How Brands Approach International Marketing

Have you ever heard about the failed Ford marketing campaign in Brazil? Ford introduced its brand in Brazil in the early 1970s but failed to sell its products there. You might wonder why. The company introduced their famous ‘Pinto’ car, but the company didn’t do its do-diligence when researching how ‘Pinto’ would translate in Portuguese. The translation was very off-putting, making the product and company tank at the beginning. This example shows us that strategy for international marketing cannot always go as planned.

Creating a successful international marketing campaign takes a lot of time and research. It should appeal to a new market, bring value, and communicate the desired outcome. Many famous brands like Coca-Cola, Pampers, etc., faced failure with their marketing campaigns not working in foreign markets. In this article by Meldium, you can read more examples of famous brands failing to advertise their products in various countries and the subsequent consequences. 

What does it take for a brand to build a successful marketing strategy when entering a foreign market?

Language 

The language barrier is one of the first things marketers have to think about when choosing a marketing strategy. Communicating the right message to the right people is extremely important when marketing a product or service. When coming up with a new slogan, brand name, or marketing message, a brand should make sure that people interpret it in the desired way to avoid harming the brand image and decreasing sales. For example, let’s talk about Netflix. Netflix has viewers from all over the world because they successfully appeal to viewers from around the globe. Netflix introduced subtitles in different languages, which ensured that people could understand foreign movies and tv-shows. People get movie suggestions based on their region to better appeal to their interests and preferences. Such a strategy is highly effective when it comes to bringing value to viewers. 

Culture

Marketers choose a strategy based on people’s beliefs, values, traditions, and lifestyles, which greatly differ from country to country. When Apple was trying to enter the Japanese market, the question was how to appeal to Japanese customers. Their beliefs and values are quite different from those in Western countries. “Read Different: Apple Ads in Japan” is an interesting article about Apple’s approach to appeal to the Japanese market. It is not welcomed in Japanese culture to excessively talk about strength. Instead of communicating how great and perfect Apple products are, Apple took a different approach by emphasizing how fun it is to use their products. Such an approach was successful and helped the company become dominant in the Japanese market.

People shopping in Apple store in Japan

Pricing

Deciding on a pricing strategy is an essential factor in international marketing. Different countries have different purchasing power that should be taken into consideration when pricing the products. In all countries, price is an essential factor to consider when making a purchase. In most Asian countries, people associate higher prices with better quality, so a low-cost strategy will not always be the best choice for such a market. People are more likely to go with a pricier option because of their perception of cheap products. 

Consumer Behavior

Depending on whether a culture has horizontal or vertical values, the approach to a new market might differ. Cultures with horizontal orientation value equality, whereas, cultures with vertical orientation tend to focus more on hierarchy and status in society. People in such countries as Korea, Japan, and the USA prefer luxurious and prestigious products. In contrast, countries like Denmark are more likely to buy products that help them self-express and show their individuality. When advertising products for such countries, marketers choose the message and branding depending on what consumers value most. 

You can read more about the connection between culture and consumer behavior here.

Understanding these factors helps marketers create the best strategy possible. Some companies choose to go with a global strategy and appeal to the broader consumer base at once while some companies use a different approach for every country they sell their products in. Which approach do you prefer?

Anna Yavdoshenko

Author Anna Yavdoshenko

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