Ready to take your brand from domestic to international markets? Whether you’re setting out on an all-out global brand launch, or tailoring your efforts to a few well-chosen foreign language markets closer to home, your best first step is a well-thought-out plan to set your strategy and make some realistic goals.
That way, you can streamline your efforts and do what gets you the most impact for your budget. In many cases, you can (and should) leverage your existing brand assets in new language markets. Done right, finessing and tailoring what you already own with localization and smart multilingual translation can be highly effective in making that all-important first impression in new international arenas.
To help get you get started on your strategy and goals, here are five great tips that can lead to smart, culturally sensitive localization as you move into new language markets.
1. Do your research to find the best potential markets.
The fastest-growing economies (like Brazil, India, and China) may look like a sure bet for your brand. But with a little research, you may find that Eastern Europe is where your brand will find its greatest initial success. Think about your differentiator in new markets, unique trends, and how you might need to reposition your brand as you localize for a global launch. Surveys plus attitude and usage studies are excellent ways to take the pulse of the locals, too — get to know your target customers, their likes and dislikes, influencers, hobbies, and where they shop.
2. Decide on your international brand voice. Is your U.S. brand voice casual, formal, or somewhere in between? Based on your research, decide how you might tweak your international voice make the tone work best with cultural communication norms in your new language markets. Want to ensure that your international brand voice makes its best transition to broadcast media? Take a look at this helpful article on multilingual voiceovers.
3. Conduct a visual brand assessment. How will the colors, shapes and typography of your logo, mark, and other visuals be perceived in other cultures? Could your visual brand elements be confused with cultural symbols? Does your tagline need to vary from country to country? Try to see your brand identity through the eyes of a local to avoid the kind of missteps that can give your brand the wrong reputation in your new language market.
4. Translate your company’s values for international employees, including your mission statement and core values. That way, your employees will understand how to represent you in their respective countries, and can work to help build your brand the right way.
5. Localize your web site, apps, search engine marketing components, and marketing collateral to new language markets. Your imagery in all mediums should be inoffensive and respectful of differing male/female relationships. Do multilingual SEM before web site localization begins. Give yourself plenty of time to have marketing collateral, ad campaigns, and other tricky, idiomatic translations done right.
These tips are just the beginning. For more information on how to make your global brand launch all it can be, read our Ten Top Tips for Your International Brand Launch. Working with your in-house teams, in-country offices, and a trusted localization partner, you can translate your brand from domestic to international success.