Creating International Success for your Brand
In the marketplace of 2018, where the setting up an online retail business is easier and more accessible than ever, there’s no excuse for not chasing international success. Even for the smallest businesses, it’s vital to make yourself globally available to ensure you aren’t over-reliant on one market. If demand where you are based suddenly moves on, you can rely on customers across the world to keep your business solvent while you seek to recapture your home market.
Of course, you can’t just snap your fingers and create an internationally appealing brand! It’s a challenge and a challenge that will look very different depending on your industry, the size of your business, and your own availability to travel. If your brand is founded in any way on your personality – for example if you’re selling art that you create or curate – your ability to travel and actually meet people at conventions, trade shows and less formal meet ups around the world will boost your brand immeasurable.
If your business is less personal, for example if you’re a B2B stationery supplier, it’s less important for you to court a mass market personally, but you still hurdles to mount. Using an international market research firm to prepare for your global launch is vital for success.
You need data to know how best to appeal in each market where you’re making yourself available – providing translations of your storefront, and coming up with an international shipping solution and rates is only the start. You need to tune your brand to appeal to markets in specific countries that you’re targeting, or put the time into developing a global brand that universally communicates your values. Even if you’re already a huge multinational company, lack if preparation could lead to a huge misstep, as in the case of these companies, who marketing slogans got lost in translation. While it may be an urban legend that a famous Pepsi slogan was mistranslated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead” in China, it’s still well worth your time to ‘culture check’ your branding, slogans and web copy before you simply translate them and try to break a new market. Even if the meaning remains intact, the sentiment may simply not be as persuasive abroad.
The most important thing you can do for global success is not just translate, but transliterate: find the concepts that make your brand seem as attractive and vital abroad as they do at home.