Read our expert advice to help you create a strong, impactful brand that has a worldwide reach for an international audience.
Nearly 2,000 businesses are started every single day in the UK, which is, astonishingly, just under 80 an hour. For each of those budding businesses, there are many factors to plan and make decisions about, including building a brand. Finances, marketing, brand voice, target market and core values are just some key considerations. And when a budding brand wants to target customers and clients beyond their locale, or even country, then the considerations become more complex.
How do you build a brand for an international audience that has vastly differing age groups, cultures, languages and buying habits? It’s a question that has to be answered if you want your brand to take advantage of a global marketplace.
So, let’s take a closer look at what factors are most important when building a brand for an international audience:
Strength & exclusivity
A strong brand in terms of colour scheme and overall style is required to make a cross-cultural and cross-language impression. However, you need to also draw in each particular audience by making an impact that speaks specifically to them. What makes your brand so exclusive and unique? What sets you apart? You might have great brand but what makes you a cut above the rest when it comes to international audiences?
Authenticity & consistency
A brand must always stick with its core values and communicate them clearly in branding across the board. That kind of authenticity has to be translated in branding and marketing used not only in the brand’s country of origin, but across different countries where that brand is trying to make an impact.
If you are targeting Spanish customers, for example, a professional will ensure the authentic tone and message of your brand is translated effectively. Even more complex is the situation where a business targets clients in one country but for a service they provide in another. A good example of this is where a UK-based mortgage broker might arrange a Spanish mortgage for a non-resident to purchase a property in Spain. The right international reach of the brand is essential in such scenarios. It will ensure your message uses not only the right accent and language, but also the right terminology so potential customers across multiple target markets can build trust in your offerings.
Relationships with customers are everything
Building a brand means building loyalty from customers. You do that in multiple ways including good customer service, support, communication and by offering value that goes beyond the product you are selling.
When it comes to making your brand international, you have to push your customer relationship further. If you’re selling in Spain, do you have competent Spanish speakers offering high quality support to those customers? Is your Spanish marketing working on social media to engage with customers well? Do your videos contain accurately translated subtitles?
For a brand to work internationally, that effort in reaching out to customers to create a true emotional connection has to extend beyond language barriers and cultural differences.
Do your homework and be culturally sensitive
When you expand internationally it is crucial to ensure that your marketing, products, services and voice will be received well overseas. Is there a market for what you offer? Is there anything potentially offensive or insulting about your brand or products when applied to other countries?
Research your overseas market thoroughly and get your ‘launch’ right the first time. Making a negative impact in a country could be a disaster for the long-term international growth of your brand.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos
Building a brand for an overseas audience requires a strong brand initially, and then extending that strength into different countries as seamlessly as possible.
Be authentic, consistent, thorough and always place an emphasis on building that trust with your customers by speaking their language both literally and metaphorically. The result will be a brand with a growing international presence, supporting continual global expansion and an ever-strengthening reputation.