With the explosive growth of digital technology has come more and more methods for advertisers to connect with their customers on an increasingly personal level.
There are simply so many different ways of getting through to your customers, no matter where in the world they are.
While this may seem like a mostly positive development, this is actually a double-edged sword. In the face of more opportunities to market globally and increasing competition, it’s becoming harder and harder to actually make an impact.
Becoming an international brand requires a robust strategy to enter new markets successfully and build a food and beverage empire.
It requires a thorough understanding of how to market your product in a way that it adapts to fit in with a variety of different regional contexts while still appealing to every individual customer.
While this may seem like a complicated process, this is something that is achievable using a good digital marketing strategy.
Build a strong and consistent brand culture
Regardless of where your business originated from, you’re going to need a strong brand culture that centres around your core values. Because with digital media, borders are a thing of the past.
While it used to be up to local markets to develop their own brand strategies, now it’s more important to build a global culture that remains familiar to consumers around the world.
Your messaging is going to seep into other countries no matter how much you try to segment it so your brand should be appropriate across all products and geographical regions.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t adapt your culture to suit local markets, but your overall values shouldn’t change as you adapt.
You have to adopt a more unified marketing approach, which involves using a specific style guide to ensure a consistent visual presentation, along with consistent messaging that aligns with your brand values and how you want to position yourself.
This should be involved in every aspect of your business, including the products you provide and how you are marketing and selling them.
Your brand culture should permeate into your social media to remind your audience that there is a real group of people behind all these posts that showcase your values and beliefs, showing them that you actually do believe in your company and its purpose.
You can also include blogs to help educate the public about your business and your products, which can allow you to share more about your culture in your branding.
It can involve having a powerful story that can be told to highlight your brand values and your business philosophy so that you can properly convince people of your product.
This can create a powerful selling point that can easily be adapted to different regions.
Is there a market for it?
Moving into another country might seem like tapping into a wealth of untapped potential customers, but this isn’t always the case.
You might end up facing stiff competition from local brands or even find that there isn’t really a market for your product.
Without doing sufficient market research, there is a much lower chance of success for businesses entering new markets.
So, before you attempt to expand, you are going to need to do a thorough investigation to identify the needs, competition, target audience and other specific regional requirements.
One way you can find out more about your audience and their needs in different markets is by using keyword research.
Seeing search volumes for certain keywords can help to gauge the relative interest of certain countries for your products.
Transcreate don’t translate
You are also going to need to assess how your brand translates, both literally and culturally.
It is not about simply copy-pasting your copy into another language, it is about understanding how this audience will perceive your messaging, as a product name that works in your own language could translate poorly into others.
For example, the Big Mac from McDonald’s was supposed to be launched as ‘Gros Mec’ in France, which means ‘big pimp’. Even KFC’s slogan ‘finger-licking good’ was unfortunately translated into Chinese to mean ‘eat your fingers off’.
To relate to and connect with your audience, you need to speak their language, which means using the appropriate voice and tone, but also some of the words and phrases that they actually use.
While you are not trying to alter your brand values as you adapt to other countries, you will need to adjust your tone and marketing slightly to appeal to the cultural norms of your target customers and ensure that all your product promotions are done in a culturally acceptable way.
Understanding how to personalise content for various cultures is integral to ensuring that you are getting the right message across.
Focus on your customers
Customers are central to your business—they are what makes the food and beverage industry go round.
This is why you should focus on developing a strong relationship with your customers.
Constantly ask what are the needs, wants, pain points or desires of your customers all the while positioning yourself as the solution.
Loyal customers are essential for businesses to stay afloat in new markets as expansion is quite an expensive process and it is much easier to retain customers and increase their expenditure than it is to convert new customers.
The more they grow to trust you and your brand, the more likely they are to recommend you to a friend or engage with your content.
This requires building a strong customer journey right from the lead nurturing stage and past customer conversions into customer retention.
Even though you will be talking to larger and larger audiences as you expand, having content that speaks to all these stages of the customer journey in a personalised manner is key to keeping them engaged with your brand.
This involves ensuring that you are consistently developing the right type of content for segmented audiences, while still being able to adapt your strategy to new trends.
Position yourself for success
Turning a food and beverage business global is always going to be a big step for any brand.
Success will depend on the level of preparation and planning you do, as well as how well you can understand your various audiences in order to deliver messaging that will actually resonate with them.