Business values may be fairly easy to construct and uphold when you are working domestically. However, as a marketer, rolling your business out to global territories presents its own unique set of challenges when it comes to upholding your core business ethics. Don’t let your original business vision slide as you expand to territories far beyond the gaze of your domestic customers. Rooted business values matter when growing globally and can help your business establish itself as an international leader.
Keep Your Company Image Positive
Though you always want to relate to locals in international markets, that doesn’t always mean you need to emulate local behavior, especially if it could compromise your reputation. For instance, though Heinz has processing plants and factories in markets where child labor is prevalent, the company says it will not hire child workers in any international territory (no matter what the legal work age in the country is). Heinz also conducts unannounced inspections to ensure no child workers work at its units and that its global facilities are always in good ethical standing.
International Corporate Social Responsibility
Giving back to the community is part of many companies’ business values. However, this desire to do good shouldn’t end at home. Engaging in corporate social responsibility in all the regions your company serves will go a long way toward improving your global reputation. Forbes highlights companies such as Adobe and Microsoft for their commitment to doing good across international borders, listing them among the world’s most ethical companies.
Use Ethics to Reach Out in a Native Way
Though your ethics might not perfectly line up with those of citizens who reside in the market you’re expanding to, you can use your differences to start a dialogue and help introduce new potential customers to your business. Localize content that explains your standard business practices in a way that is informational, but not patronizing or critical of the market you are working with. This will help give customers and local business partners an idea of how your company does business and can help boost interest in your company.
Keeping your ethics local even as your business goes global is a great way to expand your company’s presence while staying true to what made your company successful in the first place.
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