Maintaining brand consistency across different regions is a strategic imperative for global brand marketers—and it becomes all-the-more complicated when multiple product categories are involved, according to Kyle Schlegel, global marketing director for racquet sports at Wilson Sporting Goods.
“Each sport has a different philosophy and history, so you’re trying to blend the brand into what’s true in those environments, which makes it a challenge to remain consistent at the master brand level,” he said.
Schlegel came to Wilson last year with the company’s acquisition of baseball batmaker Louisville Slugger, where he had led a restaging of the 120-year-old brand. Before that, he was with Procter & Gamble. The sporting goods world, he said, is very different from the CPG world in that customers expect to be able to try out the product. “About half my marketing team here at Wilson are dedicated fully to what we refer to as ‘grassroots and promotion,’” Schlegel said. “We run between 4,000 and 5,000 demo events around the world every year.”
Schlegel’s efforts are directed toward telling the same Wilson story across all the events. “We’ve created centralized content about how to run a demo event and insight into new products to make sure they’re talking about them in the same manner we’re talking about them,” he said. At the same time, he wants to make sure he’s aware of local needs and ideas. “How do I make sure that I’m getting insight from them every bit as much as I’m deploying assets to them?” he said.
Highlights from this week’s Marketing Superstars podcast include:
- How an established company builds a brand over the long term (3:44)
- How the expectations of sporting goods consumers demand operational and organizational changes (8:18)
- How to achieve brand consistency with a global brand across a global network of representatives and influencers (10:16)
- Avoiding the “deployment mindset” that leads to one-way communication (14:54)
- Exploring the nature of the partnership between consumer and product (19:41)
- Discovering the passion that lies behind a brand (23:06)