A small business does not need to stay small forever. In actual fact, you may already be considering ways in which you are able to help your business grow into a global brand. In other words, one with a reputation for excellence and a customer base to match.
However, upscaling a business so that it competes on the global stage is not an easy feat. While you could experience a certain amount of growth by using organic techniques, such as word of mouth, expect to put in significant effort in order to take your company to the world.
In starting a new small business or seeking to increase growth in your current small business by expanding into international markets, establishing and growing a brand identity becomes vital.
What Does Branding Involve?
Branding involves what individuals think about your business as well as your products. Think about a brand as a reputation. Establishing a reputation in any new market, including an international one, involves a first impression, which comes from the initial interactions that someone has with your organisation, products and services.
Businesses are able to attempt to shape or form the branding of their organisation or products in many ways. These include advertising, media, word-of-mouth as well as contact with your products or services.
Much thought and effort goes into branding. This includes:
- Naming products,
- Designing logos, as well as
- Ensuring that service is uniform in the entire business.
Through continuous exposure over time, your brand – or your reputation – is formed with potential as well as existing customers. A brand is ultimately a short cut. It is a way for a customer to get an instant recognition about what the promise is of a product or service and how that will benefit them.
The Need To Adapt To Global Markets
Often, international brands require adaptation in order to meet the needs as well as preferences of the host country. For example, you may need to adapt the power or plug configuration as different countries use different electrical currents or have different plug requirement. Sometimes, consumers like different things such as Americans like their rice light and fluffy, while Japanese like it sticky.
We call this product adaptation.
Your message might also need a switch-up. A brand name might have negative connotations in a country, such as the old Chevy automobile called a Nova, meaning no go in Spanish. Or the advertising uses colours ineffectively, for instance, brides wear red in much of Asia rather than white. Even small, almost invisible elements of your images might tell buyers the product isn’t for them.
In addition, you must often change up your messaging in order to highlight the specific benefits desired in a particular country. Or elements of your messaging may violate local regulations. We call this advertising adaptation.
Sometimes, you must adapt both aspects to build a global brand.
Before you can get your global brand up and running you need to make sure that it is solid in your local country. Study our Brand Management Course and learn the fundamentals of branding. Follow this link to learn more.
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