Case Study

Cargill: Building a global brand for the world’s largest private company (A)

12 pages
November 2016
Reference: IMD-7-1841

The two-part case series examines the challenge of building a global brand for Cargill – the world’s largest private company. It follows the four-year journey, from 2012 to 2015, of Paul Hillen, the newly appointed vice president of global marketing. Case A begins by highlighting the culture and organizational structure of Cargill, the evolution of the company’s brand during the recent past and the decision to develop one brand identity across its different businesses and geographies, with the appointment of the new VP in November 2011. Case A concludes with Hillen evaluating four options for the new brand positioning. Case B focuses on the implementation journey. It delves into the building blocks of the new global brand strategy, including the brand promise (positioning), brand expression (tagline) and brand architecture. It discusses the hurdles faced by Paul Hillen and the key steps taken to implement the new strategy successfully.

Learning Objective
  • What triggers the need in a decentralized and diversified company to build a global brand?
  • How can a marketing leader successfully implement a global brand strategy that resonates with internal and external stakeholders?
  • What are the elements of a successful brand strategy?
  • How do you develop a brand architecture for a portfolio that includes branded and non-branded products and services in both B2C and B2B industries?
Branding, Business to Business, Brand Architecture, Brand Promise, Brand Expression, Corporate Marketing, Change Management, Agribusiness
Global, United States of America
Cargill, Consumer Goods, Food and Beverage, Food Production, Agriculture
Field Research
© 2016
Available Languages
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