Whether you’re running an eCommerce business or a tech startup, there’s nothing more exciting than spreading out into new territory. However, it’s also a tricky endeavor that requires a laser-like focus on your goals and milestones. Amid all this focus on infrastructure, investment, and expansion, it’s easy to lose sight of one of the most important ingredients to your success – brand consistency.
Though you will be reaching people in different cultures who have different needs and values, it’s still crucial to maintain a sense of consistency in your branding. The following tips will help you do just that.
1. Understand local markets
You may think consistency involves offering the same prices and products to customers, no matter where they are in the world. However, this isn’t always the best approach. Your first step should always involve comprehensive market research to understand what people are willing and able to pay for products or services like yours.
YouTube, for example, offers a different price for its premium subscription service depending on where a user lives. This makes sense as the average user in Argentina will have a different disposable income than the average user in New Zealand.
2. Dial in the details
There are many cultural and linguistic details that require your attention when you expand into new territory. For example, if you’re opening up shipping channels in Australia, it’s worth researching copywriting services in Melbourne to ensure the content on your Australian website matches the local spelling and linguistic mannerisms. Suppose you’ll be expanding into countries with significantly different languages and customs. In that case, it pays to work with translators, fixers, and guides to ensure you’re hitting the mark with your branding and internal and external communications.
3. Create a set of brand guidelines
If you want to maintain consistency, it pays to have a core resource for everyone to refer to. So, put some time into creating a set of brand guidelines that cover everything from your color palette and logo variations to your brand’s personality and tone of voice. Depending on the regions you’re spreading into, you may need to have this document professionally translated. Do not rely on translation apps as they are not yet sophisticated enough to accurately transform local idioms and linguistic idiosyncrasies.
4. Don’t forget about internal branding
An essential part of your overarching company culture, internal branding is as important as external branding. This is how you ensure you’re able to maintain consistency across all markets.
If you’re an eco-clothing company, for example, it’s not enough to simply work with people who share your vision and goals. If not given guidance through onboarding and training programs, an enthusiastic new hire may make inflammatory comments online that you never would have endorsed.
By keeping internal branding consistent and ensuring it is present from the job interview process right through training and beyond, you’ll find it easier to maintain consistency within your growing global team.
5. Embrace the cloud
All of the above work will be no good if your global teams are siloed in their separate countries. For this reason, it’s crucial to have your brand guidelines and all other relevant materials stored securely in the cloud. Opt for cloud services that give you control over who can access which folders and when. This is a crucial security measure, especially if you’re working with freelancers and contractors who only require access to certain project materials.
Keep these tips in mind, and your brand will become a strong and consistent foundation from which to build your global empire.