Transnational strategy offers a global perspective to your marketing efforts.
In this lesson, you’ll learn what transnational strategy is and see a few examples of it in use.
What Is a Transnational Strategy?
You live in an increasingly more in-touch world than ever before. You arrive at work in your European car. You wear an American-made dress. You talk to your friends holding a smartphone built in Asia.
For lunch, you sample Mexican food and, on the way home, you stop at the international grocer to pick up lemongrass for a Thai soup.The advent of the Internet has made goods and services from around the world available at the click of a mouse. Companies are expanding rapidly into new territories and countries. More and more, you’re seeing products and the marketing of those products shift to an international focus. But how do you enter a new culture and promote your goods and services effectively for a new market?You’ve probably heard someone exclaim ”It’s a small world!” when talking about mutual friends or news stories that somehow impact them.
You could also say it’s a small world in the retail and marketing environments as well. Increased channels of selling and transporting products and myriad options for communicating across the street and around the world have made it feel like a very small world indeed.Transnational strategy takes advantage of the new smallness of the world, by allowing brands and companies to expand their global footprint in the selling of their goods and services, while taking into account cultural and societal differences that shape consumers in their native environment. That is to say, for example, that a food manufacturer based in the United States may want to expand their presence into Mexico, but must consider the appropriateness of the product in that environment including how to market it based on that specific culture and those customers’ behaviors.It’s not enough to simply enter the global marketplace without a plan, and not just any plan will do.
Your marketing efforts in the United States may or may not work in Europe, Asia, or beyond. Understanding that and the market differences between your company’s country of origin and where you’re looking to expand can help create a successful strategy. If you look at your current marketing strategy inside your native country and your marketing segmentation efforts, in which marketing is different for men versus women or new customers versus repeat customers, for example, you can see how a transnational marketing strategy might be applied on a grander, global scale.To succeed in transnational strategy, you should take many of the same steps you would in any marketing plan: conduct research to identify and define your target market; assess the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in your new market; and understand the consumers, customs, societal norms, and practices of the country or culture you’re considering.Transnational strategy differs from a global strategy in that a global approach takes one product and sells and promotes it the same way across all channels to all people. Transnational strategy is a more personalized approach to selling and marketing your goods and services, with your target audience in mind.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of companies who are getting transnational strategy right.
- A popular fast-food restaurant with locations in 119 different countries understands that not every palette appreciates only hamburgers and French fries. To that end, they’ve created cultural favorites and added them to their menu including a flatbread sandwich in Middle Eastern countries and macarons in France. Advertisements included a stack of macaron cookies stacked beside a coffee mug with the restaurant’s logo.
- A well-known athletic apparel company has worked to expand its transnational strategies by sponsoring sporting events in other countries. A recent sponsorship of an England-based soccer team leads to advertisements featuring the brand’s logo and the team’s colors, photos, and symbol.
- One of the best-loved soda manufacturers around is a great example of transnational strategy. This company presents its signature soda in the same packaging across all markets including their signature design, font, and colors. However, they are known to change up the language on the can to be personalized to each market and they frequently alter the size of the can or bottle to match other similar products in that culture.
A few changes to their marketing efforts have helped them create a brand that is known globally and marketed individually.
Transnational strategy happens when you take your product or service and present it differently to adapt to the cultural and societal differences in each of your market areas. Just like you might segment how you reach one type of consumer versus another in your marketing efforts, transnational strategy applies that concept to a larger, global platform. Companies from sports apparel manufacturers to food and beverage brands have succeeded in a global marketplace by adapting their marketing strategies to be appealing and relevant to each specific audience.