Disney's cultural influence has been gradual especially where Euro Disney's launch and eventual funding by the French government, including the addition of French management to run the entire entertainment complex. Instilling ownership at the local level has made significant gains for Disney in gaining the trust of the French consumers, in addition to alleviating the cultural friction points throughout Europe. The result today is that EuroDisney is seen as a viable holiday location for families from the UK, Germany, and Italy in addition to the Western European community of countries.
Nike's influence as a brand throughout Europe continues to grow as a result of the company's decision to sell through more direct channels, including the development of their own retail stores in both the U.S. And throughout Europe (Keeping Nike on the right track. 2005). The Nike brand has as a result been viewed more positively with the price being more congruent with the value of the shoes, and the shopping experience being more enjoyable. Nike has set as a strategic objective the creation of retailing locations that control and effectively use the brand to enhance and strengthen the shopping experience. While NikeTowns had been mediocre in performance, the roll-out of Nike stores that stressed a complete, high-end shopping experience have been quite successful both in the U.S. And in Europe. The net effect on the brand of augmenting and strengthening the distribution outlets has been increased penetration into the European market.
The last brand studied, Starbucks' has become synonymous with high end caffeinated beverages, has defined its branding from a social networking and meeting place over and above purely being a coffee shop. The inclusion of wireless access with T-Mobile, support for downloads for Apple iTunes in piloted cities as of late 2007 and the eventual build-out of the stores as information and communication hubs is already in progress. Starbuck's is synonymous with premium coffee today yet is focusing on how to become a digital gathering place for their primary demographic market, which are 20- to 30-year-old students and young professionals. The brand's name is already being associated with using the shops/stores as meeting places for friends, associates, even class work groups in larger locations. The impact of the Starbucks' brand as a place of work, talk, sharing and fun in addition to getting caffeinated higher-end beverages is a global strategic focus of the company today. From the results of same-store sales in conjunction with the development of branding strategies, Starbucks' is gaining branding equity at a faster pace than its predecessors (McKinsey & Company (2007). The influence of branding strategies that are strengthened with social networking, continual product innovation (a Starbuck's core strength) and the development of store layouts that encourage discussion and team meetings, Starbuck's has use the need for collaboration and interaction on the part of their customers to further strengthen and clarify their brand.
In conclusion, the role of the Disney brand and its decisions to allow French managers to eventually run EuroDisney, the decision by Nike to enhance and strengthen their distribution channels to strengthen their branding, and the deliberate attempts by Starbucks' to create stores that encourage social networking, team meetings and collaboration have all led to the strengthening of these brands. The role of their names, when taken into the context of the framework as defined by Keller (2000) also highlight how critical the synchronizing of multichannel management, integrated marketing communications, and distribution-specific decisions are critical to overall brand value and the continual growth of brand equity.
Forman, Janis. 1998. "Corporate Image and the Establishment of EuroDisney: Mickey Mouse and the French Press" Technical Communication Quarterly. Summer 1998, Volume 7, Number 3 (Pages 247-258)
Keeping Nike on the right track. 2005. Strategic Direction 21, no. 11 (November 1): 15-18. http://www.proquest.com / (Accessed October 30, 2007).
Keller, Kevin (2000).The Brand Report Card. Harvard Business Review. January-February, 2000, 3-10.
McKinsey & Company (2007) - the New Rules of Branding. David C. Court, John E. Forsyth, Greg C. Kelly and Mark a. Loch. Accessed from the Internet on September 30, 2007, from the following location: