The myth of the invincible global brand – understanding the drivers of brand loyalty

Nigel Hollis
Millward Brown, United States

Jorge Alagón
Millward Brown, Mexico


In 1983, esteemed academic Theodore Levitt made this pronouncement in the Harvard Business Review: “Gone are accustomed differences in national or regional preferences.” Levitt asserted that the world was going global, and that before long companies would be marketing their brands the same way everywhere.

Levitt's provocative assertion helped spark a massive effort by many multinational corporations (MNCs) to take their brands global. Now, over twenty years later, the brands that have become successful on the global stage loom large in the minds of marketers everywhere. Names like Pampers, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Toyota and McDonald's seem invincible. They symbolize success and lure others on to emulate them.