Expanding your company into a new region is up there as one of the biggest business achievements there is. Having established your initial project successfully enough to venture into exciting new territory, you may feel like you are embarking on a whole new beginning.
With this in mind you may be considering a rebrand. Your branding is a crucial element in how your company is viewed by its public, so it makes sense given the timing. A rebrand is so much more than just the creation of a new logo design, contrary to some belief, so it’s vital that you reassess your overall position. Not least because you will be drilling down into an entirely new audience with different cultural values and customs.
Here are some key steps, from our designer Jon Abbott, on rebranding for a new country:
Before You Get Started
You’ll find that rebranding in a new territory is going to take time and research because it’s essential to know how to engage your overseas audience. No doubt you’ll have assessed how viable your product or service offering will be there, but have you taken the time out to consider why? This target market’s key drivers may be completely different to the consumers you know so well at home.
It isn’t just about the product for starters. Your brand is essentially in how your consumers perceive you; driven by your main mission, core values and business model. If you believe that the message resonates with your new public, amazing! Now, the other half of the battle is communicating that and connecting with them in order to gain a strong sense of trust.
Enter vigorous market research, which will be critical to your success. Find out everything there is to know about them, immerse yourself, before you begin deciding on positioning, messaging and design.
There are a lot of questions to be answered here, the following are some to think about:
- What political and economic factors affect them?
- What societal factors affect them?
- How do they shop?
- How large is the market?
- Does your USP resonate with them?
- Where do they currently buy your product, or similar from?
- What do they admire in companies?
- How much are they willing to spend on your product?
- Do they have a strong affinity with your competitors already?
Get Cultural References Right
Many brands have been burned by not doing their homework on this important aspect before, usually the result of miscommunication on the language front. However, your visual identity is also key to communicating what you do and what you stand for too. Make sure you get it right.
Get to understand the cultural meanings behind colours in your chosen territory as this can vary from country to country. For example, yellow represents mourning in some African and Southern American countries, but it generally connotes happiness in the Western world. In a more globalised market colour, while still important to think about, may not cause as much offence as using the wrong word or an image deemed inappropriate for your audience, so attention must be paid.
An example of the offence this type of error can cause comes courtesy of British supermarket chain Tesco. Back in 2015, they positioned celebratory Ramadan messaging alongside tubes of Smoky Bacon flavoured Pringles. Not only do many Muslims fast during this period, many abstain from eating pork-based products entirely, for religious reasons. The chain swiftly apologised but this was still offensive to its customers and puts brand loyalty in jeopardy.
Make Yourself Identifiable
Given that your business is embarking on notable changes, it’s time to give thought to where the future lies. You may be working towards the trip to a new territory now, but do you intend to take this journey further still in the next few years? If you are, a rebrand on an international scale might be the way to go. This could be one overarching brand for all of the regions you intend to move into. Alternatively, you could keep the branding you have at home and adopt sister brands to appeal to a fresh audience. However you go about this change, consistency is vital; your brand should be easily identifiable to everyone who is relevant to your business no matter where in the world you are.
Creating a visual identity that your customers instantly recognise establishes trust and loyalty which results in better sales over all. In fact, according to Forbes, presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%. This means your brand guidelines should be carefully crafted, detailed and readily available to everyone who works at your company to achieve cohesive branding with minimal disruption.
Keep It Simple
You’re certainly thinking big if you are taking on a rebrand and a company expansion. It won’t be easy but it should be simple, especially in terms of design. Consider keeping your new look extra low maintenance for a variety of reasons.
It is key that your new market can quickly get to know what your visual identity looks like and stands for. There is no need to over complicate the design of your new brand logo and accompanying assets because in a world where we see up to 10,000 ads per day! Moving quickly yet effectively is a must.
Another pro to keeping things simple is that when it is time to expand again a simple, universal logo will be easy to take with you!
There is lots to think about when creating a new brand identity. It is a fine balance between ensuring your established and successful brand doesn’t lose its spark and appealing to a new market that could see you do bigger and better things globally. These are just a few of the key things you should be thinking about when rebranding.
Should you need support creating a comprehensive branding plan for your next breakthrough, head here.
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