Big Bird: The Big Brand

Big Bird has been in the news frequently, thanks to mentions in the Presidential debates. The outpouring of support for the yellow puppet showed just how relevant Sesame Street has been across decades and, it turns out, across cultures. Sesame Street is currently running in 146 countries.

HBR’s recent article identified some of the reasons that Sesame Street is such a universal brand:

  1. Identifying the country-specific critical needs first.
  2. Willingness to try new operating models in new countries.
  3. Embracing new and multiple means of distribution.
  4. Propagating lessons learned throughout the organization.
  5. Taking the long view.

Sesame Street pursued a global strategy long before globalization became a common business goal. “It has done so by being clear and steadfast about its essential brand values while also seeking to understand deeply and flexibly adapt to local conditions and norms.”

Do you agree that these values help make brands universal? What would you add?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Comments (2)

  1. I agree full heartedly. Raposo & Moss were very slkiled at their craft. For some reason, ‘The Ladybug Picnic’ has stuck in my head over the years as well. How about the top 10 Muppet Show songs? There were some fantastic tunes in that show. Remember ‘Mississipi Mud’? We like to think that our tunes don’t make people rip their hair out. Click on on our name and go check out our site if you’re interested in hearing what we sound like. We’re called Gogo Bonkers!

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