Building a global brand requires more than just launching a web site that's accessible from almost anywhere in the world.
From language missteps to misunderstanding cultural norms, it all when it comes to the missteps of launching a brand across borders.
1. Understand customer behavior.
Just because consumers have certain buying preferences or habits in one culture, doesn't mean that such preferences are universal. It's astonishing how many retailers haven't made it because they haven't studied how consumers shop.
2. Position yourself properly.
Good brand positioning includes truly understanding your competition and then looking at your competitive advantage. Who are the providers of similar products and services that you sell in this country?
3. Know how your brand translates.
A clever brand or product name in one language may translate into an embarrassing misstep in another.
In addition to ensuring that your brand translates well into other languages, consider which colors are favored in various markets.
4. Think broadly.
Since your company may need to expand into offering new products based on regional market demands, it's important that your company name be broad enough to accommodate those changes.
5. Find good partners.
Work with your attorney to protect your intellectual property overseas, filing the appropriate trademark and patent protections, if applicable. Find trade representatives who come recommended from colleagues or state or federal trade offices, since they're more likely to be reputable.
If you decide to license your product or service name to a manufacturer or provider overseas, exercise tight controls to make sure that the provider is reputable and won't misuse or misappropriate your name and will adhere to your quality control standards. When you put your brand name on [a product or service], you want a consistent experience so that every time, people have it, they understand the values of the brand.