#60 | 5 Tricks to Excel at Language and Culture

John Jove is the General Manager of PepsiCo International Sales and has tons of great stories and advice to share.

He’s personable, insightful, curious, and a lifelong learner.

In this interview, you can see why he’s been so successful.

Learn about “Portañol” and “Jeitinho”.

And, where Google is appropriate in global marketing.


Connect with Wendy - https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendypease/

Connect with John - https://www.linkedin.com/in/johncharlesjove/

Music: Fiddle-De-Dee by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com


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ATTENTION: Below is a machine generated transcription of the podcast. Yes, at Rapport International, we talk a lot about how machine translation is not good quality. Here you see an example of what a machine can do in your own your language. This transcription is provided as a gist and to give time indicators to find a topic of interest.

[00:00:35] Wendy: Hello, and welcome to the global marketing show. So have you heard of Pepsi? Of course you have. Everybody knows Pepsi today. I get to welcome John JoVE. He is VP and general manager of Pepsi co international sales. So I know he's going to have some awesome stories. He has been with PepsiCo for 27 years.

[00:00:57] He's been as senior director of [00:01:00] international retail sales, um, and he's lived and done work all over the world. Um, and he's also really highly educated. He has a BA in international studies from John Hopkins, a master's in international economics from Columbia university and an MBA in general management management from the tuck school of business, my Alma mater.

[00:01:22] So we didn't overlap, but we shared a lot of the same experiences. So welcome John.

[00:01:28] John: Thank you, Wendy. It's great to be. [00:01:30]

[00:01:30] Wendy: Yeah. So I'm so excited to hear about your experiences, but I, you know, I got to ask, what's your favorite PepsiCo product?

[00:01:40] John: Oh, I love them all, but I have to say that reason why I joined PepsiCo was because I, from a young age, I always enjoyed drinking Pepsi and it's a bit sweeter, uh, than perhaps the competition.

[00:01:52] And, uh, also, uh, I love Lay's potato chips. So that was the initial hook. And then [00:02:00] over time, as we bought more brands, uh, like Tropicana and Gatorade and Quaker oats and things you wouldn't associate with PepsiCo. I love those too. I highly recommend the Quaker each morning so

[00:02:15] Wendy: quickly. Quaker each

[00:02:18] John: morning, we have it an instant.

[00:02:20] We have it in classic. We have it in all types of variations. Yeah.

[00:02:24] Wendy: And see if you eat your oatmeal in the morning, then you can have your Pepsi and your lays later on. [00:02:30] Right. Cause you've cleaned out your arteries and

[00:02:32] John: we've covered you the entire day from morning til night. I

[00:02:36] Wendy: love it. Yeah. I, um, I think quicker now does a Quaker oats now does a gluten-free oats to

[00:02:42] John: yeah.

[00:02:43] Look lower sugar protein added, uh, the so many variations that are exciting to check out@quaker.com and each of our brands have their own sites. So you can learn more. For example, Gatorade's Billy being transformed. Uh, you can do, you know, Gatorade and, [00:03:00] and, and G zero. In other words, Canterbury without sugar.

[00:03:06] Yeah. There's so many different variations of products. These days it's exploded and, uh, And our latest new product, which I'm happy to share with you is going to be a mountain Dew with a slight kick of alcohol. So you can look for that in your stores coming up. And I think in Q4, in Q4, in the fall of this year, no

[00:03:26] Wendy: way mountain Dew with alcohol, what [00:03:30] kind of alcohol is going in?

[00:03:31] It

[00:03:32] John: it's going to be a, I believe it's a grain-based alcohol, but basically it's, you know, it's addressing the growing adult beverage segment. And, uh, so that's. A new way to drink your favorite, favorite soda. You don't need to

[00:03:45] Wendy: mix it anymore. You could just buy it premixed. Yeah. I mean, that's a really popular thing right now to get your alcohol and your caffeine in

[00:03:53] John: there together.

[00:03:54] Exactly. That's exactly it.

[00:03:55] Wendy: Huh? Well, go for mountain Dew. So we're talking about the little [00:04:00] changes, you know, like Quaker oats is adapting and mountain Dew now adding alcohol. But what I'd love to get into is the product mix across the countries, because I've heard that Americans have a very sweet tooth, whereas them in some countries, it's not as much in other countries.

[00:04:17] It's more so how, how do you modify products for.

[00:04:22] John: International. Well, I mean, every product has its own. First of all, we do deep consumer insight. That's, that's the foundation for all the [00:04:30] brands. And I think that's one of PepsiCo's really big competitive strengths is understanding consumer, um, as you would expect from a consumer product goods company.

[00:04:38] But, um, and so that leads to a lot of variation, not so much in Pepsi, as you would think. Uh, Pepsi for example, is well-suited to a lot of the emerging markets that tend to prefer a sweeter taste. Um, but that's more of a standard formula. Uh, you know, the, uh, [00:05:00] the variation you probably see more of is in the snacking side of the business.

[00:05:04] Um, you know, where we will obviously adapt, you know, the core is still a potato chip in various forms and various cuts. It could be thinner, or it could be thicker, could be like a ruffle product with waves, but say you are going to adapt it with flavors and seasonings. So for example, in China, uh, the Chinese prefer to have a hotter spicier chip in the winter to warm your body.[00:05:30]

[00:05:30] Um, and then a cooler flavors, which tend to be more fruit flavors on a potato chip, uh, in the summer to cool your body. So that's just an example. Um, another one is in Mexico where we're coming up with something called suborders to Mexico or flavors of Mexico, which are keen off different regions, for example, Wahaca in the south, uh, the flavors that are kind of dominant in that area and that have really broad national appeal.

[00:05:58] So you, you, you're [00:06:00] definitely going to see more of things like. Trying to appeal to, um, regional flavors and, uh, distinct consumer preferences across the entire portfolio, less so, and things like Gatorade that have more of a functional benefit of course, but certainly in the snacking space would be one, uh, one key, one key, one key opportunity or growth opportunity for us.

[00:06:28] Wendy: Yeah. So that's interesting. So you [00:06:30] take the potato and you modify the flavor, um, to go across the world rather than finding different things. Like if I look at some of the Indian snack foods, they've got like a puffed rice with, uh, like a chili powder on it, which I don't see here in the United States, I have to go to an Indian store to find it.

[00:06:50] Yeah.

[00:06:50] John: And they, you will find them there by the way. So that's a good, good thing to do. Um, you know, and it's, it varies against South Africa. We have. Local [00:07:00] variants. And in the UK, we had a big program around, you know, uh, popular restaurants and popular chefs. And we did that in central America. So these ideas are ricocheting around the world, but they all key on what the consumers look for, either in the cuisine or in popular chefs or in popular restaurant.

[00:07:23] Wendy: So you have, okay. So you'd really look at what are people eating? What are the chefs doing? What are the tastes that you put [00:07:30] together and you keep it regionally. Do you ever bring like the south African flavors into the United States or the UK or other countries,

[00:07:40] John: we'll see you in the UK for example, which is a big snack market for us we've we brought in the Asian flavors into that market because the consumer base in the UK, as you know, tends to be really quite interested in kind of rural flavor profiles, um, in the U S you'll see, um, [00:08:00] more of a focus on Hispanic flavors, obviously because of the large Hispanic demographic.

