Building a brand is always a challenging and time-consuming process, but building a brand internationally is even more demanding and difficult. You can probably think of dozens of extremely popular brands in your hometown or country, but how many of them are recognizable worldwide? Our guess is: None.
Branding globally requires a whole lot of strategic planning and a totally different way of thinking. You need to follow the state of the art trends in this field and make use of digital communication channels to win over the audiences on different continents.
But don’t let that scare you because we prepared a brief guide on how to build a brand without borders using nine global branding strategies. Let’s take a look!
The Benefits of Going Global
Building a globally-recognized brand is by no means easy, but it comes with a broad scope of practical benefits. Here are the main reasons why it’s worth a shot:
- Global branding reduces marketing costs.
- It allows you to expand the reach and maximize the market potential of the brand.
- Brands without borders are rock-solid because the whole world gets to know them.
- Global branding helps companies to cover possible losses on domestic markets.
- Last but not least, global branding helps businesses to grow revenue long-term.
9 Ways to Build a Global Brand
It’s easy to figure out the advantages of building a brand without borders, but is there a way to put ideas into action and do it with your business? There is no secret formula that solves this issue universally, but we can recommend you a few basic rules of global branding. Here are the nine most useful solutions:
#1. Research local markets
Although you want to build a brand internationally, it doesn’t mean you can start the process without researching local markets. You need to know everything about a given country because its culture and habits may be in collision with your branding strategy.
Take the meaning of colors for example. In western civilizations, black symbolizes sorrow and death, but in China it is associated with prosperity, good vibrations, and positive energy. You must know this sort of details before launching a global brand awareness strategy.
#2. Branding consistency
Do you know that consistent branding increases revenues by up to 23%? The same goes for local and international branding, so you better make sure you keep your strategy aligned on all levels of the business hierarchy and in all countries where your business is active.
For instance, McDonald’s grew into one of the most powerful corporations worldwide because they perfectly coordinate branding all over the globe. They make everything look similar and connected, from brand visuals to food, which is why almost anyone in the world can recognize McDonald’s instantly.
#3. Create customizable campaigns
International branding should follow one simple rule: Think globally, act locally. What does it mean?
It means that your marketing team should think on a grand scale and come up with a universal branding campaign for all countries, but they have to leave enough room for customization. Instead of making fixed brand visuals, you better create customizable templates that can be tailored to fit the needs of each market individually.
Consider your product packaging, as well. Colors and images can mean different things across cultures, Green, which represents nature, life, and the environment in many countries, is associated with infidelity in China and can represent corruption in North Africa. Thus, customizing your packaging is a must to appeal to the local market and avoid stepping on cultural landmines.
#4. Hire locally
You probably have a team of branding experts who know what you want and know how to implement your ideas, but they can hardly visit every market to control the branding process locally. Hiring local consultants is a much better option both financially and technically.
First of all, local experts often don’t charge as much as domestic employees because they consider it as a privilege to work for international brands. Secondly, they perfectly understand local conditions, culture, and regulations, so it’s easier to realize the project without side effects.
#5. Analyze competitors
Competitor research is another important segment of the global branding strategy because you need to understand who you are dealing with abroad. Choose a few brands that really make a big impact internationally and try to spot their pros and cons.
What are they doing well? Can you notice shortcomings in their branding strategies and what are the comparative advantages of your brand? Such details will help you to position your brand and grab that much-needed part of the market share.
#6. Communicate globally
Social networks have almost four billion users, thus giving you the chance to communicate with half of the global population. You must seize the opportunity to build relationships with your customers, so make sure to do it by creating social accounts for each country separately. Of course, you must coordinate their activities whenever possible in order to boost the position of the brand internationally.
#7. Beware of translation
The history of global branding is full of examples that prove how translations that went wrong can jeopardize the reputation of a brand. A good but unfortunate example comes from Colgate – they launched toothpaste in France named “Cue” without realizing that it is also the name of a French pornographic magazine.
Similar blunders happened to many other companies, including Coca Cola, Ford, IKEA, and KFC. This is why you have to be very careful and hire only top-level translators for your campaigns.
#8. Think about the growing markets
Another important advice is not to neglect the growing markets. Think about it for a moment and you’ll probably realize that some countries are very promising for future investments. Be ready to implement your branding strategy in those markets as well because it could earn you massive ROI. For example, Google pretty much neglected Chinese market and that is how Baidu became the most popular search engine in the most populated country in the world.
#9. Use tools to support the branding
The last suggestion is to use automation tools to boost your branding aspirations. From marketing over social media to customer service, there are all sorts of platforms and apps that you can use to automate operations and ensure flawless execution in multiple countries simultaneously.
Global branding is similar to local brand building, but it does come with a few perks that every marketer has to understand and pay attention to.
Have you ever thought about growing your brand on a global scale? Do you have other valuable ideas to share with our readers? Make sure to let us know in the comments so we can discuss it with you!
About the Author!
Sandra Dufrene is a freelance writer and an editor at TopDissertations.org. She has a keen interest in photography and dedicates all her free time to it. Sandra has extensive knowledge in different fields such as marketing, education, and blogging. You can contact her on Twitter.