Have you ever had a product sell like crazy in one market and flatline in another? Perhaps you’ve experienced differing success rates between cultures and audiences, without really understanding why? The key rests in International Brand Management; it’s where — and how — inclusivity and creativity merge, to appeal to a range of audiences. Successfully marketing a brand means understanding your audience’s culture and expectations around branding. That’s where Chillistore comes in.
Every country has a different cultural approach to marketing and branding. In the United States, for instance, brands sell themselves. They state how their competitors lack, why their product is superior, and how your life would improve if you bought their product. U.S. audiences are used to being constantly inundated by market competition. Buy our sneakers and you’ll never again have knee pain! Your child needs this baby doll to be happy. Our cleaning product will catch what others don’t. You get the point. Not every culture expects this kind of marketing. Some countries, like Japan, emphasize results over words. Sure, you can claim to be the best with catch statements, but how do you prove you’re the best? Japanese audiences want proof, which is why bold statements (without evidence) aren’t usually well-received. AKA you’ll likely have lackluster results if you run around Japan telling people your product is the best…in fact, you’ll probably turn people off. Understanding a culture’s expectations and sensitivities is the first step to appealing to them.
Another step? Knowing what’s relevant to a culture and what’s not. To use the Japan example: Japan doesn’t celebrate Christmas in the same way as some other countries (especially the U.S.). For Japan, Christmas isn’t the year’s biggest commercial and celebratory event for family gatherings and gift exchanging (In fact, there’s a Japanese tradition of going to KFC on Christmas Eve!). So, a Christmas-themed campaign that’s successful in the U.S. or another Christmas-celebrating culture won’t transpose in Japan. At Chillistore, we consider alternatives that will stay true to the brand, while also considering a country’s unique culture. Is Christmas central to the core of the product? If not, we’ll propose alternative messaging approaches. If Christmas is absolutely central to the integrity of your product, then we’ll help you introduce and explain the importance of the concept. The idea is to promote the product — and all of its elements — as something that might be a nice addition to local celebrations. With this approach, the product comes across as less of an unfit imposition, and more of a helpful tool. We’ll create new content that stays true to your intentions, while also specifically targeting this new audience.
International Brand Management also requires a thorough understanding of the words, emotions, and images that sell. You’ve probably seen American movies re-titled in other countries. For example, the U.S. film, The Hangover, was advertised to the French as Very Bad Trip. While this title change may seem odd to English speakers, it was an intentional one. Sometimes, English titles perform better in France than direct translations. What sounds catchier? The Hangover or “Gueule de Bois”? Additionally, “the” is a notoriously difficult word for the French to pronounce. All of these cultural sensitivity factors might have contributed to the Very Bad Trip title.
International Brand Management is part of what we do and how we shine. Our experts know which key words, emotional appeals, and images resonate with certain audiences, and which do not. Our goal is to help you implement these, so you know when “Christmas” is welcome and when it’s not. After all, an audience that sees themselves reflected in a brand is an audience that buys.Learn more about our creative localization services