[00:08:04] So, you know, you're playing to your demographic and to what the market is looking for now in Canada. Um, there's a big Indian, um, you know, uh, community. Uh, and so we tend to develop, uh, we've actually adapted and brought over some of our, uh, Indian snacks into the Canadian market, more into Eastern Canada, and then in the Western Canadian market, which tends to be more [00:08:30] linked to Asia, um, more focused on, you know, Asian flavors, so everywhere you're going to see us do things differently, depending upon consumer preference and what we see as a growth opportunity.

[00:08:44] Wendy: That's really interesting. So it's not even just by country, but you're deep diving in by region as to who's getting what product

[00:08:54] John: and, and, and the future. If you think about digital, the future is personalization. So if I know that you live in [00:09:00] Boston or you, you know, you, you like, uh, Indian snacks, for example.

[00:09:05] And you've been going to Indian ethnic stores, or you follow things on Facebook that, you know, are aligned to that we could perhaps, uh, think about sending you a digital message whenever you're logging in to buy snacks or buy foods, um, a display ad that would say, you know, have you considered, you know, these Indian snacks that are available locally or online?[00:09:30]

[00:09:30] Um, so that's just an example of what could be coming. I mean, the holy grail is personalization.

[00:09:36] Wendy: Right, right. And so you've got to figure out, like, how is there a way that you could figure out that I've gone to the Indian store in Waltham and bought those snacks? Or how would you track that day?

[00:09:51] John: Uh, there's a number of ways to do it.

[00:09:52] I, I, you know, not being a digital native myself because I'm not at a generation, however, that said, I am trained [00:10:00] in Google analytics and other tools, uh, I've had the, this dinosaur is at the train himself on how to the digital generation, but essentially you begin to the path to purchase for consumers across all categories has changed, right?

[00:10:16] We you'll get on Google, you'll look for Indian snacks. And then, um, that will trigger, that could trigger an ad to be, to be shown to you by Google, which is Google, of course, is predominantly an advertising [00:10:30] company. If you look at the revenue base, so, you know, that's how you would do it. And then of course of Facebook, you might, you know, you might like Indian music or Indian culture into your food.

[00:10:41] Um, so there's all types of ways to get to know consumers. Uh, all within the bounds, of course, of, you know, national data, privacy regulations and things like that, because, you know, in the European GDPR, there's different digital rules that we follow of course, in every country. [00:11:00] So, but it's all about trying to understand your consumer, however you do it, um, and trying to address their needs.

[00:11:08] And

[00:11:09] Wendy: how, how do you do it? Is the research to understand the consumer different across countries or markets.

[00:11:17] John: You don't think the research is the methodologies I think are, are similar, right? The methodologies tend to be, you know, initially qualitative develop hypothesis, and then you validate through quantitative testing.[00:11:30]

[00:11:30] Um, but essentially the tools and techniques are, are quite similar. The art is, I mean, it's a bit of art and science, as you say. I mean, I mean the sciences you've got the tools to do it. The art is okay. How do you interpret. You know, it's kind of, what is the trend, you know? So what, what does that, what does that really mean?

[00:11:50] What does it matter? And then now what now? What do I do? So we, we tend to look at in those three steps, you know, what's going [00:12:00] on. So what, and then, you know, now what, um, and that's a useful framework for your listeners and people to follow, uh, to really get to an actionable, take an insight that you developed and then work it through your business process, to come up with a solution, to a problem, or an opportunity that a consumer is, uh, you know,

[00:12:24] Wendy: Okay.

[00:12:25] So you're a huge global company and you've got departments that are doing this. So if we're talking [00:12:30] to companies that are a little smaller and they, you know, they've got a hypothesis and they're testing and solution, and they're getting into global markets, I mean, you could do focus groups, you could look at the number of new restaurants.

[00:12:42] You could look at, you know, competitor products. So you could do, there's so many different ways to research that. How would you, how are you doing it and how are you seeing some of the smaller companies do it, or would you imagine?

[00:12:57] John: I think there's, there's, [00:13:00] there's probably a couple of different answers to that for big companies like PepsiCo, Procter and gamble, you know, multinational companies, global companies, you know, we have operations on the ground.

[00:13:10] So we have consumer insights, people who were looking at these things all the time. Of course, there are agencies that are out there. Um, a few that are very good. Include your remodel. That are global. Obviously Nielsen has a very big global footprint. Um, and so you [00:13:30] can, what we tend to do is we rely upon our teams to come up with, you know, what's right for your market.

[00:13:38] Um, now for smaller companies, small to midsize enterprises, an interesting way to do this, uh, is to look at what's what are popular search words in a category in the country. So you can get on Google and look at the other analytics platforms and seeing what are people searching for. I mean, this is actually a great way to [00:14:00] even, um, launch a new product in the country is what, what are, what are the top trending things in a category?

[00:14:07] Um, whether it's clothing, music, or whatever it might be. Uh, that's one thing I highly recommend obviously going to the country, uh, at some point I think is fundamental, uh, And, uh, and then if for a small enterprise or medium enterprise, they want to have local partners that, that probably [00:14:30] isn't that middle box.

[00:14:30] In other words, if you don't have a local local subsidiary, local operation, and maybe you have an importer distributor or somebody you're working with in that country that can help you decode insights. And typically those companies, you know, just talking to their staff will give you a deep insight. Um, and then other things can be done, like organizing focus, group panels, online, all of these things have to be done in what we call agile ways now, which is just using technology [00:15:00] like zoom, for example, or RingCentral or Microsoft teams to basically engage people in discussion in a focus group.

[00:15:09] You can have as many people as you want on a focus group. Giving you ideas and, and really, and that's probably a step that many people miss is getting that consumer insight. It takes a lot of work. And I always think of the five why's. I mean, it takes five questions on why before you get to the [00:15:30] fundamental

[00:15:32] Wendy: interest in give an example of that.

[00:15:34] Cause I think you're going with that, but let's

[00:15:36] John: have it a concrete example, but I just, I just, I use it often. I mean, maybe I'll get to, you know, why aren't they buying the product, you know? Well, they don't, maybe they don't like, um, the packet size. Well, why didn't select the packet size? Well, because they are, uh, trying to address a new occasion.

[00:15:56] That's emerged out of pandemic. Okay. What [00:16:00] occasionally trying to go dress what we're trying to address, you know, early evening, wind down with the family. Okay. Well then what are they looking for in that? So you just keep going down that path and. Not many people do that. The secret is I think, is in the questioning and listening and, you know, taking those notes and then sharing that internally across different functions and trying to understand.

[00:16:27] So, you know, [00:16:30] that's a difficult thing. It's probably, you know, I think that people who did a ethnography in college or, you know, or, you know, sociology, which is often, uh, not highly valued, I think, you know, you begin to understand, uh, societies and having people who have that sociology background or cultural ethnography or, uh, things like that, I think are incredibly.

[00:16:55] Wendy: Right. So we got a call last week, [00:17:00] um, from a research company that wants to hold focus groups and they want the client company, who's all English speaking. Be able to understand the responses from the people in a Spanish speaking country. And so we w you know, I talked to them about having interpreters on the line.

