I think the correct answer lies somewhere in between, “it’s extremely hard”, and “it’s more a question of when”. I have more faith that the next big global CPG brand will come from Asia than online.
In this age where social media dominates our collective conversations, we believe very large brands can be built without the widespread use of paid traditional media. It will take several years for the incumbent CPG companies to master these new marketing arts. In the meantime, companies like DSC emerge and get very large despite the massive spend of the traditional guys. We refer to this as asymmetric marketing — no matter how much money spent by the incumbent, the new brand can still become very large for tiny fractions of that spend. (via Dollar Shave Club − The Power of Asymmetric Marketing | Disruption.)
Danny Sullivan writes about a POV of Android fragmentation as a feature and not a bug:
For all the “fragmentation” worries raised about Android, the advantage has been that the fragmentation allowed a thousand Android devices to bloom (and a handful of those to flower into big hits).
via Android updates embarrassing, but do users notice? | Common Sense Tech – CNET News.
When studying global marketing strategy, there’s a primary question you address:
Can you create one product and sell it globally or are the different global markets different enough where you need to tailor your products to every market?
That’s the explanation for why televisions from the same company look different in Europe vs. the U.S. Look at the cars driving around in any European city and there’s a notable difference than what you see in any city in the U.S.
On the flipside, look at the global success of the iPhone. It’s the same product sold globally and it’s been a smashing success. Apple is making more money ex-US than in the US now.
I suspect that as the smartphone market matures, differentiated products will be a natural evolution as companies try to eke more money from their user base.
There’s really no right or wrong answer but I guarantee that Android vs. iPhone will become a key case study for global marketing strategy students in the future.