Eight Tips On How To Build an International Brand as a Start-up
Having an international consumer base is something that many companies can only dream of, due to the limited resources and funding to gain a global reach. In fact, it has taken years for many large companies to get to the status they are at today, as an international brand cannot be built overnight. Yet, to think that you should start local and work your way up from there is a misconception that emerged before social media wasn’t such an important tool in growing a business. In today’s world, it is easier to achieve international status in a short amount of time than it ever has been before, but that doesn’t make it any less daunting. To help you on your way to building your international brand, make sure you follow these key tips.
Understand your limits
As a start-up, it is likely that you will be limited in the resources you have to take your business to every country. Before you take the leap and build your brand internationally, you must understand where your business is limited. This way, you can work on resolving these issues before it is too late, or you can focus on expanding to one new country at a time. Being self-aware about what you hope to achieve will help you make a realistic plan about where you see your business taking off in the years to come.
It could be that your biggest limitation is that you are low on funds to help you go further. This is arguably the biggest setback you could have, which means that before you think about going international, you need to ensure you have enough money backing you in the process. You can get this money in a number of ways, from applying for grants to entering into an incubator scheme. These will not only boost your finances but will also give you the resources you need to take your business to the next level. If you are looking for a small amount to get you on your feet, you can look at this site, which will inform you on the types of small loans you can get quickly and easily.
Re-assess your brand
You may have nailed your brand aesthetic in your base country, where consumers will have reacted well to the branding you have chosen. Yet, you must be aware of how your brand may be received in other countries. For example, if you are hoping to break into the Chinese market, your brand will need to have some changes made to it so that it appeals to your target audience within that country. This means you will have to weigh up how valuable and how likely it is that your foreign target market will buy into your brand compared to the strong consumer base you have at home. Although sacrifices sometimes must be made to help your business grow, you should never abandon your core values and beliefs, which lend themselves to the face of your brand. If you use your money wisely, you can always invest in a renowned branding team to make it, so your brand appeals to your target market in each country you take it to. As well as branding, you should also consider trademarking issues in each country.
Put money into marketing
Branding isn’t the only area of marketing that you should be funding. In fact, everywhere from content marketing to visual advertising is integral to how you portray your business. If you create a solid and successful campaign from the beginning, you can show your target market that there is more to come and that you are a business to be believed in. You may already have an in-house marketing team, but it is sometimes better to hire out an agency that has had proven results with similar businesses hoping to achieve that same global reach.
Make use of social media
Traditional areas of marketing are something that should not be skimped out on, but you can optimize these by making use of social media. You will have noticed the boom in start-ups since social media has arrived, where they can reach people from the other side of the world within seconds. Using Facebook Ads and Instagram influencers are some of the best ways to use it to your advantage. If you have an agency helping you create eye-catching social media campaigns running alongside email campaigns and instant messenger innovations, then you will have covered all your bases when it comes to gaining attention.
Employ a translator
It could well be that your next step is to branch out into a country which doesn’t speak English. In this case, an advertising campaign in English won’t do you any favors. Having a trusted translator to help get your message across will be a huge help when you need to translate blogs, add subtitles to advertisements, and build social media posts. One way of doing this is to hire a few people to be a part of your team, but you could also contact people in foreign countries to contract out for such a job. This will be easier in terms of finding someone, but it will also be good to have a freelance contact on hand should you need their help again in the future.
Meet with potential investors
Business trips are essential to businesses who want to expand globally, and although you can attribute your success to your customer base, you will need contacts in other countries to ensure your brand is staying afloat. If you have strong investment from foreign investors, you can relax knowing that they will help you achieve success in a given country, and it also means you don’t have to worry as much about funding limitations.
As with most businesses, building an international brand doesn’t happen quickly. Although it is easier in today’s world to be successful, it will still take a lot of time and money before you reach your goal. Set-backs will occur, but you should recognize when to keep going, or when it’s best to scale back and focus on a smaller goal. If you are willing to go on such a journey, make sure you can employ this valuable skill, which will help you get to where you need to be.