Ever wonder what Walmart, Toyota Motor, State Grid and Amazon have in common? All of them are successful international companies with a distinctive culture and unique traits. Despite their differences, they share certain characteristics that define their vision and goals. As a small business owner, you can study these industry giants and learn valuable lessons that will propel your company forward.


A strong focus on innovation, global strategic thinking and sensitivity to cultural diversity are just a few key features of multinational companies.

Characteristics of Global Marketing

The most successful international companies sell and advertise their products internationally. They typically have offices, factories and representatives in the foreign countries to which they market. Their goal is to provide valuable goods and services to customers on a local, national and global level.

Some organizations achieve their goals through a global marketing approach. This means they offer the exact products and services to all customers, regardless of their location. Furthermore, their marketing budget is coordinated and approved by the corporate headquarters. Their advertising methods are universally deployed to all of the markets they serve. These are some of the key characteristics of global marketing.

International marketing, by comparison, focuses on creating and customizing a company's products and services for each market. IKEA, for example, adjusted both its product offering and store location strategy to better target local and international customers alike.

The IKEA catalog serves as the company's primary marketing in Europe. In China, however, the organization relies heavily on social media for promotion. Its European stores are located in the suburbs, while its stores in China are usually found at the outskirts of cities.

Companies that use international marketing tactics allow their foreign offices to create their own budget and make strategic decisions. Additionally, their marketing efforts are tailored for local audiences. McDonald's, for instance, displays its ads in the local audience, tailoring them to local cultures and customs. Each of its social media pages targets a different country or region.

Regardless of their particular approach, successful international brands view globalization as an opportunity to expand and reach a wider audience. This allows them to understand different cultures, build relationships at a global level and diversify their operations.

Emphasize Superior Product Quality

One of the key features of multinational companies is that they put the customer first. Therefore, their products deliver genuine value and address consumers' needs. They prioritize innovation and use sophisticated technology to constantly improve their operations. Many times, they go the extra mile to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

A good example is Ritz Carlton. When a little boy left Joshie the giraffe at one of the company's hotels, the staff took a picture of his toy at the spa and on a lounge by the pool. Next, they shipped the toy to him along with other goodies.

Keep Their Strategy Consistent

According to a study conducted on startups that failed, 17 percent admitted to lacking a business model. Without a business model, it's not possible to develop a consistent strategy for growth and lead generation.

Successful international companies, by comparison, keep their strategy consistent. This gives them a competitive advantage, increases brand awareness and lays a strong foundation for business growth. Consistency makes a brand memorable and helps customers get to know that brand on a deeper level.

The nature and characteristics of international business are more complex than those of a small- or medium-sized enterprise. However, aspiring entrepreneurs can strive to develop a similar approach so they can achieve faster growth and greater profitability. Their organizational culture and core values as well as the business partners they choose are all equally important.