[00:17:22] So when you're doing in country focus groups, how do you handle some of the language issues?

[00:17:29] John: Well, we had [00:17:30] people there who managed that. So for example, in Brazil, the Brazilian PepsiCo, Brazil would manage that locally. So they would ask the questions. And then, you know, we typically would actually, many times we'd use agencies for that work.

[00:17:44] And of course, they're all native speakers, but that's not possible because the agencies obviously. Um, you know, it costs, cost quite a bit and they require a certain scale size business to pay for that. So doing [00:18:00] what you're talking about and having a live interpreter, I think is very valuable. Uh, uh, you know, I think the services that you offer I think are very valuable because you can't rely upon online translation tools.

[00:18:12] I mean, they just don't give the richness the color of the context. And, you know, I lived in Brazil and. And, you know, Brazilian Portuguese is different from Portuguese in Europe. I mean, in Portugal. So I mean, and you have to pick up those, those, those differences and a lot of is [00:18:30] based on history and culture and relevant to never right now.

[00:18:34] Wendy: Right, right. It's so true. Unless you've had somebody that's lived internationally or speaks two languages, they can't understand that richness. And so it's really good to hear you talking about that. So Brazil, you lived in Brazil. We can't, we can't jump over right. That we got to come back and visit that.

[00:18:53] So what were you doing?

[00:18:55] John: I was actually working for PepsiCo foods, Brazil, which is [00:19:00] basically the Frito-Lay of Brazil. And so I was managing, uh, kind of the south region of Brazil, one of the three most popular states around sell Paul low. And then south from there something got the Nina and, uh, And the Rio Grande, the Soole, which is just on the border of Argentina.

[00:19:20] And, uh, it's a very industrialized part of Brazil. Many Italians live, you know, came over to Brazil, lived in Sao Paulo. The Germans went to [00:19:30] kind of sent that, got the Nina, which is a bit further south. And then Rio Grande, the Sewell, which is on the border of Argentina. You have a, a portion you'll, you know, a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese, which I always found kind of interesting.

[00:19:43] You know, you think in your mind, does the frontier mark, when do I start speaking a new language? And you know, you start to see in some of these countries, there's a blurring of languages.

[00:19:55] Wendy: So I have never heard that before poor 10 Newell. I've heard of [00:20:00] Spanglish Horton, yellow, Portuguese, and Espanol.

[00:20:05] John: That's funny all the two together. Yeah. That takes a certain, that took me a while to start speaking, because I should say my family's from Spain originally from Barcelona. My wife is from Italy, so we tend to speak and we spend those speaking Brazilian Portuguese. So we have a mixture of three or four languages and we're always mixing words.

[00:20:26] So I can't even think of what our variation is, but it's kind [00:20:30] of

[00:20:34] with a smattering of English thrown in. So what

[00:20:37] Wendy: was your native language growing up?

[00:20:40] John: It was English, but my parents actually from Barcelona. Um, and they're so, I mean the primary language for Spanish. National language living in Spain, then they immigrated to the U S and um, when we got to the U S it was the 1960s, and my parents said, you know what, we're living here now.[00:21:00]

[00:21:00] We don't want you to speak, you know, Spanish, why you speak English. So I had to learn, ironically, I had to learn Spanish later on. Um, but I have enough of a musical ear to pick it up.

[00:21:12] Wendy: Uh, it's such a difference from people now because people are keeping their language, but back in the sixties or seventies, and before that people came in and they said, you know, we want to get rid of it.

[00:21:21] And we want, you know, we want the

[00:21:22] John: melting pot. You're right. And so with my son, um, he, his first language is. [00:21:30] So even though we were living here, of course, my wife was spending over time with him and he was, you know, his first language was tying it and then we had to get him off. That meant English. So it was quite interesting.

[00:21:42] And now he's correcting my Italian.

[00:21:45] Wendy: Love it. So you were speaking Italian with your wife at home so he could learn it.

[00:21:50] John: Uh, she was speaking to him in Italian as she was raising him and, and you know, early years. And then we'd had our grandmother, her mother visiting, and it was an [00:22:00] Italian ecosystem of food and language and music and culture.

[00:22:03] And of course, everyone loves Italy. And so he grew to love. Now tying culture. And, uh, I just make sure we divide our time between Italy and Spain. Just to keep a little bit of that Panish cut the LUN heritage. That's so important.

[00:22:19] Wendy: Right? Right. It definitely is. I see. So while she was raising him, she was speaking Italian, and then you were still speaking English or Spanish to him in the house when he was

[00:22:29] John: [00:22:30] young, Mo more English than anything else because, uh, yeah, no, I mean, I think, uh, so that was, it was, it was fun times.

[00:22:38] I mean, we traveled a lot internationally as a family. And so we did a lot together with, on those trips and I always tried to give him cultural indoctrination of wherever we went. Give him a cultural tour. Yes. It was never a sit on the beach type vacations. It was always, you know, what can we learn here on this?

[00:22:56] Wendy: Oh, I love it. That's what I did with my kids too. [00:23:00] And so they've been all over the place. Our last trip before the world shut down was to India. So,

[00:23:06] John: and you see, that's why you like Indian snacks. Now I know they have an Indian, you know, and this, and people can see that you're searching for example, on TripAdvisor for Indian hotels.

[00:23:19] So begin to see that you have an affinity for Indian cuisine perhaps, or, you know, the culture

[00:23:25] Wendy: with a friend. It was with the African Methodist Episcopal church, [00:23:30] uh, outreach people, person, people to people outreach. And I went with a friend of mine and, um, we were the only whites on the trip and my kids were the only boys and the only kids.

[00:23:43] So they, they had full cultural immersion every which way. And, and they were fine with it. I mean, we have a nice mix of. Um, people who are friends and they liked different cultures and they had a lot of aunties by the end.[00:24:00]

[00:24:00] so it was fabulous, but it was definitely a learning. I mean, um, we got to go to a Daladier or an untouchable village and we had all sorts of real life experiences. They're not, not the sit on the beach or the select version, so

[00:24:16] John: I never forget that. And that's the gift. I think we give our kids. I mean, ultimately I've, you know, I felt we were going a lot too.

[00:24:23] You know, we did a lot in Europe because of our families from there. But I had my agenda that just before COVID to start [00:24:30] pivoting towards, you know, India to Juneau, to South Africa, perhaps to go down to Latin America with him, but then COVID hit and everything. Uh, so it's, uh, that's a project yet to be completed.

[00:24:42] Wendy: Right? Right. Well, my kids have the bug, so I've, I've, I've taught them and they'll continue on, so. Okay. So you move, how old were you when you moved over here to the United States?

[00:24:55] John: I was born, I'm the only one in my family of five to be born in the U S civil. When else is [00:25:00] born? Either in south America or in Spain?

[00:25:02] My sister was born in Argentina cause my parents were living there. But, um, yeah, so I'm the only one born here and then we establish, we kept close links. I was going back every summer to Spain, you know, staying with family and friends. And

[00:25:18] Wendy: so did you ever have. I mean, so you grew up multicultural and traveling.

