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In todays post, we will analyze the challenges we face when globalizing your brand. Do not despair… There is a solution for every problem!

  1. Misinterpreting brand meaning

When you travel to different countries, it is very usual to find the same products but with different names. This has to do with the different connotations certain words or phrases have depending on the country. Recently, AirBnB faced this issue when trying to figure out its brand name in China.

Recommendation: Always check the meaning or connotation of your brand name before launching it in the country of interest. If necessary, you may search for a suitable name that adapts to the target culture, but which also defines and identifies your product.

  1. Copyright issues

It is very often to see new brands with similar names to our brands, and this may lead to confusion by the public and the loss of identity of our own brand.

Recommendation: Copyrighting your brand as soon as your product is launched is essential, to avoid imitations or forgeries.

  1. Failing to remember a brand in a different language

Sometimes we do not remember the names or the pronunciation of certain product brand names. As an example, a Spanish speaking consumer may find it difficult to remember and/or pronouncing names such as Schweppes or Häagen-Dazs.

This has led to launching products with similar names to the existing ones, which often brought confusion to consumers and brought more attention to them.

Recommendation: It is very important to choose a name which is easy to remember and pronounce in the target market. In the same way, the brand image (such as its logo and packaging) must be memorable to your customers.

  1. Different positioning in different markets

One of the biggest challenges when globalizing your brand is to achieve a similar positioning in the different countries it operates in, but this is something not simple to accomplish, especially as many times brands go through merger or acquisition. An iconic case is Zara which is considered a cheap clothing brand in Spain, but has a more exclusive positioning in other countries.

Recommendation: The best you can do in cases like this is to work with a different brand name for each market.

  1. Managing a global brand portfolio

It is sometimes very difficult to manage multiple brands, product types, regions, continents, and more. This becomes more complicated when the entry strategy or the presence in a certain market is made by an importer, a franchisee or licensee which, if not sufficiently controlled and/or aligned with the aims, values and positioning of the brand, may lead to decisions which can gravely affect your product positioning and image.

Recommendation: Establish certain ground rules to licensees, franchisees or importers in order not to lose the brand’s essence and its positioning and image worldwide.

  1. “Internationalizing” your brand’s value

It is often wrong to introduce a brand’s values to all the countries it operates in. In this case, each country’s culture is, again, important when determining the meaning we wish to convey to our brand.

Recommendation: Be flexible when establishing the brand’s values depending on the country you wish to enter, obviously without losing the brand’s essence.