You are building the brand you want to see in the world.
Is your brand ready for the world?
It seems that many of you have preconceptions about what makes a global brand.
In your mind, you have lots of criteria; lots of standards that brands must meet before they are considered candidates for global performance.
Okay, now that you've got them…
It's time to dispose of all of them.
Here's the truth: Any size brand, of any age, can go global. In fact, brands can be built as global brands, from scratch.
With Just One Tweet, You Are Global.
Your brand is likely to go global, even without you directly influencing that move.
Just think: You create one social media post, a local friend shares it with her friends, including some who are international, and they share it too…and there you have it. Your brand has global recognition.
Is your brand ready for that?
Is your brand ready to be the brand you want to see in the world?
Let's find out.
Preparing your Brand to be a Global Brand
It doesn't matter if your brand is established or brand new, thinking globally is a brilliant idea. If you are running a start-up or just now thinking about how your new brand will look, you have an advantage because you can make strategic branding and marketing decisions now. If your company has been around for a while, you may have to unpick some things; however, it's never too late to go global.
Here's what I suggest as you proceed:
- Examine your brand's language and colours for possible cultural offense. In one culture, red symbolises energy, love and passion; in another, it signifies oppression and revolution. Decide as early as possible from which cultures you will be mining your target audience members, and adjust your brand colours accordingly (all whilst striving to communicate your corporate values through your brand's visuals). Additionally, not every killer strapline translates well. What works in English may offend in Spanish, French or German. Make these cultural considerations as you choose the language your brand will use in its marketing and communications.
- Choose the countries in which you plan to make an impact. True, you might only be building your brand from your home country right now; however, if you plan on expanding to particular areas (because you have found high concentrations of your ideal customers there), keep those cultures in mind as you build your branding and marketing strategies. This is about aspiration, and looking ahead to the brand you wish to see in the world.
- Invite visitors to events being held outside their geographical areas. If you're holding an event in Country #1, and you're also wishing to serve customers in Country #2 and Country #3…by all means, invite everyone from each of your target areas. Believe it or not, there will be people who feel such a deep attachment to your message and to the brand you are building that they will travel to experience what you're offering. Planning an exclusive event? Make sure you're filtering with criteria other than geography.
- Choose your programme's primary language(s). If your target global audience members speak more than one native language, you will have some decisions to make. I see many bilingual brand builders deliver material in their own native language, because that's what they're comfortable with…when in reality, their audience would more readily receive material in their own native language (the brand builder's second or third language). Keep this in mind as you craft your communications. This may require some time spent in research; however, knowing for sure that you're appropriately serving the majority of your target audience will make it worthwhile.
- Translate with care. Google Translate, Duolingo and other robo-translators come in handy for some tasks. Translating your branding and marketing communications is not one of those tasks. I would suggest creating original materials in the preferred language of your audience, then having them translated to other necessary languages…and having ALL of it professionally edited by native speakers/writers who understand your brand's vision and mission. Always be sure that vernaculars (slang, dialects) are considered before publishing anything. Get this wrong, and your brand will be viewed as inauthentic.
I stated this previously, but it bears repeating:
The Earlier You Start Thinking Globally, The Better.
There will be fewer changes to make, and there will fewer chances of someone sharing a statement you made that wasn't appropriate for a new audience.
So, if you're ready to begin thinking globally, How to Build a Brand is ready to support that venture.
A great way to get started is by joining the Brand Builders Club, which is about to undergo some exciting upgrades (including invitation-only membership, exclusive events like the Brand Builders Bootcamp, Mastermind sessions and more). Click here to learn more.