Developing a global brand

Date of publication: June 15, 1994


This paper discusses a global branding programme developed by the retail arm of British Petroleum. Much of the article focuses on a global advertising campaign BP: On the Move - that comprised an integral part of a broader corporate identity programme. A detailed, step-by-step process is used to describe the campaign from conceptual origin through to production and implementation. In particular, the important role of market research in providing strategic and operational guidance is highlighted. Organisational issues are also stressed as selling the global brand notion to sceptical senior executives and local country managers proved a significant challenge. The branding efforts of BP are assessed from two conceptual directions. First, the campaign is considered within a brand equity perspective. It is judged on its ability to create brand awareness, perceived brand quality, other strong brand associations and brand loyalty. Secondly, the campaign is viewed within a globalisation framework. It is tested against the perceived pitfalls of insufficient research, over standardisation, poor follow-up, narrow vision, and rigid implementation. BP is found to score well on the criteria of both brand equity and global branding. Indeed, the "BP:. On the Move" campaign continues to flourish after six years of operation. It is now running in 40 markets in 27 different languages and is one of the very few examples available of a truly global branding exercise.

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