Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to Build an International Brand

The Coca-Cola logo is an example of a widely-r...
Lately I've been reading articles on how to build international brands. While it's not that easy to transform a syrup into a global brand, there are some steps that should be taken. Smaller firms can benefit from them too.

Begin at the Beginning
First things first, everyone should get it right from the beginning. Global-always-on companies are now the standard and even local brands, sooner or later, should jump into the unknown and embrace the world as a market. If the branding strategy is heading into the right direction since its infancy, time won't be lost afterward trying to re-position the image. Brand is an intangible asset that allows you to ask for a premium on your products and at the end you'll have a good return on your investment.

What Should you do Then?
There are a lot of excellent tips in Inc's article, however I dare to summarize all of them in two words: respect and knowledge. Respect local habits, styles and preferences. You won't be successful in front of a diverse audience if you consider them similar to you. Cultural sensitivity is at the heart of your branding campaign. Know the foreign market, embrace their universe and understand what makes people proud to be citizens of that country. Rely on someone who as a direct knowledge of that market. It could be a local company or a global partner with local specialization.

Success is Never Granted
It's not a given that you'll be successful in front of a foreign audience and there's no recipe that guarantees that. Your brand is a hope. You're making a promise that people are buying into and you need to deliver whatever that product or service is.You need to ensure that your customers' experiences with your product, your business, and your staff are positive and your brand will be enriched. Delude your customers and your promise will vanish.

Will you be successful? Time will tell.
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