The Golden Arches, the ‘Swoosh’, the bitten apple – three iconic logos that are immediately recognizable by most of the world’s population. Because of the brand power already established among consumers, McDonalds, Nike and Apple don’t even need to write their company name beside their emblems.
These companies, however, like all multinationals, have had to develop this brand awareness through decades of hard work and marketing innovation. In an increasingly globalized business environment, making an impact in numerous countries or continents is an essential goal. Recognizable brands can charge a premium for their products or services because of the high level of trust developed with their consumer base.
Students pursuing International Management degrees have the potential to drive such multinational success. Here are four essential steps for building a global brand.
Analyze Overseas Markets before Considering Expansion
Once a business has become established in its home country, entrepreneurs may look to replicate that success elsewhere. However, potential new markets may already have direct competitors that are dominant, and there’s no guarantee that such success can be achieved.
The international coffee chain Starbucks, for example, only opened its first store in Italy at the beginning of September 2018. This is a country that is proud of its own coffee tradition, and Starbucks has resisted the temptation to enter this market for a long time due to the level of competition it would face. Entrepreneurs with a Bachelor’s in International Management need to be aware of these potential pitfalls, and identify their unique selling point before challenging rivals in overseas markets.
Many of our most valued products are created by multinational brands
Creating a Consistent Message with an International Management Degree
The company’s logo, name and slogan are crucial for catching the eye of consumers during international business expansion. If possible, organizations should avoid geographical business names and use something more general instead. This lets consumers know that it’s a true international company, rather than a business in a small market.
The aim should also be to develop a logo that is instantly recognizable around the world. If it features on all marketing material – online, print or otherwise – then the logo will start to become recognizable as the business grows.
However, it is important to carry out plenty of research to make sure that the company and product names are all appropriate in other countries. You may find that the name is being used for another product or service, and it is also possible for some to carry an unfortunate translation in a different language. For instance, search engine Bing found that their name translates to ‘disease’ in China.
Choosing the Most Suitable Advertising Techniques
Once a brand has been developed, then it must be exposed to the public effectively. The target audience will dictate what marketing techniques to use. For example, just because digital advertising is starting to take over in your country, don’t assume that it will work around the world.
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Billboards and print media remain very important in markets where internet or mobile network speeds are weaker. Additionally, if you are trying to target young people in a built-up area, then focus on suitable marketing techniques for public transport commuters, like radio or smartphone advertising.
Make Sure the Brand is Culturally Appropriate in Each Market
It can be a difficult balance between trying to pay respect to a country’s traditions and establishing a uniform, globally recognizable product or service. However, altering the brand to suit the tastes of individual nations is an effective technique when done correctly. For example, McDonalds puts poutine on its Canadian menu to cater for the tastes of its customers in that country.
Students in international management courses should also recognize the unique shopping habits of individual markets. Do people in this country prefer to order products and services online, or do they prefer the personal touch of walking into a public store? Do they expect certain things in terms of customer service? Do they welcome overt selling, or do they do find it off-putting? Recognizing these cultural differences and responding successfully to them is what helps multinational companies to establish a dominant global brand.
Find out much more about brand building during an international management degree.
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