questions raised are: What should its global positioning be? How should the brand be managed? What are the next steps to build the brand?
The case can be used with executive audiences and advanced MBA students. It has been successfully taught in executive education programmes as well as a Brand Management elective. With an overall theme of developing a global brand in an organization that has a multi-local strategy with powerful local ‘chieftains’, the following issues can be debated:
1. What are the pros and cons of building a brand around specific products vs a master brand?
2. What are the pros and cons of a global vs a multi-local strategy?
3. What are potential triggers for change?
4. What internal realignment is imperative for such a move to succeed?
By showcasing Johnnie Walker’s systematic approach, it also allows discussion of brand identity and positioning.
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- Global branding
- Managing global brands
- Global campaign