[00:25:24] Did you, when was the first time you remember having a culture shock? I

[00:25:29] John: don't [00:25:30] think I, you know, I've been traveling for so many years in so many places. I, you know, I guess Egypt probably was. I mean, I've, I have to probably split up between India and Egypt. I mean, Egypt of course, was a new culture in a sense.

[00:25:43] And it was, you know, it's a Muslim based society. And, uh, I think that may have even been before the revolution there. Um, but it was definitely a different type of experience also in terms of [00:26:00] geography, the desert and so forth. So that was a bit of a, of a new experience. I would say the other one was India.

[00:26:06] Um, just because of so many Indias in India, you know, and I had not really had much experience in that part of the world. I knew a bit of Latin America and pretty widely traveled across the region and then also Europe, uh, west to east, but never really India. And for that matter, China, I mean, China, again, the many China's China [00:26:30] and that carries over into language as well.

[00:26:33] And same thing in India, you know, the many dialects of India and

[00:26:38] Wendy: you get into that a little bit more when you say so many Indias in India are so many China's in China, what are you? Would it explain that more?

[00:26:47] John: Well, it's really everything from the history of, and that's something that I really, I really recommend to your audience as well.

[00:26:54] I tried to read history, a lot of the countries I'm dealing with and try to pick up a few [00:27:00] words here and there, you know, that if I can, um, to build bridges to people. And, and so as I started reading about India, I mean, you could see that India, you know, obviously, you know, the. The migration of people over the centuries and then, you know, the European colonial presence and like, so over in Goa, very unusual that in Goa you have got this Portuguese influence.

[00:27:25] I mean, who would have thought the PIP because the Portuguese were there, um, or [00:27:30] in Macau, the same thing I went to Macau a couple of years ago and I was like, wow, it feels like I'm in something like south Elizabeth and, and, you know, so, you know, that's an example of, and that's a colonial example, I would say, but within the culture themselves, I mean, within China, certainly the way you do business in Beijing or Shanghai or in Gwangju in the south.

[00:27:54] So it's all very different. It's all very different. And [00:28:00] it's, you know, you could put your finger on, on, you know, on culture, on geography history. You know, Gwangju tends to be very entrepreneurial because that's where, you know, let a thousand flowers bloom kind of emerge there. Um, and then Shanghai tends to be very, you know, business global business center and, you know, uh, and then of course, Beijing is a seat of the government.

[00:28:27] So that tends to be more, [00:28:30] uh, you know, politically focused. Um, and so everything you do has to be done with an understanding of where am I going? What's important to these people. And nowadays, before you had to do a lot of research, I called desk book research, you know, which I used to travel with 10 books and my wife would be like, why is that suitcase so big?

[00:28:51] I got 10 books in there. So nowadays you just bring your iPad. And I use audible and I listened to stuff all the time and [00:29:00] it's just, there's no reason for people in international business. To not go onto Google and search articles related to a certain topic. You know, I'm going to Shanghai, what's happening in Shanghai, you know, what's, what are the big things, the big trends and, or I'm going to, you know, to Delhi or wherever it might be.

[00:29:22] And I think, you know, obviously you have to know what's going on because of COVID, but you also have to know other factors that that could be emerging, [00:29:30] uh, that will impact your business.

[00:29:32] Wendy: Yeah, I think that's really good advice is, is just do a little research, culture, geography, and history. And it's so true because if you think about those three places in China that you talked about coming into the U S it would be the same thing.

[00:29:46] Know that DC is government and is going to be focused on that. You know, New York is the big financial center. And so it, it's not just the United States, just like, it's not just China.

[00:29:59] John: Yeah. And that's [00:30:00] exactly right. I mean, it's a FA I mean, us is a federated system. So, and obviously we see nowadays this, you know, the states all have their own distinct views.

[00:30:09] Um, but you know, that happens also in Mexico and in Brazil, Brazil is a federated system as well. Um, so you do have to take into account these differences and this just pockets of opportunity and pockets of risk. And that's probably two dimensions to look at opportunity and risk, you know, what can I do for [00:30:30] business and what risks do I have to make?

[00:30:32] And that's more important than ever.

[00:30:35] Wendy: So you have, how many countries do you think you've been

[00:30:39] John: to? You know, I never really counted, but I think it's at least, I guess that's at least 60 or 70 countries. So I still got a ways to go.

[00:30:51] Wendy: Well, last I checked, there was 198, but there's some goal of like hitting a hundred, I think it's the century club or [00:31:00] something like that.

[00:31:01] But yeah, most people have not been to 60 or 70 countries and you've been quite successful in business for a global company. And early on, you learn to get, uh, to get along across cultures, but even you had culture shock going to some places. So what are some of the tricks that you use after your research a country and when you land there, when you're dealing with people across language and culture, [00:31:30]

[00:31:30] John: You know, one of the few interesting things, number one, um, I try to prep myself, as you say, before I go, and that includes somebody even download a book on audible, listen to it in the flight.

[00:31:42] Um, then when I land on the ground, I start, I started picking up local newspapers, you know, to a certain degree, English versions of them, the south China news in Hong Kong or something like that. Every country you go to has some local English version you can read. [00:32:00] Then I think I started, I just ask people, you know, as colleagues what's going on, what's important to you.

[00:32:05] And I try to cut it by segment, you know, either by geographic or demographic, what are young people in China thinking about these days questioning, I must say is one of my strengths and that's something I highly recommend. I also think I have a very good. That's called a musical ear for languages. And so I try to understand how, how are people speaking [00:32:30] English in these countries?

[00:32:33] And that's very interesting because I begin to understand how they think that way. And also I try to mimic the words they're using. So I'm not going to use some big word if they use a smaller version of it and, and buy. And I find myself after a while, if I was listening back to my conversation, I almost sound a bit like them.

[00:32:56] So in India begin to speak English. Like they speak in India, I'll start doing the [00:33:00] same thing in China in Brazil, I'll use a can nasal, I'll start talking like them mixing in a few words. I may know. Um, I may be adopting even the mannerisms, how they move their hands and other, you know, ways of. You know, having that type of, you know, understanding that I understand what you're saying, nodding the head, or, you know, and you have to be careful because some cultures nodding the head means no, I don't agree.

[00:33:28] And other countries [00:33:30] shaking the head means, yes, I agree. So you have to be careful how you interpret the signals, but that's really important trying to, this is one simple thing, try to speak, like people are speaking. I even do that in the south. If I travel in the south and you asked wherever I go west coast, I try to begin to use words they use.

[00:33:51] And it's funny because after a while people are like, I don't know where you're from.

[00:33:57] That

[00:33:57] Wendy: is so true. It's so [00:34:00] true. And I can remember, you know, I lived internationally when I was young and so I had to learn some of these tricks, but I, I didn't realize it until you started talking about them, but I was a lifeguard down in Louisiana and one summer when my parents had moved down there, when I was in college and the kids didn't understand me, they'd look at me and they'd say, man, you know, so I started picking up all y'all stop that, you know, like the other guards, just because I got so tired of [00:34:30] being not understood.

[00:34:32] Well, it's not a mimicking, it's not a copying. It's not a making fun of, it's really just trying to

[00:34:39] John: adapting, right?

