Many experts say that branding is a local process, first and foremost. The process goes this way: You establish your business, then work diligently to identify your target niche, study their habits and understand their priorities, and finally set a brand that fits well with your target audience.
But in this day and age, the whole world is a good operational playground, so why ignore it and focus only on the domestic market?
We think you can – and should – go global, devising a marketing strategy and an operational blueprint that adapt well to international conditions.
To help you in your enterprise, read our top 10 global marketing tips for establishing your brand on a global level.
#1. Seek National Partners
Seek local partners in countries where you want to establish yourself. Don’t hesitate to make a generous offer to the domestic partners, even if it means you giving them some equity.
That way, you bypass all the traditional process – which can be costly – of doing market research, filling paperwork and establishing yourself.
Save time and money, and go with a local partner that has already established itself in the competitive landscape.
#2. Seek Global Business Allies
Seeking global business allies is another way of boosting your chances of global branding. Ask multinationals in your sector or a related sector if you can sign an exclusivity partnership with them. Remember, you don’t pose a real operational threat to them, so they might be more than likely to consider your proposal.
Alternatively, you can seek a partnership with a multinational that is based in your foreign country of interest, in which you render services for the company in your home country, and the multinational reciprocates on its home turf.
#3. Have a Global Vision
An effective, global branding blueprint is based on a global vision – plain and simple. If you don’t think global and don’t envision your company and brand as global, chances are you will not succeed in your global expansion.
So adopt from the get-go an international perspective in everything you do, from the products and services you sell, to how you run your company.
#4. Hire a Multicultural Team
Your personnel should reflect the global approach you want to take, operationally speaking. You cannot build a truly performing global brand without multicultural diversity. Impossible!
At the end of the day, certain things, some promotional techniques, some product choices are better decided by someone who lived or lives in your foreign country of interest, or someone who clearly understands local social dynamics because of biological heritage or academic research.
#5. Produce for a Global Market
Make sure your products and services are meant for a global audience, or fit well within the legal and cultural requirements of the foreign countries you are interested in.
For example, if you are exporting meat, you should know that pork consumption is unauthorized in Muslim countries, among others.
Whatever you want to sell, ensure that it passes socio-cultural muster – something that should not be difficult to do if you have a local partner or hire someone well attuned with the intricacies of the local culture.
#6. Ramp Up Your Public Relations
Want to go global? Time to ramp up your public relations then!
An effective PR outline must identify whom you want to reach, where they live and shop, what their priorities are, and what competing products and services they currently buy. If your budget allows, we suggest you enlist the help of a local PR agency.
Otherwise, resort to cheap yet effective promotion techniques, such as word of mouth, email marketing and social media.
#7. Embrace Social Media
Social media marketing is your ally in your quest for global brand recognition. Use the various networks to your advantage, making sure you build your pages effectively and grow your fan base over time.
Experts say businesses with a global approach are better off using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, as well as whichever channel is prominent in your foreign country of interest, in terms of social media and online promotion.
#8. Beef Up International Networking
Parallel to your social media strategy, expand your international network. Here we are talking about real connections, not virtual fans or followers who may or may not become actual customers.
Register on international e-commerce sites, like eBay and Alibaba, and connect with local business partners. Similarly, cultivate the company of business people through local chambers of commerce.
#9. Translate Your Website Content in Multiple Languages
While mulling over your global expansion tactics, consider translating your website from English into the language of your foreign country of interest. That way, you can begin to attract local prospects to your website, way before you even set operational foot in the country.
Having your web content also in the local jargon sends a clear message to your target audience and competitors alike: You are serious about their market, and will do all it takes to communicate with them effectively and provide products and services that satisfy their needs.
#10. Produce Promotional Material in Several Languages
In the Internet’s era, a brilliant way to make your business brand global is to produce viral content.
Well, virality does not happen that easily, so let’s suggest you produce catchy or funny material you can then post on your website or YouTube. It is even better if you produce the content in a local language, with English subtext.
For a business, going global has many advantages, from increased recognition to higher revenues.
However, a successful branding expansion takes time and resources, and you need to make sure you understand the local market before considering global branding.
Also, don’t underestimate the importance of domestic partners or other business allies.
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