Albers School of Business and Economics
Graduate

Graduate Programs Blog Post

  • Transform a local brand to a global brand

    This quarter I am taking a very interesting class called Brand Management.  We spend lots of time looking at different giant companies with strong brand equity including Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, GE, Intel, Snapple, and many others.  All these companies are able to understand their customers extremely well, and they try every possible way to build unique relationship with their customers.  Of course, their marketing budget is playing a large role there.  I started wondering about how the small local businesses build their brand.  Last week, I attended an event hosted by Puget Sound American Marketing Association.  The speaker was Pierson Bob Clair, President and CEO of Brown & Haley, a confection company famous for buttercrunch toffee since 1923.  It was very interesting to hear him talking about how he added new flavors such as Mocha Roca, Cashew Roca and Macadamia besides the traditional flavor Almond Roca.  His products are now available in more than 30 countries worldwide.  The combination of tradition and innovation is one of the key strategies to make Brown & Haley successful.  Surprisingly, 40% of this local company’s sale is from export and China is the biggest market.  When I asked him about the possibility of opening a plant in China someday, he said that it would be a considerable option in the future.  The concern for him is how Chinese consumers perceive the value of domestically-made Roca comparing to original American made Roca.  Until today, Chinese consumers buy Roca because they associate it with high quality, high status and American tradition and culture. 

     By (Derek) Huiqiang Zhao, Email: zhaoh@seattleu.edu  

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