If you want your company to become an iconic mega brand, you shouldn’t be satisfied only catering to a local audience. In fact, you shouldn’t even be satisfied with only selling products and services in the United States. If you truly want to meet the high end of your company’s possible earning potential, you must expand your reach overseas.
However, playing to a global audience isn’t as simple as only marketing your brands to your home country. Different strategies should be utilized if you want to be successful. With that in mind, below are seven ways you can reach a global audience.
The preferences of different countries can vary wildly. This is much more so the case than simply comparing the tastes of different regions in the United States. Pizza Hut in Hong Kong offered a pizza with cream cheese and fish roe as ingredients. While that is unlikely to water American palates, the preferences in other nations can be quite different from our own.
If you want to expand globally, you need to expand your talent base to other countries. In most cases, executives running foreign expansions should either be native to those places or have years of experience living and working there. If you simply rely on the people you already have, you will likely run into problems. Dealing with the intricacies of a foreign culture, marketplace and government certainly requires specialized firsthand knowledge.
However, being a global brand means dealing with more than a few countries with different cultures. It means being able to market products to nearly every country with an open market. There are as many as 7,000 different languages. Being able to market your products in all these languages may seem impossible. However, you can lighten the load by taking advantage of translation software.
The great thing about the web is that every single country on earth connects to the same internet. In the past, companies had to pay for foreign ad space in newspapers, TV programs and the radio. This was extremely expensive, but without it, there would be no knowledge of the products in those markets. Today, however, a company can craft an internet ad targeting a specific foreign country for just a tiny fraction of the price of using other mediums.
Above all else, you need to adapt to different cultures to launch your company globally. What may be okay in the context of one culture may not be okay in another. For example, advertisements in Arab nations probably shouldn’t include images of people and animals since this is actually against specific Islamic teachings. Similarly, you should be aware that the population of India is largely vegetarian and considers the cow to be a sacred beast.
Similarly, dealing with foreign economies can itself be a quagmire. Not every country has a completely open market. You may have to work very closely with the government to actually get your product to stores. You also have to understand how foreign currencies fluctuate. If the foreign currency drops in value after you have reached a deal to export your products there, you could end up losing a lot of money.
The laws between different nations regarding how products can be sold and marketed can differ wildly. Researching how to conform to those laws will take some effort. However, it will be worth it if you can produce a strong profit out of those markets.
You should also study the local governments and how they operate. Exporting your products there will likely require forging relationships with local leaders and politicians. Playing ball with politicians is unfortunately part of doing business in many places in the world. You shouldn’t overlook this element of global business or you may not be allowed to enter those markets.
Overall, expanding a company internationally takes a lot of work, knowledge and expertise. You will certainly have to grow your operations significantly to accomplish becoming an international brand. However, if you do, the possibility for how far your profits could grow is nearly limitless.
Jennifer Livingston is a business consultant and writer who's passionate about career success and business management. When not writing she loves traveling, cooking and hiking.