Why do brands need to introduce domestic advertising

How to internationalize your brand

How important is the use of color?
The cultural sensitivities when it comes to coloring are becoming less important. It used to be like this: if a company wanted to gain a foothold in China, the colors red and gold had to appear in its markets, green was an absolute no-go. In the meantime, the world of brands has become more colorful around the world, and colors only play a subordinate role in brand assessment.

Which faux pas should medium-sized companies avoid when designing their brand names?
There are plenty of examples of brand names that have had a negative connotation after being translated into another language. In the best case scenario, the companies provoke laughter with these mistakes, in the worst case they experience rejection. Therefore, companies in the target country should definitely involve native-speaking experts who are also familiar with the local culture.

What do you mean by culture?
Every market and every target country is different. South American and southern European customers, for example, appreciate a more emotional approach - also in the B2B area. Before they deal more intensively with the functionalities of a product, they first want to be warmed up to the product on offer. In East Asia and especially Japan, on the other hand, potential customers expect a great deal of detail right from the start. Detailed and verifiable information on product quality must come first. And in the USA, customers jump on superlatives - here a brand has to be presented as bigger and better than the competition.

So do companies have to introduce their own brand in each sales region?
The brand can be the same everywhere. But the brand communication should differ - for example through a subline, appropriate wording in the sales flyer or through a specific visual language on the respective national website. Here, too, it is of secondary importance whether end consumers or B2B customers are addressed: They think more similarly than many salespeople fear. Of course, I can also design my own brand for each market - but that is only worthwhile for strategically important markets.

To what extent do the products also have to reflect the respective brand?
An adapted product design can be useful. In the USA, customers like to buy robust industrial products: a higher weight and a more voluminous design are therefore advantageous. In southern Europe and East Asia, on the other hand, customers like delicate product design and precise forms. White products are also bought more frequently there, whereas black is considered noble in Germany.

Sounds pretty complex.
Right. Product variants are often complex and expensive. Therefore, medium-sized companies in particular have to set priorities. If you have little business in the US but a lot in East Asia, you should consider their preferences. In general, we observe: Good quality products find buyers in all markets, even if their product design does not match the cultural faibles 1: 1. Hence, the middle ground with a global product is fine for small businesses that don't have large product design budgets. However, your salespeople may have more trouble winning over new customers in their respective markets.

Does a new brand development pay off?
Unfortunately, it is difficult to estimate this in advance. Of course, you can first try the German brand abroad. If it doesn't work, you may have “pocketed” a lot of money - or, in the worst case, “burned” your product for this market. I therefore think it makes sense to research the brand awareness of a target market together with the market potential. Sometimes even small adjustments to the brand are enough. An international brand strategy does not necessarily have to be expensive.