Almost any business has the potential to become a global brand. It's all about who you know and the amount of time, money, and effort you're willing to put in to make that happen.
Before the introduction of the internet and some of the incredible resources we now come to have, a business might have struggled to reach global domination of any scale without a lot of money.
Now though, there’s plenty of opportunity for both small businesses, start-ups, and businesses who’ve been going for a while but just haven’t had their lucky break. Here are some tips to help make your business more of a global brand.
Six Steps to take Your Brand Global
1. Know Your Brand Inside and Out
Knowing your branding is important because you want to understand how that brand will translate with other countries. Branding is crucial for any business wanting to be successful because it shows professionalism and a company that wants to put a stamp on the industry they're in.
Big household names have become recognizable through their logo or a tagline that's attached to the company. So how much do you really know about your brand?
Could you provide an endless conversation about your company, what it is, and what it sets out to achieve?
You should know your customers and who you aim to reach when it comes to the products and services you provide. A brand needs to be consistent and to show the company’s purpose clearly.
You want a new customer to click on a website or a social media profile and know exactly what it is you do or sell. Once you know your brand inside and out, you can then focus on how you roll out that branding to the wider world.
It might just be you as part of the business, and therefore brainstorming alone might be difficult. Focus groups and market research are a great way to see how your branding looks to other people.
2. Work on Perfecting Your Brand
Before moving forward, you may have realized that your branding isn’t as perfected as you’d like it to be. Perfect doesn’t exist because there’s always something you can do to make it better.
“Perfection is the enemy of profitability” – Mark Cuban
So start off with what you already have and build from that. It might be that your current logo needs a refresh or maybe the colors or design of your overall look isn't really showing your audience what your brand is really about. Branding is all about how it communicates with your customers, and if it's not doing that effectively, you're going to struggle in growing your business any further.
If you're not that creatively talented in brand design, then you may find it beneficial to seek the professionals who can really help with transforming your ideas into reality.
3. Find The Territories That Need Your Brand
There are plenty of companies that do well across the globe because they find territories that need a product or service. Every country, state, and city is different and unique in itself. Some areas might be lacking in what you're selling, and therefore, it's a huge opportunity for you to take advantage of it.
The best way of doing this is to either get consultancy agencies in who can help advise you on certain territories or doing market research and actually going to these places.
Speaking to those directly to and conducting focus groups in the areas of interest is a good way of finding out if it's worth it. You don't want to be investing all this money and time if it's a location that simply won't benefit those who live there. If the service or product already exists, can your company do it better? It's these questions that are certainly worth asking.
4. Understand Your Customers
Many companies try to extend the base brand by offering too many alternate choices in an effort to gain market share – like vodkas or whiskeys reaching for far-out flavors…Often, however, the glut of additional flavors and SKU’s can backfire – creating customer confusion and watering down whatever the base brand is supposed to represent. – John McDonnell
Your customers are the most important in your business, and it’s good to know who they are so that you can tailor more of your branding towards those who are bringing in profit to your business. In terms of getting to know your customers more, it’s important to understand your customer’s needs and wants in your own country fully before branching into other countries.
There’s so much data that you can pull from online software systems and tracking sites nowadays that you wouldn’t have been able to get to such a degree in the more traditional forms of data collection. Understanding your customer is good because it will help find those same customers but on a global basis.
Use what information you have in order to expand your potential audience to reach.
You also want to think about how you will communicate with those whose native language is not your own. From video translation to the actual translation of your brand’s products and services, you want to ensure that it all translates correctly and in the right way that isn’t going to get confused or miscommunicated with international customers.
That’s another hurdle that you will likely have to overcome and it may be worth collaborating with international marketing and PR companies who have the knowledge about that country to be able to convey what needs to be said.
5. Know Who The Competition Are
Dealing with global competition is a lot different than where you are locally or nationally. There’s likely to be more pressure and challenges that come with competing against those who may have already established themselves within that country, particularly if they’re from that country anyway. It can sometimes make it difficult as a foreign brand to be successful.
It’s therefore good to know who your competition is because you can then use their techniques and strategies as a springboard for your own.
Anything they do, you can do it better, right?
Even though your focus should not necessarily be on where your competitors are, it’s good to keep your sights on them. They’ll have the customers you need, and we can always learn from others who are both successful and also fail.
6. Get Your Business Online
If your business isn’t online, then you are doing your company a disservice and it’s allowing your company to miss out on all the opportunities that come with having an online presence.
The online world has a lot to do with how many businesses are able to reach a global audience. So many of us will have social media profiles or access to the web and businesses can use that in order to reach their customers directly and on a more personal level.
Ensure you’ve got a website set up and social media profiles created also. You then want to start drumming up conversations and attracting traffic from different locations other than your own country. Look at what’s working for those businesses with international custom. Perhaps they’re creating additional platforms that are specific to that country.
There’s so much that you can do and utilize when it comes to what’s available online. With so much global reach, you’ve got the best opportunity of being online to reach those territories that you may have been wanting to pitch your product or service to for a while.
As a brand, it’s important to get your name out there, and social media is the biggest word of mouth advertising that you can get.
Think about how you can produce content and create discussions that can go viral or will have a huge impact and have people talking. Being actively involved in the online community is essential and should be fully taken advantage of.
Network For Partners
Being able to network is good for business, and if those within the organization aren’t doing it, then you could be missing out on some key partnerships. When it comes to getting global success, it’s very much who you rub shoulders with. It’s all about who you meet along the way and taking the opportunities that come with networking events, whether that’s on your own turf or internationally.
Speak to as many people as you can and try to find those individuals or companies who you can partner up with in order to get your foot in the door with those countries. A lot of the time, you’ll find that customers will buy from your company if you’ve associated yourself with a recognizable and popular company or figure.
Collaborations and partnerships are something businesses should be actively looking at, so take full advantage of any networking that comes along for the company.
The Bottom Line
It’s exciting to realize that any business truly has the potential to build itself into a global brand. However, it’s not something that’s easy to do because even with the help of the internet, it still takes hard work and the right product or service needed to be successful in another country. Just because it might work in one, doesn’t mean it’ll be the same for every other territory you try to break into.
So remember to take your time to perfect the branding of your company. Understand your customers so that you can translate your brand to those new countries and never stop networking or making connections.