April 2000



  • World News Today... daily headlines and abstracts
  • Global Marketing Lags on the Web
  • Ben & Jerry's Goes Corporate
  • Paris Bourse Considering a Wine Futures Exchange
  • US Unemployment Drops to Lowest Level in 30 Years
  • Citibank to Acquire 2/3 of Poland's Largest Lending Company
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  • USA -- While many US companies tout their global prowess, and even demonstrate their global strength through websites listing operations in countries around the globe, in fact, 46% of orders placed online by non-US customers go unfilled by American-based companies, according to a study by Forrester Research. Today, only 2/3 of all site visitors are from the US; and while they comprise the majority of customers, still 10% of all orders are placed from people outside the United States.

    Being online does not a global company make.

    Do you know who you want to target in other countries? Have you identified which country(ies) you are targeting? What products/services are most appropriate for those customers? Do you have local partners? (Do you know how to find and get acquainted with local business partners -- for marketing, advertising, manufacturing, distribution, collections, etc.?) Are you familiar with local business practices, legal issues, and the like? Can you deliver your product/service to customers in those countries? Have you considered a local pricing strategy? Then, have you implemented it? Is your positioning locally appropriate from country to country? Can your customers in foreign markets find your website? Do you promote your company in a relevant way and in media that your customers frequent? Can you deliver your products efficiently? Can your customers pay for their purchases through your site?


      [PANGAEAR specializes in consumer marketing insights and integrates the full spectrum of business intelligence into thoughtful market launch strategies for its clients.]

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    Each country target requires its own corporate identity and branding as well as business infrastructure in order to compete effectively with local companies in those markets. And to make this happen, a sound global business strategy is essential. However you decide to proceed, the bottom line is customer satisfaction and a positive user experience.

    Whether companies are marketing online or off, the same underlying business and marketing principles apply.

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    South Burlington, VERMONT, USA -- Unilever PLC buys Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc., the socially conscious US ice cream maker with an eye towards global expansion. In the US alone, the frozen dessert market is an US$11 billion industry; global ice cream consumption tops 21 billion liters annually. Ben & Jerry's super-premium ice cream brand embraces a category expected to grow worldwide in the coming years.

    In addition to their super-premium ice cream line, Ben & Jerry's is also known for their ice cream novelties, low fat ice cream, low fat yogurt and sorbet -- all of which are made from high quality Vermont dairy products, and all natural ingredients. Primarily a US brand with selected foreign distribution (in Israel, Russia and the UK), through this new venture, Ben & Jerry's will prosper through Unilever's global reach.

    Unilever is, among other things, the world's largest ice cream company, with such well-known brands as Breyers All Natural, Good-Humor, Popsicle, Klondike and Wall's. Nevertheless, Ben & Jerry's will contiue to operate as a separate entity under the Unilever umbrella. In accordance with this arrangement, there will be a separate Board of Directors to provide leadership for Ben & Jerry's social missions and brand integrity.

    The Ben & Jerry's brand is known for being a brand with a social conscience. With Unilever backing them, there will be even greater opportunities to contribute to social missions because they will be better-funded. Presently, Ben & Jerry's donates 7.5% of its pre-tax earnings in support of projects which are models for social change and those that exhibit creative problem-solving and hopefulness.

    Unilever is one of the world's largest consumer products companies with sales of more than US$45 billion.

    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)


    PARIS, France -- The Paris Bourse, the operator of the Paris stock exchange, is studying the feasibility of launching a wine futures exchange, called "Winefex." The exchange would trade contracts of 12-bottle cases of finished "grands crus," deliverable within 32 months. The timetable for this would be to launch Winefex before the end of 2000.

    Estimated global wine production is approximately 150 billion French francs, (22.9 bil. euros), and Bourdeaux wines represent 1.5% of this. They expect to launch the exchange with wine contracts from France's Bordeaux region. Wines eligible for inclusion in the contract must be internationally renowned and be bottled at the site of production.

    Reactions to this have been mixed. Proponents see the opportunity to sell wines before they are produced. Opponents fear rising prices, making wines too expensive for the average consumer, in addition to the possibility of denegrading a French cultural tradition.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    USA -- US jobless rates have dropped to 3.9%. This is the lowest level in 30 years, making the employment market more competitive than ever for employers. Employers are offering a variety of incentives to retain and attract employees -- from home cleaning services to children's day care, to stock options and more. While the pinch is felt heavily in the technology sector, the shortage of workers is evident in nearly all sectors of the workforce.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    WARSAW, Poland -- Citibank, a leading US banking institution, was granted permission by the Polish banking system regulators to acquire up to 2/3 of Poland's largest corporate lender, Bank Handlowy. This followed a block to acquire Bank Handlowy by BRE Bank, whose major stockholder is Germany's Commerzbank. Citibank's battle with Commerzbank is a recent example of the competition among Western banks seeking to expand in the potentially lucrative post-communist markets of Eastern Europe.
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    [Restrictions apply. Check with American Airlines or our travel service group for details and confirmation. Not responsible for typographical errors.]

    International flight departures leave on Thursday or Friday, May 18 - 19, 2000 . Thursday departures return anytime the following Monday and Friday departures return anytime the following Monday/Tuesday.

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    You can also read the latest news about Travel & Tourism.

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