[00:34:41] Wendy: Yeah, yeah. And the questioning, um, I've heard other people saying you just stay curious,

[00:34:48] John: just so you're sick. Yeah, you have to be. And I would say hyper curious, I think that's, that's the thing.

[00:34:55] Um, and intentionally curious, in other words, I can be curious about, you [00:35:00] know, what's going on and that country, but hype, you know, intentionally curious is, you know, what are the kinds of questions I want to understand and thinking about that in advance and thinking about it through different lenses, again, geographic demographic, you know, those are probably the two big dimensions to consider in a business, but, um, you can do a psychographic, you know, there's all kinds of ways to cut, you know, consumer insights.[00:35:30]

[00:35:30] Right,

[00:35:30] Wendy: right. Yeah. That's so I liked that putting on different lenses. So you've got a lot of tricks and a lot of successes, but I'm sure you had some things that went wrong along the way. Can you share a story or two about mistakes that you had made personally, or that, you know, you saw the company make?

[00:35:51] You know,

[00:35:52] John: I think, you know, when I first went to the America, um, to Brazil, you know, we were undergoing some [00:36:00] transformation and how we distribute products and things like that. Um, typically you associate Frito-Lay with these trucks that go up and down the street, and we were looking at new ways of recall going to market.

[00:36:13] And, and so we, we, you know, I think the challenge that I faced was okay, how do we do this in a more efficient, way, more effective way? And I was thinking along the efficiency. [00:36:30] Paradigm or dimension, which tends to be a very us centric mindset. You know, what's the business process. How can we optimize this?

[00:36:36] How can we transform this? And I wasn't, I hadn't built sufficient rapport or relationship with my directs, my direct reports. And then of course, with other people below them, and there were quite a few people there. And, uh, and then my, I remember my, my boss at the time, um, pulled me aside and said, you know, it's not so much how you, what you know, or [00:37:00] how much, you know, rather it's really, when people want to know how much you care first.

[00:37:04] And so that lessons stayed with me. The rest of my career is how much do I care about the people? Tell me about your family. Tell me about, you know, yourself, let me understand a bit more. Uh, without crossing, you know, personal boundaries that people maybe don't want to go down in terms of whatever they want a little more, you know, just to show some curiosity and then, um, [00:37:30] and then trying to build a rapport along cultural dimension.

[00:37:32] So try and throw in a few words here and then making fun of yourself and so forth, and then building a bit of Rapport. And then I, them little by little, we found a way to, to bring in the efficiency of our go to market model or elevate the efficiency of it, but in a way that incorporated their local thinking, which was 10 times better than my thinking and ended up becoming a transformation.

[00:37:59] And [00:38:00] one big change was, you know, rather than having a truck, you know, have the same driver run around and sell everything from the back of a truck, we would split the, would split the system and we'd have these salesman run around on motorcycles and they would do a. And then the following day or two, the driver would come along, you know, would deliver the products.

[00:38:23] And so that was a whole different go to market system that enabled us to reach many more retail outlets, [00:38:30] um, than previously we had done with the traditional models. But, but it took us, it took me that relationship building, and that was a lesson I learned. And there's many more, I mean, I have so many, so many challenges

[00:38:45] Wendy: that was a golden nugget.

[00:38:48] I mean, that's fantastic. Um, it's not what, you know, it show that you care. Yeah.

[00:38:55] John: Yeah. That's the secret. That's really true for anywhere really, but I think [00:39:00] more so internationally because people were like, oh, you're from the U S and you think, you know it all and we don't come with that mindset, but people can.

[00:39:09] Right because we're

[00:39:10] Wendy: jumping right into business. Right. We're

[00:39:12] John: running into business and that's like, we're so used to that. The U S now get on a conference call people like what what's. Yes, so other countries, but we start to call first. How are things going? You know, what's going on with your local sports team?

[00:39:26] See, just to get a little banter going, and then we, we dive [00:39:30] into the agenda. Yes.

[00:39:31] Wendy: And that is, it's so funny. Cause that's so hard for me. I like to jump right in and get to it, but I can remember when I did my internship at Biogen between my first and second year at tuck, there was a manager that was really good.

[00:39:44] Like as people were gathering in, he got everybody involved in the conversation. He was very interested in what people had to say. The meeting just started with such a nice flavor and feeling that, you know, for years I've tried to incorporate it, but [00:40:00] I have to consciously make myself think of it.

[00:40:04] John: Absolutely.

[00:40:06] Wendy: Sorry, go ahead. Go ahead. I was going to say that was a golden nugget and you said you have more, let's hear another mistake and what you learned from it?

[00:40:15] John: Oh, I don't know. It's this there's so many different, you know, we also, we make most of our products locally, uh, as you would, uh, expect, you know, we manufacture, produce snacks [00:40:30] and beverages in a local market, um, for freshness reasons and local flavor relevance.

[00:40:35] But occasionally we have customers who ask us to import items from the U S and, uh, and so, you know, w we've exported quite a few we've exported. Stacy's pita chips, uh, which has made in your backyard. Um, you know, uh, an

[00:40:54] Wendy: exciting story, because that was an entrepreneur that built stairs

[00:40:59] John: was a woman. [00:41:00] Yeah, it was a very, it's probably, she's, she's actually a flats flagship for a woman entrepreneurship program and, you know, trying to put a woman in business, but we'd thought Stacy's would do well in Mexico without having done much consumer research.

[00:41:13] And, you know, we exported that via Sam's club to Mexico and it didn't do as well as we expected. And so those are examples of just because something is popular at home, don't assume it's going to be popular in another country. And part of it is, of course you have to, [00:41:30] you know, you can't split. Just catch, just put something on a shelf.

[00:41:33] It's not. And that's something to think about the audience to think about as well as, you know, given that most people don't have big media budgets and so forth. How do you use PR how do you use the power of social media and digital marketing to make people aware? You know, what is the pita chip? You know, what is the bagel chip?

[00:41:53] It tends to, it tends to be a very us concept, at least bagel chip, for example. Um, so I mean [00:42:00] that type of export of just assuming. That's something that's going to work in a new environment. I don't think, you know, as successful, I think you have to do the research to understand the why's and the insights

[00:42:12] Wendy: to the wives of Stacy's pita chips in Mexico.

[00:42:16] Cause I heard two things. One was the product and the other was the

[00:42:21] John: marketing. I haven't really got to the ultimate why, but one of the conclusions we got to was it, the brand just didn't have enough awareness. And [00:42:30] again, that was, that was, you know, that was something we should've done a better job on in terms of the social media or digital marketing.

[00:42:36] But I think ultimately the bite of the product might be too hard for that culture, a hard bite product potentially. Um, you know, PETA tends to be more, you know, from the middle east, you know, that kind of a thing. So it's that, you know, tortilla in Mexico is a big thing, but. You know, and, and again, then again, bagels is not a big thing in [00:43:00] Mexico, so, you know, that tends to be in New York thing.

[00:43:03] And, you know, um, so we have bagel chips. I'm not sure I would export bagel chips because people might ask what's a bagel, you know, and coming from New York, I was like, what do you mean? What's big

[00:43:18] Wendy: bagel, everything.

