How to Adapt Your Brand for Expansion into Foreign Markets
Never underestimate the importance of cultural sensitivity – particularly when expanding your business into foreign markets. Successful expansion happens only with extensive planning and thoughtful consideration of what your new audiences value. If a brand takes minimal efforts to adapt to the local culture, expansion into foreign markets can be a complete failure.
Canada-based Worldcom partner CASACOM offers some insight on global expansion from their experience preparing the craft store Michael’s for launch in Canadian markets. They offer marketers and brands five tips for successful expansion:
1) Adapt Your Brand from the Top Down
First, brands must be flexible enough to adapt everything from language, culture, business practices and human resources management to align with the practices of the local culture. While this may seem like a huge undertaking (and it is), clear communication from top to bottom with help ensure the brand maintains a cohesive approach. In CASACOM’s work with Michael’s, they used a cross-functional team to make an integrated effort towards adapting their brand.
2) Partner with Local Experts for Valuable Insights
Next, consider partnering with another local agency as a strategic facilitator. Working with communications professionals who are both experts in their industry and region will aid in understanding the cultural differences in the region, identifying potential issues and suggesting solutions. Worldcom’s network of over 110 agencies across the globe can facilitate international partnerships to prepare your brand for a foreign market. Partners have a history of collaborating and working together, which provides agencies with a significant advantage for successful expansion.
3) Understand the New Consumers Through Research:
Then, consider partnering with a local research company. Research companies can conduct focus groups, shop-alongs, and surveys to understand the subtleties of the local market and consumers. This can bring out unique features of the market and rich local perspective. These insights can be used to guide product offerings, store design, promotional strategies and messaging adjustments.
To read all five of CASACOM’s tips for successful expansion into foreign markets.
Founded in Montréal in 2001, CASACOM is an independent national communication and public relations consulting firm that helps clients accelerate business success through communications. Located in offices in Montréal and in Toronto, CASACOM brings a real understanding of cultural differences resulting in unique and highly effective communications strategies. The firm was founded with a deep sense of integrity and humanity and our unique approach to collaboration and excellence gives us the opportunity to truly make a difference in our clients’ businesses. The team is highly strategic, creative, and passionate and specializes in corporate communications, public affairs, and marketing communications.