The integration of the world in terms of commerce and communications has generated a globalized branding. For instance, think of Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Disney, or Toyota, just to name a few brands that become part of humanity.
Brands use symbols to increase their impact on their messaging. However, for what one culture could be a positive symbol, foranother one could be negative meaning.
In this post, I will discuss the opportunities of globalization in branding and some elements that brands should plan before reaching new cultures.
Opportunities in globalized branding
Having your brand access to new international markets opens business opportunities. To begin, brands will have access to new customers, perhaps with more favorable competition landscapes. Secondly, a brand could also access a market and establish a production line with a more profitable business climate like lower variable cost and taxes.
By analyzing both alternatives of benefits in going global, we also find new rules, preferences, and players when going international. It’s necessary to do good research and finding the right partners to be successful.
For example, a success story that comes to mind is Airbnb, founded in 2008 in San Francisco. Currently, Airbnb is available in over 191 countries, with more than 7 million listings on over 100,000 cities and 2 million hosts per night!
Airbnb is an example of a model of hospitality that has transcended cultures, languages, and cultures becoming a disruptor in the hospitality industry and is now part of the globalized branding.
How to adapt your brand to new cultures
After mentioning the advantages of opening your brand, I must also warn of mistakes and risks that brands have faced in the past:
- Language barrier: Some brand names could have an awkward translation in other countries, or it could be difficult for locals to pronounce it. For example, in Spain, Head & Shoulders is known as “HyS” pronounced in Spanish as an acronym to solve the pronunciation.
- Culture & religion: Just as some translations, symbols can have different meanings in different cultures. For instance, Real Madrid soccer club commercializes its soccer kits with a different logo on some countries in the Arab peninsula. Therefore, by eliminating the cross, it avoids religious sensibilities.
- Target audience and branding strategy: Although in a local market, a brand might have a clear target audience in terms of demographics and economic status, the same could be different in other countries as there are different competitors and beliefs. Market research is vital in developing a strategy and understanding customer’s behavior.
- Politics: Not all countries have democracy and freedom of speech (I say it from personal experience). Currently, brands are encouraged to connect with the values of their audience, however in certain countries, that might be against the interest of a government, and that could lead to fines or even government takeover. For example, a brand losing control over its product over politics is Venezuela and Kellogg’s.
Conclusion on globalized branding
To conclude, globalization is a big opportunity to build your business and earn economic benefits; however, it must not be taken lightly. Research, alliances, and good planning must be taken care of before opening new markets.
If you wish to learn more about consumer attention, you can visit my last week’s post on Improving consumer attention for your brand. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.