Successful branding is a process that involves a lot more than creating a distinctive logo or graphic element. When you think about your brand, you really need to consider how you deliver your message, your credibility, how you emotionally connect with your audience, how you motivate the buyer – all in order to build solid relationships and form loyalty with your customers. Simply put, your brand is the way your customer sees you.
It might sound a bit simplistic, but think of your brand’s strategy as a pancake or waffle. Pancakes have little to no depth, and they can burn out easily. If your current marketing strategy has fallen flat, your brand may be missing out on new opportunities.
Waffles, on the other hand, are fluffy and golden. A strong and structured brand strategy that is built to scale will be the one to prevail in this scenario. So the question now is: what does your current brand’s strategy resemble?
After all, you could be making a mistake without even realizing it, and mistakes in marketing can sometimes lead entire communities to ignore your product altogether.
Here are some tips to make sure your global marketing strategy doesn’t fall flat as a pancake:
One of the biggest mistakes an international business can make is ignoring the local customs of their target markets. It’s important to research each individual audience and determine what they prefer. What works well in one market isn’t necessarily going to work just as well in another area. Glocal marketing caters to individual markets depending on the types of products and concepts that typically sell well in those locations.
A good example of an excellent Glocal marketing strategy can be found in one of the biggest companies in the world — McDonalds. Depending on where you live, this well-known burger joint will sometimes offer special menu items catered to local tastes. For example, in some Asian markets, they offer a Teriyaki burger that cannot be found elsewhere. By catering its products to the unique tastes of a global audience, McDonalds is able to effectively meet the demands of customers all over the world.
To reach a wider audience, it’s imperative you create campaigns that target the specific needs and desires of your local market.
Send a Singular Message
While a Glocal approach can be beneficial to a global marketing strategy, it is important that you continue using consistent messaging across all channels.
Although it is vital to research and target specific products to specific cultures, it is also important that you don’t significantly change the overall message and voice of your brand. Depending on which market you are trying to reach, you may need to alter your message slightly in order to see positive results and remain on message
A beautiful example of combining a global campaign with a local message is Coca Cola’s controversial America the Beautiful campaign. The ad featured people from several different cultures coming together to sing “America the Beautiful” during the Super Bowl. Despite the fact that a minority of their audience was unhappy with this marketing decision, the advertisement was ultimately very successful and had an incredibly positive effect on brand awareness and acceptance, because it incorporated so many cultures into the Coca-Cola family.
Conversely, if you send the wrong message, it can have a negative effect on sales and the image of your company. Take for example Sony’s advertising efforts for one of their video game consoles in the Netherlands. Within days, there was an outcry because of the ad’s explicitly racist imagery. Pictures of the ad were prominently displayed on every major news website in the world. Needless to say, it is more important than ever to ensure that your message is as positive and optimistic as possible no matter where your target market might be.
Engage your Customers
With the internet connecting so many different peoples and cultures together, it is now easier than ever to connect with your customers. Further, using social media and other digital marketing channels, any company can instantly communicate with far-flung customers. However, it is precisely because of this that you must remain cognisant of the fact that a campaign intended for one audience could easily be viewed and/or misinterpreted by another. This kind of inadvertent miscommunication could seriously jeopardize your brand’s reputation.
For an excellent example of a well-crafted worldwide social media campaign, look no further than Frito Lay. The company has asked its customer base to create a new flavour of Lays potato chips via their “Do Us A Flavor” campaign. By making their customers a part of the process, they have created an incredibly effective means of interaction which has had a positive effect on sales. Not only are consumers interested to see which flavors get picked next, but they actively help Frito Lay to produce new and interesting products, giving them the tools they need to save money on focus groups and make money on innovative ideas.
Not every business has the opportunity to offer this kind of intercommunication with consumers, but this marketing strategy highlights the importance of connecting with your audience via social media. When Frito Lay gives everyone an opportunity to make their product with them, they are essentially giving every participant a chance to become a part of their family. This is an excellent global marketing strategy that can create life long customer loyalty.
No matter how flat or fulfilling your global marketing strategy is, there are always opportunities for improvement. Utilizing these three tips, any business should be able to improve their marketing strategies overseas and at home in order to receive the best possible results.