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7 keys to building a billion-dollar global brand

In today's constantly changing world, marked by information overload and increased insecurity, a brand's values, quality and authenticity are more important than ever. Consumers yearn for meaningful and reliable relationships with their brands.

Many powerful billion-dollar brands have emerged in recent decades across many sectors. What have they done right? In my experience, these unique brands share much in common. I can break it down into what I believe to be the seven key drivers of global brand success.

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1. A highly compelling brand promise

BMW has been building its global brand on the same consumer promise for over 50 years: offering "the ultimate driving experience."

Red Bull, founded in 1984 in Austria, has transformed from an energy drink into a major player in entertainment behind its promise "Red Bull gives you wings."

L'Oreal is giving us the beauty products we deserve, behind their compelling promise "Because you're worth it."

It is mission-critical that the actual products and services brought by the brand actually deliver on the brand promise and delight the consumer with a great experience.

2. A powerful insight

Billion-dollar brands capture our attention through their insights, unlocking not only our minds but also our hearts.

General Mills' Cheerios evolved into a healthy breakfast alternative by promising to lower cholesterol.

Kraft's Oreo cookies had the insight that kids enjoy drinking milk with their cookies.

These transformational insights helped these brands grow into global blockbusters.

3. Closure power

Billion-dollar brands are generally great at closing the sale and convincing us day in and day out to choose them.

L'Oreal's launch of a new lipstick came with the powerful claim "10-hour color that grabs hold and doesn't let go."

Colgate's "#1 recommended by dentists" credentialing claim convinces us that if a dentist would recommend it, the brand must have a superior quality and good reputation.

4. A contemporary feel, always on trend

Mars' M&M's announcement of strawberry peanut butter M&M's on the back of the launch of the latest "Transformers" movie made the brand look contemporary and fresh.

Heineken in its home country the Netherlands over the past few years launched exceptional brand ads that played into popular television shows and were highly watchable and shareable through social media. They immerse the brand into daily reality in a dynamic and responsive way.

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Billion-dollar brands plan for the predictable, but also need to identify moments or events that can be used to reinforce their position. With the incredible rise of social media and real-time brand building in a digital world, the key is to leverage the unpredictable and bring the brand into the spotlight to capitalize on and own a trending topic.

5. A consistent brand promise that is continually renewed

Inconsistency is truly a brand's worst enemy. Volvo is a classic example of a brand that got it right. The brand was built on safety for families for decades. Its commitment to safety positioning has permeated into all aspects of their offering, from product design to advertising. We all know that Volvos are very safe cars. While these brands are consistent in their core positioning, they find ways to continuously renew the way this message is brought to life. So while the promise stays the same, the way we experience it continuously feels new.

"Inconsistency is truly a brand's worst enemy."

6. Cultural relevance, but in a global context

Guinness is a great example of a brand that has adapted its core positioning of bringing out your inner strength to its target markets. In the U.S. the brand relies heavily on its proud, Irish heritage and over 200 years of brewing tradition, while in the Caribbean its translation of inner strength is more focused on reinforcing masculinity.

While it is critical to be culturally relevant, billion-dollar overarching brand promises have to be internationally consistent, as content now reaches worldwide audiences and is no longer isolated in a single market. Billion-dollar brand experiences all reinforce a single brand promise, regardless of their origin.

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7. Commitment to a higher purpose

Google's mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Kimberly Clark's Depend underwear's desire to restore dignity. Disney's quest to deliver family entertainment with a heart. Lego's goal to create the builders of the future.

These are all examples of billion-dollar brands that are driven by a higher purpose that is pervasive, throughout all the ways these brands touch our daily life and improve our lives. That's what gives them staying power.

By Robbert Rietbroek, managing director and CEO of Kimberly-Clark Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, and a member of the CNBC-YPO Chief Executive Network.

Rietbroek spent 16 years at Procter & Gamble, the past three years at Kimberly-Clark leading its $8 billion global Huggies franchise, and is currently in charge of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific region. In 2014, Rietbroek created and taught the course, "Building Billion Dollar Brands" as a guest lecturer at the University of New South Wales.

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