Go international: Branding adaptations required when you cross the borders
Global branding refers to the management of brands in different regions of the world, aiming to improve their strength and visibility in the markets where they operate. This strategy can also be called global branding or international branding. Global branding entails planning how the brand wants to be recognized on a global scale, and how to position in each market to generate this perception. Through global marketing strategies, this idea can be transformed into an impact on consumer contact points. Branding is already a challenge in the local market. It is difficult to get your space in the minds of consumers in your own city or country, let your brand be recognized and remembered, imagine, and then do it in several different places, each place has its culture, Requirements, rules, and organizational logic. It was globalization that began in the 1980s that allowed brands to cross national borders. Until then, only giants could do this, but reduced transportation costs and a new way of communication, look at the Internet! improved integration between countries and made it easier for brands of all sizes to expand. Although globalization has affected local culture. There is no regulation of local customs, culture, and rules, so the brand is facing the challenge of entering different regional markets without ignoring its particularity. It is not enough to just transport your products to another country. It is necessary to create positive awareness of the brand and present its value proposition to the target market. Now let’s see few branding adaptations required when you go international.
Cultural differences affect brands: Cultural differences are indeed an important factor affecting the success or failure of a brand. As brands enter different cultures, they must be cautious about the standardization-personalization continuum. In this process, they should not only manage to retain their inherent brand identity, which is the real reason why they are accepted by the market, but they also adopt Element brands (images, advertisements, channels, and others) to attract local tastes and customer preferences.
Weaving brands in cultural fibers: The increasing popularity of the Internet provides brands with a very powerful tool to attract customers and bring brands closer to local culture, and provide them with a platform to interact with brands based on customer conditions. Creating online discussion groups and online brand communities is a solid step towards co-creating brand equity with customers. By integrating the essence of the brand into the social structure, brands can use cultural differences to their advantage.
Understand consumption patterns: Individualist and collectivist culture are often the two ends of a continuum. The culture of individualism helps customers make consumer decisions based on personal choices on a personal level. On the other hand, the collectivist culture supports customers in making consumption decisions at the group level (family, extended family, network of friends, and even the community). These differences are the key to many brand strategies when entering new markets.
Understanding different markets: One of the main resources for strategic planning is market research. In the case of global brand promotion, this research must be conducted in each location to determine its particularity and determine how to position the brand in different regions, each region has its own mode of operation. In the same field, the competition in South Africa is different from the competition in Italy.
Maintain a strong and consistent brand identity. In the search for consistency, it is important to strengthen your brand value, mission, and vision. These are the basic elements that support the brand identity, the pillars of the brand. The founding elements of the brand are not negotiable: they need to be very stable and strengthened in each local team so as not to be modified in different areas of action. In the US, India, or Spain, the brand must be the same, but having a consistent brand does not mean that the identity and marketing strategy cannot be changed according to the culture of each location. For example, if you try McDonald's burgers in other countries. You may feel different tastes, this is because certain ingredients such as veggies or sauces differ depending on the regional ingredients and local flavors.
Globalization and market consolidation offer brands many advantages in light of specific challenges, as well as untapped market potential, growing customer base, and outreach, and associated cultural differences and consumption patterns. Be culturally sensitive and adapt accordingly. Cultural differences can move from challenges to opportunities as brands learn from industry best practices and implement brand strategies to better reflect consumer preferences.