[00:43:19] John: Yeah, exactly. So it's, I mean, there's the things that you learn, but it's always grounded in, you got to understand the [00:43:30] consumer you got, and if you sell in retail, you got to understand your customer.

[00:43:34] In other words, the customer who's buying your product, the retailer, and you've got to understand the shopper. I mean, so if you think about it, you know, it's like a triangle or however you want to lay it out, but you got to understand, first of all, what does the consumer look for then? Secondly, you know, what is the retailer looking for?

[00:43:53] And their category strategy and so forth. And then ultimately, you know, how do I get to the consumer? What is the [00:44:00] shopper looking for? What let's say, it's a shopper mom, you know, what is mom looking for for her family? Um, and so that becomes quite interesting.

[00:44:13] Wendy: Oh yeah. It's fascinating because you're adding so many different layers and then trying to get the product to them at the time that they want it.

[00:44:22] John: Yeah. And then our supply chain is just supply chain is something that I've not naturally grown into or was born with in terms [00:44:30] of a skillset. And that's one of the things I really had to have learned in addition to digital marketing supply chain is so fundamental and I would encourage all your listeners to really understand upstream supply chain.

[00:44:44] You know, what are the inputs into your, into your products, even if you're co-packing something or co manufacturing, and then what are the downstream. Logistical challenges because just getting stuff to a store shelf across borders is quite [00:45:00] challenging, you know? So you

[00:45:02] Wendy: learned how to do it. How did you go about learning it?

[00:45:05] John: Um, through deep immersion? I mean, some of that was, you know, a lot of reading, I was tried to way I approach learning something new is I tried to get a theoretical understanding. I actually took a TUC class in supply chain. I can't remember the professor's name, but he said he, since his left, he went to Wharton.

[00:45:21] But, uh, it's on that X I, by the way, I strongly recommend, as you know, to the audience members go to ed [00:45:30] x.com, go to core set. Uh, you can learn anything, you can learn anything. And so on that extra was the supply chain course. I took that as a foundation that I started getting into, um, you know, rather than hand off to my supply chain, um, team member, I would join his call.

[00:45:51] And he'd be like, you know, you don't really have to join my calls. You're welcome to, but, you know, I said, I want to learn. And so I picked up [00:46:00] a lot about supply chain and about the need to be, you know, obviously to be in stock on the shelf. Otherwise you're going to disappoint shoppers and you're going to impact your sales, the need to have a hundred percent order fill rate.

[00:46:13] If somebody orders a hundred cases as a retailer, they want a hundred cases. And of course they want us on time at a certain time. And all these things are incredibly difficulty. You need to make sure that, you know, as you're ordering against members, if they work with [00:46:30] importers and distributors, to have to make sure that those companies have strong logistical teams.

[00:46:37] And you have to know what questions to ask and, and, and dig into that. So that's that I think is key. Yeah.

[00:46:45] Wendy: And it's interesting, you work for a large company, so it wouldn't be applicable, but, um, all the states have, uh, offices of international commerce or export supports and you can get grants to help [00:47:00] pay for it, and you can get free and pious all over the world to help set up a lot of this

[00:47:05] John: stuff.

[00:47:06] Absolutely. The states all have an interest to cruise through exports from the individual states in addition, department of commerce. Uh, so I think there's so much resource out there, but you know, it's still incumbent upon small enterprise, medium sized enterprise to know enough themselves. Right. And, uh, because ultimately it's their resources, it's their money, it's their [00:47:30] capital on the line.

[00:47:31] Right,

[00:47:32] Wendy: right. But it's a good way to go when and learn and find out what the, the options are. Just PepsiCo, have any programs to support smaller midsize businesses that want to export

[00:47:44] John: not to export, but we do have a minority, uh, business, uh, procurement program. I don't have the exact name, but if your audience members have interests, they could email me after the call, but I'm [00:48:00] definitely in that space for sure.

[00:48:02] And not only in terms of procurement, we're also, we've announced some initiatives this year about investing in to, uh, black owned enterprises, uh, especially in the food service space. Black owned Hispanic minority owned enterprises in the food service space that were hit by the pandemic, um, and trying to provide some forms of support there as well.

[00:48:29] [00:48:30] So there's all kinds and Pepsi goes is not unique in that space. I mean, there's a lot of companies that are thinking about this. And so that's something that I would encourage another angle is to consider. For example, with Walmart, Walmart has a global footprint. I know, cause I work with them and they will also help small, medium size enterprises reach their, you know, foreign store operations.

[00:48:55] They have a big retail footprint in Canada and Mexico, central [00:49:00] America, Chile, South Africa, India, and China. Those are big markets. And so, um, I don't know the formal name of the program, but if they go onto walmart.com, they could fish around, they could find the name of the program. Um, and, um, you know, that's, another avenue is to go through another business and not just retailers, but other businesses that have a global footprint that might be more into [00:49:30] export.

[00:49:30] Pepsi-Co's not as much into export because obviously we make our products at a local level, but there's other companies, you know, I'm thinking of, let's say Proctor and gamble. I mean, they make razorblades in a few places and then the export, those things, um, You know, there's different tech companies that do different things.

[00:49:50] That's

[00:49:50] Wendy: a great idea. I'll have to, I'll pass that on to some businesses that I know that are in the, the, um, you know, for the minority business [00:50:00] procurement through PepsiCo, but then also Walmart, I hadn't looked into that.

[00:50:05] John: Let's take GM, for example, you know, and people don't realize there's more cars sold in China today, I think, than the U S um, so, you know, I'm sure GM has a program to help, you know, small medium-size, you know, parts suppliers get in third global operational footprint.

[00:50:23] Um, sorry, let me, that's another angle and probably a better angle for many companies. [00:50:30] In other words, it's basically piggy-backing a global company versus trying to replicate on your own.

[00:50:37] Wendy: Yes, that's a fantastic idea. So, how about language when you're traveling around to all these other places? How are you handling language?

[00:50:50] John: Um, I typically tried to learn a little bit as I go, but a lot of people I speak to speaking English, um, you know, cause there's still a lingua [00:51:00] franca, you know, but, um, you know, I, I, I, I can get by, I mean, obviously more in Europe and Europe and Latin America. I'm fine. Right outside of that, I tend to rely more on English.

[00:51:15] The only way for me as a

[00:51:17] Wendy: business executives are speaking. Yeah.

[00:51:21] John: Yeah.

[00:51:21] Wendy: Primarily. Yeah. And then is it, do you have any globalized marketing or are you all multinational?

[00:51:29] John: [00:51:30] We have global brand teams that tend to look at like, let's say Pepsi or lays at a global, from a global perspective, but it's a federated system.

[00:51:38] I mean, because it's hard to come up with. There's no more. I mean the old day old days you'd have like Michael Jackson, global rock star and things like that. And then you'd have a campaign around Michael Jackson. Nowadays music is much more fragmented and diverse and it's rare to find it, you know, a musical talent cross all the borders.

[00:51:57] And so what you tend to see, [00:52:00] uh, what we do in PepsiCo with music, for example, and Pepsi has a long heritage of music. Cause you know, is we tend to focus on local and regional stars, particularly emerging stars. Um, and you know, that resonates with our audience, with the people you're trying to bring into, into the business.

