So, you've decided to take your brand global—congratulations! Before you begin, consider the following question: Should you manage a global account or pursue a localization strategy?
The answer is likely a bit of both.
The Appeal of Global Branding
“As more and more companies come to view the entire world as their market, brand builders look with envy upon those that appear to have created global brands—brands whose positioning, advertising strategy, personality, look, and feel are in most respects the same from one country to another. It’s easy to understand why.”David Aaker and Erich Joachimsthaler, Harvard Business Review
Global branding is desirable but difficult to achieve. With some logistical and emotional considerations in mind, you may be able to pull off a global strategy with little headache.
Keep a Consistent Heart
On the path to global success, the easiest thing you can do is commit to your values. Business practices are not inherently meaningful; you must assign meaning to your product/service and communicate it to your audience.
Let's examine AirBnB. The company's mission is to “help create a world where you can belong anywhere and where people can live in a place, instead of just traveling to it.”
Some consumers will find this more touching than others, but overall it's an undeniably stronger sell than “online couch surfing.” Once you figure out how to evoke emotion through product storytelling, you can use local assistance to adjust the message and preserve its universal value.
Amplify Through Others
After you find your brand's voice, recruit opinion leaders who matter in the global environments you want to pursue. Experimenting in a new culture without proper guidance can produce detrimental and costly results. To avoid this anxiety, introduce your brand through a well-known individual or channel. New consumers may embrace your offer with some encouragement from a voice they trust.
Simplify your Canvas
Consumers all over the world are inundated by their social media feeds. It is important to consider how your company can distinguish itself from the noise—and even provide some refuge. We recommend keeping your online presentation sleek, simple, and more visual than verbal.
What brands do you think excel at this today?