8 Tips To Keep In Mind When Your Brand Goes Global
If you're here, chances are your company is preparing to expand its operational market to include the entire world or that you're looking to start from the ground up. Your company could reach people from many different countries and cultures without market barriers.
However, there is much more to global expansion than merely translating your product and launching it in a new country. Are you confident that your brand will be recognized and trusted by your new audience?
A little preparation and strategic planning of your global branding will help you considerably boost your chances of establishing a solid footing and building a successful company in any new market. Below are eight tips to keep in mind when your brand goes global.
1. Set your brand guidelines
Brand guidelines refer to a set of rules and standards that describe how your marketing materials should display your company's brand to the public. By maintaining consistency in companies’ global branding, brand guidelines help reinforce their identity, mission, and values.
It is up to a company's brand guidelines to decide how its visual identity should be composed, designed, and presented. They determine the content of a logo, blog, site, and ads, and even help with other collaterals like business cards and marketing materials. Therefore, it's critical to have a clear brand guideline that is easy to understand by all parties involved in spreading the word about your brand internationally.
It is essential to adhere to your brand rules at all times rigorously to distinguish yourself from your competition and remain relevant to your customers. Brand rules are guidelines for designing your website, advertising your business, and talking about your business on social media.
Let's consider Spotify. You recognize the Spotify logo anywhere it appears – on your iPhone, on your laptop, and even on a giant LED billboard in Times Square. You can also identify Spotify because of the unique shade of green it uses in its logo and other branding assets:
Spotify's color scheme consists of three color codes, white, green, and black. On the other hand, their global branding standards strongly emphasize logo variation and album artwork. Using the style guide, you can obtain an icon version of its logo, making it simpler to represent the business.
2. Focus on your company values
When launching a worldwide brand, it is essential to establish core company values that guide every part of the expansion. At their core, your corporate values are the beliefs, ideas, and concepts that guide your firm's operation.
When you have a defined set of corporate principles, it's easier to keep everyone on the same page, even when you expand into new markets. The company's principles serve as a foundation for its mission and form its culture.
For more than half of the CEOs and CFOs surveyed, corporate culture affects everything from productivity and innovation to profitability and the company’s overall worth.
Take a look at Google, for example. Google is a household name around the world. Google's corporate principles are top-notch for a company of its stature. Developed when Google was just a few years old, it has ten ideals representing its core beliefs.
There is a separate paragraph that goes into great detail for each one. Aside from this, Google says that it regularly reviews its values to make sure they remain aligned with the firm's broader objectives and mission.
Your company needs to have a set of core principles that guide the direction of your business. They have a direct impact on the quality of the service you provide to your consumers, business partners, and shareholders. The bottom line is that your core values influence every element of your organization, from product development to sales and marketing to customer service.
3. Create an Approval Process
Before going global, companies should have a well-established approval process in place. Create a bespoke approval process for your firm by copying an existing process and preserving it for your organization. With this method, employees may submit their work more readily, and the company's leadership can maintain a consistent image throughout all marketing efforts.
Having a well-structured and transparent process for content approval is essential. You can protect your brand's reputation and sleep well at night knowing that approval flows govern your global content generation and that no one will post a piece without the consent of the appropriate individuals.
Increased engagement with your target audience is a natural byproduct of streamlining content approvals because you can be confident that your teams are publishing only compelling content.
4. Have a unified marketing approach
Finding the right strategy for each market to gain recognition as a single global brand is not a walk in the park. Fortunately, a unified marketing approach is now within reach with today’s internet technology. The goal of a unified marketing strategy is to make sure that your customers receive consistent messaging about your company and brand across all channels.
The strategy highlights the advantages of employing continuous creative concepts across all marketing activities throughout the company. The combination of traditional and digital marketing allows you to optimize profits and decrease losses while also ensuring proper communication of the right message to the target audience.
You need to employ a multi-channel approach for your unified marketing strategy for the best results. In this method, a product or service’s value is effectively conveyed by leveraging specific marketing channels' unique capabilities. Email marketing, for instance, is perfect for engaging customers. Just make sure you verify email addresses before you send your emails. Meanwhile, social media is an excellent platform for promoting new offers and products. Using a multi-channel marketing approach, you can combine many distribution and promotional efforts into a single, coherent campaign to acquire new clients.
Smooth customer experiences have become even more critical in today’s highly competitive industry. A multi-channel approach to customer service is essential to building a global brand.
With the use of a multichannel contact center, for example, you can engage with your customers through the communication channels of their choice. That’s a guaranteed technique that will not only put you one step ahead of your competitors now but will also keep you one step ahead of them in the long run.
5. Make it relevant for the new customer base
It's no coincidence that the most successful brands are also the ones with the most scalability. As a business owner, it's essential to know what your customers want and how they perceive your brand. No matter how much time and effort you put into developing a fantastic idea and making it a reality, your success ultimately depends on how well you can attract and keep customers.
