International Marketing & Brand Strategy
Taking your brand (no matter how established it is in the US) into European and other international markets will require a solid and well-thought-out international marketing and brand strategy.
You can't just create an international version of your website and social media channels and expect sales to fly in! You will have either done this already and are wondering why your results are poor or you're looking to take your brand international and wondering how to do so, either way, this post is for you.
In this article, we will share key points to take your brand global through international marketing and brand strategies, sharing real examples of our own work.
International Marketing Strategies to Enter New Markets
It's more than important to look at how you can adapt your brand to each new market you would like to establish your brand in if you're launching in Europe you will have to adapt your marketing strategy for each country in Europe, rather than as a whole.
To look into this further, the UK market has very different mannerisms, feelings, words, outlooks, and characteristics. They are not patriotic, nor care for how established your brand is in America, eagles and US flags are not going to cut it. If the end-user cannot resonate with your brand, then the sale is already lost.
Streamlight the number one flashlight brand in the US, a household name that is trusted by many Americans. Unfortunately, many Europeans hadn't heard of or seen their products before so didn't have the same trust and feelings toward the brand.
With our international marketing and brand strategies, we were able to adapt their brand to the French, German and British markets.
Streamlight's strapline in the US is ‘Heroes Trust Streamlight®’ after gaining immense loyalty from the military, police and fire services. It's clear this was not going to communicate as well in the EU markets since the forces and services in Europe did not have the same recognition with the brand.
We looked deep into the core values of Streamlight and adapted a new strapline for the European markets - ‘Brilliant Thinking®'. Looking deeper into how this was created; one of Streamlight's key core values was innovation.
As we toured their plant and had a hands on session with their products, this core value showed. We understood trust would grow naturally with the products and that it shouldn't be the focus, innovation should be.
Taking innovation we bounced with words, settling on brilliant as it means clever, ingenious and bright, playing on words with the adjective associated with lights and lighting.
This is just one small part of our transnational strategy for the brand, you can see more adaptations in our case study.
International Social Media Marketing
Your brand communication doesn't stop at your logo and strapline. It runs throughout your whole business internally and externally, from your company culture to your website and social media.
Social media should be included in your international marketing strategy. It is an amazing medium to help support your brand, grow in international markets, and connect with users on a more personal level. In regards to new markets, you will want your social media to be managed by people in that market. Why? Because they understand the market better than you.
It's not just translation that should be apart of your transnational strategy when it comes to social media. You must look at how you portray yourself to an audience - understanding cultures, behaviors, and lifestyles - which sometimes research may not be able to cover. As an example; in the UK, 'tea' which is well known as a traditional hot beverage can also be used to refer to an evening meal for more northern parts of the country, but you may not know that. It's the little things that can't be researched that are just embedded in culture that could affect your brand's trust if you say something that doesn't relate to your market.
Using your new brand identity, combined with the expertise of a localized team - you will have the best chance of growing and succeeding.
International Marketing Material
Using the same material you use for the US market in your transnational strategy will also have a negative impact on your brand. Just like with your strapline, your creative material will also need to be changed to adapt to the new market.
Landscapes, animals, trees, architecture, equipment, and tools all have their own uniqueness in different markets. A horse saddle in America is completely different from a British horse saddle, you wouldn't want to create an advert using the wrong saddle when launching an equestrian brand in the UK.
You can see more of our work for Muckboot and how we brought the brand into Europe in our case study.
How else to improve your international marketing strategy?
There's so much more to look deeper into when looking at a transnational strategy and building your brand to adapt to a new market. You may need to make changes to the design of your product to adapt to cultures or even abide by certain laws, your website will need to be tweaked and translated or even rebuilt, the list goes on and on.
Your international marketing strategy will be no easy task. We have huge experience, expertise, and international knowledge in bringing American brands into Europe and other international markets after years of defining the perfect process to do so - so why not let us help you through our international services and expertise?
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