Today’s marketplace is international. The Internet and the proliferation of mobile technologies have eliminated the geographical obstacles that once confined business so companies that want to succeed while competing with businesses around the globe must contentiously craft their brands to transcend the limitations of local expression. The companies that generate universal appeal are the companies that dominate their industries, so whether you are an entrepreneur in the midst of planning your next big endeavor or a business looking for ways to capture new customers, here’s how to translate your brand:
Understanding Local Before Global
One of the most important things before going international is knowing your local market inside out and how to keep your local customers satisfied. Often, businesses and even non-profits make the mistake of wanting to expand so quickly that they end up failing their local and loyal customers through simple neglect. What needs to be thought about in your global action plan is how you can move on an international level whilst satisfying your current customer base.
Firstly, keep your local community involved and update them on how you are expanding – for example, if you are partnering with international businesses then make this known on your website by clearly delivering content to the audience on this and linking to them. On the cancer research charity giving donation web page you can clearly see how you can donate locally and then there is a link which is labelled “Donate through our partners”. In addition, relevant and news worthy announcements has been produced to let the locals know about international partnerships through web content.
Image source: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/spotcancerearly/ICBP/
If you are marketing an event for customers or supporters then create an event webpage and incorporate international events in this section; get your locals talking international before moving international.
The Universal Image
Colors, shapes, letters, and symbols carry different connotations in different cultures—and the iconography you choose as your brand identity ultimately becomes the face of your company. If that face carries a negative or laughable message in a certain region, you effectively close yourself off to business in that area. So, when crafting a brand it is incredibly important to select an image that speaks clearly in all languages. To do so, you will need to spend time researching various markets around the world, and getting reactions from different regional groups to the various options you are considering for your logo.
Language = Access
The more languages a business can speak in, the more customers that business can speak to, this is particularly important online. Websites should offer polished translated pages in a number of popular languages, and you should invest time in crafting your language to appeal to the particular demographics you are targeting. Of course, many businesses also need customer service representatives and/or translators to cope with the influx of non-English speaking customer so prepare your business to be multi-lingual, and poise your company for a plunge into international success.
There are a number of issues to take note of when creating promotional videos that you want to make accessible for international audiences. First, you must decide whether you will use a single video with a variety of subtitles or craft unique content for each audience. In the former case, you need to construct your dialogue as culturally neutral by avoiding colloquialisms, local phrases, metaphors, and slang that are difficult to translate. It also helps to avoid using music with lyrics and to omit culturally specific images and icons.
Tools of the 21st Century
There is a right tool for every job; and without that tool, you cannot perform with maximum efficiency. When it comes to preparing your company for international business, there are many great tools for streamlining your efforts. These three below are the stand-out tools and resources:
• Global Brand Consultants: It is their job to research foreign markets and vet your logos, marketing content, products, and even company name for issues that might hurt sales.
• Translation Software: Because you may not have the resources to have a translator at your disposal, computer-based translation software can be a huge asset for communicating with customers, especially via email. There are countless programs on the market, but the far and away best is Babylon 9.
• Focus Groups: Focus groups allow companies to test brand ideas amongst foreign audiences long before making commitments that could cost dearly. They are a vital resource for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
For entrepreneurs in the midst of launching a business, it may be difficult to invest the resources needed to ensure compatibility in global markets – particularly because nascent companies must focus on establishing themselves locally before they can look to expand internationally. Yet as more and more sales become web-driven, traditional business plans are becoming less relevant. Today’s most effective marketing appeals to interest-based communities, regardless of where the individuals in them reside. So if your business can build a community without borders, you can create an enduringly profitable enterprise for years to come.