[00:52:20] Um,

[00:52:21] Wendy: never put that together, that Pepsi, but as I think through it, there's always a song that goes with it. Yeah.

[00:52:27] John: Michael Jackson, Madonna, [00:52:30] you know, Brittany Spears, Britney. It was probably the last of the, kind of the big icon. I mean, we've had others of course at the local level national level, but certainly Michael Jackson was probably the most global iconic and really the transformation of Pepsi into a really big musical, you know, the Alliance team music and Pepsi,

[00:52:53] Wendy: so fascinating.

[00:52:55] So, and then for you to talk about having a musical as it is music kind of in the [00:53:00] culture of

[00:53:02] John: music's in the culture of Pepsi. Yeah. You know, we also have a focus on, on sports and, um, we sponsor the champions league, which as you know, is the European, um, Uh, each of the cities in Europe have their own national teams, for example, more Saloner for food and soccer.

[00:53:21] Yeah, exactly. And so the champions league is a big deal and we just announced this year, this we're sponsoring the women's champions league. [00:53:30] So we believe women's soccer will continue to grow fast and probably be as big as other women's sports. For example, you know, a woman's basketball or women's tennis, or, uh, you know, it might take a few more years, but it's going to be a very big phenomenon as well.

[00:53:49] Wendy: Right. Right. Well, it certainly got huge in the U S and there's a lot of kids playing that. Yeah. No, that's really neat. I'll have to pay more [00:54:00] attention to the, to the music connection. I never kind of put it together. Um, and how do you handle. Translation

[00:54:10] John: the, that music can mean,

[00:54:11] Wendy: or not just for that inner company communications or your website or,

[00:54:19] John: and this things tend to be managed at a local level.

[00:54:21] Of course our language internally is primarily English. Um, but you know, the website's role, you know, [00:54:30] manage locally and old. You know, when you have a global company, you have people in each country who manage these things and they, they obviously put it into the proper language, um, which is important because you, you just can't translate these words, you know, straight translation,

[00:54:48] Wendy: global brand guidelines and messaging that they have to follow, or do they all create their own in language messaging

[00:54:57] John: guard, rails around how we want lays or [00:55:00] Pepsi or other brands to be shown.

[00:55:02] But, um, There's a lot of flexibility in the system. It's a federated system and whether it's sales, marketing, you know, other things, you know, guard rails, I mean, do you mean there's no flexibility rather. I mean, when it comes to your quality control, I mean, quality control is mandated, but when you're talking about things that are more locally relevant and adapted, you know, like sales and marketing, [00:55:30] for example, that tends to have a strong, you know, local input.

[00:55:35] And by the way, it's a tension between global and local. It's always a tension between global and local. You can centralize, but you're never gonna have enough people to understand what's happening to everywhere and make the right decisions. So you really got to have this dialogue or tension point, you know, and then you've got that frontier between global local.

[00:55:56] You're trying to always optimize what that is. [00:56:00] Um, I think that's the right approach. I don't think centralizing a hundred percent is the right way. I definitely not. And I don't think at the other end, having this fragmented local approach, I don't think it's right either because you can have everyone answer a global world.

[00:56:16] Now people are traveling around the world, right. So if perhaps has music in one place that should be Pepsi music someplace else, and the artists may change, but the, you know, the overall look and feel of it might be very similar.

[00:56:29] Wendy: [00:56:30] Right? Yeah. It's interesting. Another interview that I had was with, um, Patrick Nunez from rotary international.

[00:56:35] So, you know, another big global organization and he talked about that global local connection and they were so localized that they had to bring some back global. So the, the journey they went through was very, very interesting.

[00:56:51] John: Absolutely.

[00:56:53] Wendy: Yeah. Yeah. Um, so how about getting to know you a bit better before we [00:57:00] run out of time?

[00:57:01] Um, what's your favorite foreign word?

[00:57:06] John: Okay. Oh my God. Um, it's a great question. You know, I think, um, the word Jake DeMeo J I think it's J E T I N H O in Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese. And I, when I was there, I said, you know, what does that really mean? And, you know, cause we, we were behind plan or, oh, don't worry.

[00:57:29] This is . [00:57:30] And there's a way, in other words, JTV means is a way there's a way to get this done. Isn't the agile way. It's probably a good translation. There's an agile way of making this happen that you don't really understand because you're not from our culture. Okay. I get it. And, and, you know, initially I was skeptical.

[00:57:48] What do they mean by that? And then, then I would see where we'd actually. The objective, that one that we were struggling with and they said, you see the J team, your works, you have to, you know, you have [00:58:00] to trust the process. I said, okay, I'm never going to doubt that that's a fabulous business word 18. You, I like a lot.

[00:58:10] Uh, so that's, that's what I live by, especially nowadays. Cause you gotta be so agile

[00:58:16] Wendy: and it takes a good sales person. It says, eh, yeah, I'm a quarter of the way through we're halfway through the month.

[00:58:27] John: I'll

[00:58:27] Wendy: get there.

[00:58:29] John: There's a certain [00:58:30] casualness and how they say it, but there, they really are hardworking driven and you know, they find a way we would sell up until new year's Eve. I mean, it was just working to hit objectives. Yeah. Oh,

[00:58:45] Wendy: that's good to know for hiring salespeople or growth experts and, uh, go for the hard, the T node

[00:58:52] John: crowd.

[00:58:56] Wendy: And how about your favorite vacation?

[00:58:59] John: [00:59:00] Um, yeah, that, one's probably, that's easier probably that would say that, you know, I think I have to go back to my roots. I have to say Barcelona. Um, it's a fabulous city and Spain. I love overall, but Barcelona I think is always near and dear to my heart. My, both my parents being from there.

[00:59:19] And, uh, there's a certain connection. And then even independent of there from there, the city's magnificent in terms of culture food. You've got the beach right [00:59:30] in the city itself. You've got nearby. You have two hours, three hours, you have skiing in the Pyrenees. Uh, Arguably the world's best soccer team, football club, Barcelona, great business school, you know, um, just, just fabulous people overall.

[00:59:50] And, uh, and of course, you know, you can't beat the nightlife. Dinner starts at 10. So those of you go to bed early, do not go to [01:00:00] Barcelona, let alone Madrid where it starts even later, but you know, you just adjust your clock and that's it.

[01:00:10] Wendy: What time does the

[01:00:11] John: Workday start? That starts a bit later. People are flexible.

[01:00:15] I mean, they come in around 9, 9 30, 10. I mean, there's just a, just a rolling, you know, I think this old notion of kind of the mid day ECS to break, that's kind of gone by the wayside. They become more [01:00:30] global in how they approach the day, but still the, the meal is quite. Good late, especially on the weekends, you know?

[01:00:37] Wendy: Right, right. Well, I remember being in Barcelona and there was some Plaza you could go to where locals gather at around five o'clock every day and do a

[01:00:49] John: day. Yeah, the sadhana. Yeah, absolutely nice, nice to so many unique elements to that culture. And, uh, I highly recommend [01:01:00] everybody visit there at least once.

[01:01:03] And certainly all Spain is beautiful.

