Name a few successful global brands: Microsoft, Nike, Coca Cola, Telenor, Marks & Spencer, and many more. In general, they are good at two things at the same time.
The first one is “specialization”. They DO NOT try to do everything in the whole process of designing, prototyping, manufacturing, and retailing activities. Rather, they specialize only in those that they think they can do better than anybody else in the chain. That is why, they concentrate on areas where optimized use of resources will yield the most return. Microsoft specializes on software development, and not making computers. Nike is specialized in designing innovative shoes, and not in manufacturing those shoes themselves. Coca Cola believes in licensing, and not to get their hands in every process they can get into in every country. Telenor does not make mobile phone towers, but specializes in providing phone services. Marks and Spencer does not have its own manufacturing facility (like Nike), but do a better job in designing fashion clothes. So the first thing all these brands do is to decide what to do that you are better at than others.
The second one is the consequence of the first one. Since specialization means not to do everything possible in the process, that also invariably means you have to get the rest done by someone else who can do these things better than you could. Yes, the second magic word is “outsourcing”. A simple piece of caution: outsourcing can turn out to be a bad option if you fail to choose the right provider for things that you are looking for. As we mentioned in the very beginning, both the specialization and outsourcing must be in tandem to complement each other. Well specialized firm can still suffer if poor outsourcing is done by its management.
Next time you see a globally successful brand, ask yourself these two questions: what the brand is specialized in? Where and how is it outsourcing the rest? The secret of its success will be vivid in front of you.