Finding an effective, authentic product positioning is difficult enough as it is, and the challenges only multiply when dealing with an international brand. In this video produced by the Yale School of Management and Yale Insights, Beth Hirschhorn, executive vice president for global brand and marketing at MetLife, discusses how her company found a universal message that can be localized for cultural resonance.

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"Beth Hirschhorn [...] talked with Yale Insights about engaging new markets while drawing on the 145-year history and tradition of the company. “People around the world are very consistent in their views and problems, and their hopes and dreams for insurance protection,” she said. “That gave us enough to work with that we could come up with a global brand promise. Now, when it comes to execution, that’s where things get a little bit different and probably have to get localized.”

One part of that localization is how to use MetLife’s association with the Peanuts characters in advertising. “In markets like the U.S., we use these characters to create instant recognition that a message from MetLife is coming.” In Japan, where the Peanuts are famous but the company is not, they use the beloved characters as an introduction. And in places where neither party is well known, the characters help distinguish MetLife from other insurance companies."

Ed Harrington is Chairman and Innovation Process Consultant at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.

©2013 Ideas To Go, Inc. All rights reserved.

Emeritus Facilitator Ed Harrington

Ed Harrington is an Emeritus Innovation Process Facilitator and Former CEO at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies to incorporate the voice of the consumer in ideation and concept development. He co-authored the book, "Outsmart Your Instincts: How the Behavioral Innovation Approach Drives Your Company Forward."