[01:01:05] Wendy: Um, and then there was a bar back in Barcelona. There was the, um, architect Gowdy that was there with the,

[01:01:13] John: the familiar. Yeah. And he's he designed so many things park, grill, um, Uh, which park well originated as kind of an outdoor was meant to be a planned kind of sub community within the city itself.[01:01:30]

[01:01:30] Um, and that didn't pan out, but it turned into a beautiful park and, and, uh, they still have houses there. You can visit and

[01:01:37] Wendy: houses and apartment buildings. I mean, it's really creative, neat work,

[01:01:43] John: very inspirational, and even sounded familiar how we did the church and how we incorporated plant plants, structure plants from nature into his design thinking, which really was really quite brilliant.

[01:01:56] I mean, you're talking about 1920s, [01:02:00] 1910s and twenties. I mean, uh, and it's still not finished.

[01:02:04] Wendy: I was going to ask, well, I was there years ago and I didn't think it was finished

[01:02:08] John: yet. No, it's the left finished just this long-term project tonight. You know, they have this spirit of, you know, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was the Gretta's familiar.

[01:02:16] So.

[01:02:18] Wendy: Well, it's spectacular now it's definitely worth a visit to, um, and how about, what are your most crazy cross-cultural experiences? You know, at [01:02:30] work?

[01:02:31] John: It was funny, cause in Brazil, one time I remember, uh, I went to my psychology, invited us for dinner and he said, well, I said, great, what time? He said eight o'clock.

[01:02:42] I said, fine. I go to the house at eight o'clock, eight, 10 be fashionably late. And I ring the doorbell and my colleague comes to the door. He's like this robe. I was like, I mean, am I too early? He said, well, yeah, None, not people start arriving 9, [01:03:00] 9 30 in Brazil. I said, okay. I thought being 10 minutes late was fashionable.

[01:03:08] And he was like, no, in Brazil, it's it's like an hour can not be. So my wife and I had to get onto the corner, we got the beer and then we came 30. And, uh, that was funny. It was funny

[01:03:23] Wendy: because you hear about time is fluid. So yeah, an hour and

[01:03:26] John: a half late time is fluid and that's less [01:03:30] so in like daily business calls, but now you have to allow five or 10 minutes, you know, people, things run over and, you know, whenever I go on a us call, it's like people were there two minutes before and right at the hour, The kickoff goes that just does not happen in our global zoom calls.

[01:03:48] Sending mean, people will come in five, 10 minutes late. So the first five, 10 minutes is kind of chit-chat. And then once you get to, uh, you know, to a target group size, then you tick off. But, you know, [01:04:00] uh, it's always a, um, building

[01:04:02] Wendy: reports that time to do

[01:04:04] John: that. All right.

[01:04:06] Wendy: And how about any final recommendations you might have for people that are exporting if they want to, to

[01:04:13] John: grow?

[01:04:15] I, you know, I think, um, Google, I think is probably the number one thing. I mean, I would certainly begin to look at, you know, doing research, whatever industry you're in, Google, [01:04:30] whatever your brand or your product or your category, and then put the country name in and see what comes up. It's like the most unbelievably efficient way to do research on anything.

[01:04:40] Um, and. And then, um, and then you can follow up from there. You're going to see links. That's another good thing. Once you go into the articles, you're going to see back links and you're going to begin to explore and then do research that way. Um, you know, then, uh, you know, look at the department of commerce [01:05:00] has maintains, you know, qualified importers and distributors and their databases.

[01:05:05] I'm sure the states have this as well. And you know, each state has a different industry footprint, so they might know more even than the department of commerce in certain. Uh, for example, in South Carolina is a big, you know, furniture state, you know, or Michigan's a big car state or whatever it might be.

[01:05:24] So the state export teams might know more. Um, [01:05:30] and then having a conversation with those people, reaching out to those importers, uh, going on government trade fairs obviously is a big way to do things. Um, But, you know, you have to think, you know, it was what seven plus billion people on the world. And the U S is only what 330 or something, million people.

[01:05:51] So, I mean, we're not even 10% of the population and certainly we have a big economic footprint, but if you're thinking [01:06:00] about the long-term nature of your business, I mean, so many companies, including PepsiCo, you would think PepsiCo has been around for what, 50, 60 years now. I mean, as a PepsiCo company, uh, but we still have tremendous growth opportunities and, and lays and Quaker and Gatorade.

[01:06:17] I mean, that can go on forever. And so if we have opportunities, I mean, just think about, you know, a small midsize enterprise and I would also ties and focus on, you know, [01:06:30] one or two geographies at a time.

[01:06:32] Wendy: Yes. That's excellent advice. Like, don't go too wild and try to capture the whole world. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and where can people,

[01:06:43] John: um, they can reach me at, uh, John J O H N dot Jovi, J O V e@pepsico.com.

[01:06:53] And you can also find me on LinkedIn, I think under the same, John under LinkedIn. It's actually John [01:07:00] Charles Jovi. I use LinkedIn quite a bit. I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. Oh, good.

[01:07:05] Wendy: Oh, good. Okay. So John John

[01:07:09] John: Charles Jovi at, at LinkedIn? Yeah.

[01:07:13] Wendy: J O V E. Yeah. All right. Well, thank you so much. It's been such a joy having you here.

[01:07:19] John: Thank you, Wendy. I really appreciate it. And I just, I want to also just recognize your great book that you wrote. I think it was really an outstanding contribution to global marketing and [01:07:30] sales and very innovative in how you thought about, and I think the things you're doing. Are more relevant than ever in a digital world.

[01:07:40] And, you know, it's it's and people have to be very attentive to how they communicate on digital. Um, so anyway, that's, that was a great contribution to, uh, us exports U S global. Ah,

[01:07:58] Wendy: thank you so much. [01:08:00] Yeah, I appreciate you mentioning it. You know, fair. Everybody's interested. It's called the language of global marketing.

[01:08:06] You can find it on Amazon. There is an ebook, a hard copy and a, um, audio that we're just releasing this month. So it's

[01:08:15] John: there now

[01:08:20] Wendy: and listen to it while you're walking. I it's recorded in my voice down in a wine cellar that I used for storage and I had a audio technician [01:08:30] come in and coach me how to do it. So I had a fun, I had fun doing

[01:08:33] John: it so well, thank you again. Thank you. All

[01:08:41] right.

[01:08:41] Wendy: Well, thank you. And thank you listeners for tuning into the global marketing show.

[01:08:46] Um, I hope that you share this episode with at least one person who does some global marketing, cause there's a ton of good information in here. Uh, and if you have any questions or ever want to talk global marketing, [01:09:00] certainly feel free to reach out to me. Either one of us, you can find on LinkedIn. We're both very active on there.

[01:09:06] John Charles and, uh, Wendy Pease. Um, he's at PepsiCo and I'm at Rapport International. So. Tune back in, we release an episode every week. Thank you. That's a wrap for this session. A big thanks to you for listening to the global marketing show. Hope you had just as much fun as I did. [01:09:30] New sessions launch weekly on all places you find podcast, apple, Spotify, Google play.

[01:09:35] And of course on our website, if you know someone interested in this topic, please tell them about us. Oh, well for now.

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