The rise of the internet and the increasing globalization of the worldwide economy means that more and more businesses are trying to find ways to appeal to customers beyond those who live in their immediate area. It’s easy to look to companies like Samsung, Apple, or Coca-Cola, that have achieved massive success across the globe and desire those same results for your own business.
Now, not every company necessarily needs to achieve this level of success. After all, a local cell phone repair shop hardly needs to appeal to customers on the other side of the world. However, many of the same principles that help larger companies tap into the global marketplace can help your small business find success too. Here’s a look at three tactics that can help you.
Speak the Language
It stands to reason that if you don’t speak the language of your customers, you aren’t going to be able to make much headway with your product or service. And these days, just about every retail store deals with customers who speak multiple languages. In Canada, French is the primary language for many residents. In the United States, the Spanish-speaking population has experienced significant growth over the past few years.
So how do you communicate with these customers if you don’t speak their language? One solution is to hire a translation service provider that delivers fast, accurate and reliable work. This enables you to quickly and effectively distribute your marketing messages and company information to customers who would have a hard time understanding English.
In addition, you can make a conscious effort to hire employees that speak a second language. By providing personalized service in the native language of your customers, you will stand out as a caring and professional business.
Know the Culture
Language isn’t the only thing that makes your global audience different. For example, each country has its own unique holidays and celebrations. Different religious and ethnic groups can also have particular interests or lifestyles that make them stand out from your everyday customers.
Because of this, it is essential that you are considerate of what appeals to this diverse customer base—as well as what messages could be ineffective or even distasteful. The better you are able to tap into the unique cultures of your global customers, the more likely you are to form meaningful connections and become an accepted part of the community.
For example, many American brands have found success by creating television ads specifically geared at Spanish-speaking audiences. These commercials are filmed in Spanish and are played exclusively on Spanish-language TV stations to make a direct appeal to these consumers. Similar methods of cultural engagement can yield big results for your business as well.
Understand the Market and Adapt
Any time there are language and cultural differences, the wants and desires of an overseas market are likely going to differ from those of your native customers. Because of this, many companies will adapt their products or services when entering a new country, even while maintaining a similar overall branding approach. For example, in Brazil, Kentucky Fried Chicken replaces its standard mashed potatoes side with the option preferred by local customers—rice and beans.
Companies that are most successful in this area typically use local partnerships—mentors, advisers, or even foreign businesses—that can guide them in which adaptations are necessary for success. The more willing a company is to adapt when necessary, the more likely it is to prove appealing to a wide range of customers.
Achieving success in a global marketplace isn’t always easy. But as companies utilize the language and culture of their diverse audiences and make adaptations to their products or services when necessary, they will be better equipped to reach a wider customer base than ever before.