It is essential to analyze customer profitability and maximize customers’ lifetime value. It is essential to have continual contact with both potential and existing customers. The more value your brand can provide, the more probable they will remain loyal to your brand.
Apple, for example, has remained relevant not because it continues to do the same thing year after year but because it is open to trying new things. From product improvements to the way, it communicates with its customers. They are constantly evolving by keeping an eye on the market and anticipating what their clients may want in the future.
It maintains its position as perhaps the most relevant technology brand by planning several years ahead of time and anticipating what people will desire in the future. It creates a memorable brand experience through its engaging store locations, excellent packaging design, and unwaveringly on-trend marketing.
Therefore, your brands need to keep up with the times. The goal is to understand what the consumers want and determine ways to approach them creatively.
6. Know the cultural differences
“Today, whether we work in Düsseldorf or Dubai, Brasília or Beijing, New York or New Delhi, we are all part of a global network (real or virtual, physical or electronic) where success requires navigating through wildly different cultural realities. Unless we know how to decode other cultures and avoid easy-to-fall-into cultural traps, we are easy prey to misunderstanding, needless conflict, and ultimate failure.”
― Erin Meyer, The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business
Any brand wishing to expand into the global marketplace must be aware of the distinctions between cultural business norms and how these differences can affect their efforts. In today's global economy, culture plays an important role. That puts a brand's global success at risk if it fails to take advantage of the opportunities presented by cultural variations between local and foreign markets.
Cultural considerations must be taken into account by companies who plan to sell their products in foreign countries. Global branding requires the capacity to do business efficiently while also being aware of the distinctive differences that bind intercultural dialogue.
Translations of brands into different languages and cultures can cause miscommunications. Without taking adequate safeguards, a brand runs the danger of making a mistake that could result in the company losing its reputation.
When KFC moved into China in the 1980s, it faced this problem. The phrase “eat your fingers off” was used in place of the original “finger-lickin’ good.” While KFC was later able to recover from its error, its tagline did not convey the correct message.
Cultural awareness and comprehension can help you avoid misunderstandings with international colleagues and clients and flourish in a globalized corporate environment.
7. Build a robust internal communication system
Internal communication is critical to the success of any firm, particularly in times of worldwide expansion. It's essential for employees to feel that they can interact readily with their coworkers and higher management to boost output and improve the bottom line. To that end, it helps to keep the entire organization on the same page.
Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization than disengaged workers. Therefore, you must have a mechanism to keep everyone in the organization informed of changes to the firm's branding rules, updates on new products, and much more.
Internal communications contribute to the overall strength of your company's brand by encouraging your staff to embrace your organization's ideals. In the long run, this results in improved client retention rates, more good customer relations, customer loyalty, and more profit.
Internal communication plans should include information on communication goals, target audiences, and channels that your global team can use to accomplish those goals, amongst other things. More so, they should be monitored to ensure that they are effective.
It's easy for corporate communication to get out of hand when dealing with large global brands. That is why Netflix's best practices for internal communications revolve around keeping things simple. The majority of board member-to-management correspondence takes the form of brief online memoranda. As a result, quick-fire questions can be posed, answered, and saved for future reference.
8. Create a consistent brand culture
In today's global market, where more and more organizations are looking to build a name for themselves, it has never been more important to know how to keep your brand consistent. Brand consistency refers to the pattern of expression that influences how people perceive your organization. The essence of a global branding strategy is to strike a balance between consistency and flexibility.
Your company's entire worth can be increased by maintaining a consistent brand, which reinforces your position in the marketplace, attracts higher-quality customers, and raises the overall value of your products and services. In addition, it serves as a rallying point for internal support and aids employees in better comprehending their place in the company. The opposite is true when behavior is erratic and inconsistent, which quickly leads to uncertainty and mistrust.
One of the world's most prominent banks, Wells Fargo, maintains an old-school approach to its marketing.
The brand is dedicated to its fundamental principles, including ethics and putting consumers’ needs first. They communicate this consistency through colors, fonts, and layout and by keeping its logo visible across all media. “Together, we'll go far,” the company slogan, generates content that focuses on family and the importance of fostering relationships.
Consistency in branding helps a business establish and retain reputation and trustworthiness. You must position your brand and its content in a way that resonates with your target audience, and that message is carried out over time. In the end, your consumers are putting their faith in you. That’s why you want the foundation of that relationship to be solid and consistent, as well.
Developing a global brand is a huge undertaking that requires time and effort. Companies rarely succeed in getting their placement exactly right on their first attempt. So, take things one step at a time.
Thanks to digital platforms and social media growth, brands can now reach a far larger global audience. Make sure that you have covered all the information from every possible viewpoint. Your efforts will be rewarded tenfold.
Additionally, learn as much as you can from your customers' input and make continual adjustments to your products and marketing to keep up with the times. Your position in the market is not fixed but rather constantly changing and adapting.
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