Brand Imperialism

Lindsey Vonn won her last world cup race in January 2013. She didn't even compete in Winter Olympics in Sochi. Despite she was prominent in many Manhattan stores and magazines I got to see on my recent New York trip. I'm pretty sure most of Americans still think Lindsey Vonn is still the best woman skier in the world. On the other hand, I couldn't see a single photo or mention of Tina Maze, despite her two gold medals in Sochi and her record-breaking 2013 world championship title. Marketing has obviously succeeded yet again in making useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services become objects of people's desire.

By now most business people outside of USA has learned the power of brands and marketing and they are trying to replicate successful marketing practices in their own line of business. After attending the Advertising Week I started to doubt whether non-American brands have a fighting chance at all in this globalized world. First, for Americans the world is flat and it ends on the shores of Atlantic and Pacific. Second, USA represents one third of global advertising budget with the rest of the world being hopelessly fragmented. Third, while other countries also have popular products and smart marketers, only Americans have a global entertainment industry (think Hollywood) that can be thought as equivalent to air power in modern warfare. Consequently, a brand can only succeed globally if it succeeds in USA first, which is close to impossible to achieve for brands not originating in the United States.