Successfully launching a global brand is not for the faint-hearted. Understanding the wants and needs of consumers around the globe takes a lot of time and research, but it is something that retailers must do to maximize their growth potential.
In a recent webinar, industry experts Carl Miller, Managing Director at the GRIN Labs, and Wade Rocco, Solutions Architect at Smartling, discussed what organizations need to do to create native brand experiences on a global scale.
Miller, whose organization communicates regularly with hundreds of retailers around the globe, has a keen understanding of strategies that work, and those that don’t. He contends that successful global brands focus on the Five Pillars of Customer Experience highlighted below:
Timing is everything. Whether you’re a comedian trying to tell a joke or a business trying to land a new customer, if the timing isn’t right results won’t meet expectations. For example, global businesses that don’t understand where their customers are located could upset them by making sales or service calls during hours that are inconvenient. That is why many businesses implement ‘follow the sun’ customer service processes, which allow them to provide top notch service and support to customers around the globe, at the right times for the right places.
Understanding the tastes of local customers is a key component of any native brand experience. An example, noted by Miller in the webinar, was a dress manufacturer in China that was targeting latino women in the US, but didn’t understand the concept of the quinceanera, a common rite of passage from childhood to womanhood at 15 years old in Latin American communities. It might seem like a small thing, but understanding this regional idiosyncrasy would affect how the product is merchandised on the website, how it is messaged to consumers, and ultimately could affect the buying decision of potential customers.
Having a detailed awareness of local currencies and preferred payment methods is critical to any native brand experience. Retailers that aren’t set up to seamlessly process transactions from customers around the globe, you could lose business to brands that are. For example, in China a large percentage of consumers prefer to use Alipay, whereas in Russia consumers prefer to use e-wallets.
Consumers are savvy. They know what they want, when they want it and therefore how soon you have to deliver for them to buy from you. The question is: can your brand deliver? Industry leaders like Amazon have set the bar for logistics very high. If you can’t meet or closely approximate what Amazon is doing, then you could lose out on business. Additionally, if your brand isn’t offering in-language support online, it is running the connected risks of alienating customers who are looking for help and driving them to the competition.
Localization goes beyond just translation. It’s the principal building block supporting the other pillars mentioned above. Companies that understand localization resonate with local customers and understand what makes them tick. And what better way to understand a local market than by hiring local marketers. Since in-country marketers know the region well, they are aware of local customs, cultural sensitivities, and regional dialects.
Access our presentation: How to Give Each Customer a Native Brand Experience… at Scale to learn more about how to build global content strategies that are successful and resonate with your customers.