Tommy Hilfiger, a “classic American” brand, is believe it or not based out of Amsterdam. Pretty ironic. Prior to this internship, I really did not understand how Global companies functioned. However, throughout the course of this internship I have not only gotten to see how decisions are made through a Global management chain, but also how a brand is marketed on a global landscape.
It all starts at HQ. The concepts for each season, the retail stores, the marketing campaigns all start in Amsterdam. This really surprised me at first because the whole idea behind the brand is that it is “American.” How accurately can they depict the classic, cool American style from all the way over there in Europe? They center their ideas around the red, white and blue colors, nautical themes and this idea of the “Tommy twist” that is put into everything we do.
After Amsterdam puts forward the concepts, we, the marketing team in the US, pick and choose what we want to use. This funnel-like process helps keep the brand aligned, because we are rarely making our own assets that run the risk of differing from Europe. If you see an ad or image at a Tommy Hilfiger flagship in Europe, it will be the same as the one in the US.
It also allows the marketers, wherever they may be, to adjust for their own market. Some assets fit with the American consumer, and some blatantly do not. If we need something adjusted, we will leverage it from whatever Europe sends us, maybe an image or event activation, and tweak it to fit our market.
The key is communication. Once a week, we get on the phone with HQ and touch base. Sometimes there is a lot to discuss, like now with the Fall season fast approach and tons going on, but sometimes there is not. Regardless, touching base is key to keeping the brand aligned half way across the world. Communication allows us to effectively market the global landscape.