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Global Branding

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Submitted By jerryhightree
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Building a global brand requires more than just launching a web site that's accessible from almost anywhere in the world.

From language missteps to misunderstanding cultural norms, veteran branding expert Barbara E. Kahn has seen it all when it comes to the missteps of launching a brand across borders. Here, she shares five tips to help entrepreneurs avoid the pitfalls.

Related: The Secrets of 7 Successful Brands

1. Understand customer behavior.
Just because consumers have certain buying preferences or habits in one culture, doesn't mean that such preferences are universal. "It's astonishing how many retailers haven't made it because they haven't studied how consumers shop," she says.

In her book, Global Brand Power (Wharton Digital Press, 2013), Kahn cites Walmart's mistake in choosing locations in China that were near industrial parks when consumers were used to shopping closer to home instead of near work.

2. Position yourself properly.
Good brand positioning includes truly understanding your competition and then looking at your competitive advantage. Who are the providers of similar products and services that you sell in this country? They may not be the same providers as in the U.S.

For example, if you sell athletic clothing, look at where people are buying their athletic clothing. It could be from specialty stores, online retailers, or sporting goods stores. If you have a high-end brand and you're going into a market where the preferred buying location is discount retailers, it may take a different strategy from the one you use in the U.S. "You need to understand how people shop and how your brand will fit into that mix," she…...

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