Obstacles to International Brands

It’s important to remember that even the biggest brands didn’t start out as the global behemoths they are today – international companies like Coca Cola were once successful small business that grew from local to regional to national brands until one day they expanded beyond the borders. Needless to say, it worked out.

Today, technology and global communications have made the world much smaller, which for businesses has meant the prospect of bigger opportunities. However, there can still be significant obstacles for brands looking to attract global audience.

Sterling Media, is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary global business and communications consultancy. Here, the company reveals why a global PR agency is essential to take your brand worldwide:

Language and cultural barrier can be a major one. Although English is now a common language of business, it does not guarantee that all can speak it, nor speak it well. Brands that rely on marketing and advertising with a lot of wordplay may have to rethink their strategy in a new market. More significantly, whilst language may not be an issue, differences in cultural norms and expectations may result in misunderstandings and embarrassing situations.

Perceptions of your brand’s country of origin can also affect how it is received in different markets. One example is the way Chinese brands struggled to assert their independence as seen in the recent case of the popular mobile phone brand Huawei, which despite a meteoric rise to prominence in the west, have been unable to escape suspicions of spying on behalf on the Chinese government, leading to significant diplomatic tensions.

How Agencies Provide Solutions

A global PR agency can help your brand to fully assess your desired markets, advise you of how best to position the brand for the market, highlight the opportunities available within a market, discover possible competition, define the local audience and find the best way to establish a niche to help position the business within a new market.

“In this way an agency can help to give your brand a solid foundation for a strong communication strategy in another country,” recommended Sterling Media.

A communication consultant is also essential for building emotional responses with target groups and creating relationships beyond simply your customers such as with governments and corporates, flag up any potential issues relating to different communities and other local organisations and help your brand to position itself as a thought leader.