The global marketplace is full of opportunities for businesses to expand their reach and sell more of their goods and services. It may seem fairly simple to branch out into overseas markets and build on what you feel is the universal appeal of your brand, but there are many things to consider when marketing yourself outside your home country.
Cultural Differences Impact Perception
When creating an image for your brand overseas, it is important to take cultural differences into account. The idea is to be looked upon favorably, but different cultures look upon different things favorably.
Sometimes it's the colors used that may attract buyers in one country, but not another. For
, Pepsi lost market share to Coke in South East Asia after changing its color scheme to light blue, since that color is associated with death and mourning in the region. In other cases, it could have more to do with different shopping habits or the meaning of your brand's name in a different country. One
from multicultural marketer Mike Fromowitz: in Italy, Schweppes Tonic Water was translated "Schweppes Toilet Water."
Using your resources and contacts to make sure marketing materials have the right tone, appearance and look can mean the difference between sales success and a failed marketing campaign. It's better to change your website colors or even modify your brand's name if it means avoiding the embarrassment of an international mistake.