Global & Cross-Cultural Marketing Overview

A growing global economy is providing great opportunities for U.S.- based companies to expand sales and distribution beyond our borders. And, many foreign companies are finding new markets for their products here in the U.S. We understand the importance these markets play in the growth of our clients’ businesses. For that reason, we have spent years developing the expertise and resources necessary to meet our clients’ needs in reaching these important markets. Incitrio understands first-hand the importance of culturally relevant marketing.

  • Global Marketing  – strategy, marketing, and advertising
  • Global Product Launches – marketing campaigns with localization of content and imagery
  • Cross-Cultural Messaging – content localization
  • Cross-Cultural Branding – design, color, imagery localization
  • Hispanic Marketing – strategy, marketing, and advertising

Global & Cross-Cultural Marketing Process

In the US, no two target audiences are alike. Internationally, no two countries or even regions within a country are alike! Cross-cultural sensitivity in your messaging, design, imagery, and translation is absolutely vital. When you assume that everyone else has the same sensibilities as your US audience, you start to slide down that slippery slope of ineffective global marketing. Let Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency help you navigate the international marketing waters with a sure and steady hand. Learn from our clients’ wins and extrapolate those formulas for your brand’s success. We’ll work with you to create a highly customized and personalized global marketing experience that is sure to resonate and convert.

Global marketing can be incredibly complicated. Even if we simplified by continent, there is still so much diversity in terms of culture, language, and norms that it’s critical to localize your design as much as possible. You can group a few countries together, but you need to also be sensitive to religious requirements as well regarding imagery and what is and is not acceptable. Not to mention, color stereotypes within each given culture!

That is why brand localization is so important. When you fully appreciate the complexities and sensitivities of each country and culture, only then can you create relevant, meaningful design that performs. For example: you would never put an image of a man in a green tie in China or show a woman’s belly in the United Arab Emirates. Common sense choices for those local cultures aren’t always so common sense for the US-sentiment. I’m sure you’ve all heard the story of the Gerber baby food snafu in Pakistan. They put the picture of what’s on the jar for their labeling. Big mistake for Gerber in terms of packaging design! Lesson learned for all other future food brands launching in Pakistan and other countries. Same goes for the Chevy Nova in Mexico. The term “nova” has no meaning, but the words “no va” literally means “doesn’t go” in Spanish. Big mistake for Chevy in terms of naming! Lesson learned for all other future “custom” names to do a search prior to launching a new product in other countries.

The same rules apply for messaging. Imagine launching a new detergent with a big print ad campaign showcasing the ideal family unit. In the US, that ideal family makeup would probably consist of a mom, dad, two kids, and a dog. But, in China, that same ideal family unit would probably consist of a mom, dad, one son (not daughter and not two kids, unless it was to an affluent audience), one grandma, one grandpa, and no dog. And, just because you put in an Asian-looking family, that still would not be enough. If one of the models was Korean and another Japanese, but the target audience was Chinese, they would be terribly offended. Your lack of sensitivity to their culture would come across as not bothering to take the time to understand their specific needs. In global branding and marketing, it is absolutely critical that you take into account cultural sensitivity to make the best possible choices. Brands that really try are rewarded. Brands that are rude and insensitive are guaranteed to fail miserably.

Content localization down to a specific geographic area can make all the difference, too! Try creating a marketing or advertising piece for China and picking one language. In China, they speak both Mandarin and Cantonese. Which one do you choose? Well, if you were targeting Hong Kong, you’d pick Cantonese. And, if you were targeting Shanghai, you would pick Mandarin. Now, imagine you need to create a marketing design piece for Shanghai and Beijing. Yes, they both speak Mandarin. However, each has their own colloquialisms. Failure to factor that into the localization of your content and your messaging could be disastrous! So much to think about, yet the opportunity for global branding and marketing that really performs is tremendous…with the right branding agency partner!

Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency also offers Hispanic Marketing. Living within a diverse community of various ethnicities has taught us that the worst mistake you can make is assuming you know your audience. Say you want to create a campaign specifically targeted to the Hispanic audience and that your company is based in the US. Now, let’s consider the various make-ups of different subset Hispanic groups: Mexicans living in the US, Latinos living in the US, South Americans living in the US, Spaniards living in the US, etc. Do they speak Spanish 100%? Do they speak English? Now, let’s think about slang. Are there certain words that a 100% Spanish-speaking Mexican audience uses that a 100% Spanish-speaking South American audience does not? You betcha.

What if you need a campaign for a 100% Spanish-speaking Mexican audience in the US vs Mexico? That would actually turn into two campaigns simply because the localization (translation for geographic specificity) would need to change depending on their audiences location. Now, do you begin to understand where the complexity comes from? Let Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency help you find the best way and message to reach your audience so that your messaging gets through and actually resonates rather than offends so you build positive brand equity and generate measurable results.

Let Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency help you with your global marketing, cross-cultural marketing, and/or hispanic marketing efforts so that you can feel confident that your messaging, imagery, color, and content are all properly localized for that particular target audience. We’ve worked with many companies to either bring them into the US or take them to other countries/continents for their marketing efforts.

Let us leverage our experience for your benefit. And, we’ll bring our strong strategic partner team to help you with other challenges like: printing overseas, manufacturing overseas, customs issues, fulfillment issues, and setting up joint strategic partnerships in other countries. Whatever your need, just ask. We’ve got a partner for that!

Global & Cross-Cultural Marketing FAQs

Typically, when a brand launches a new product internationally, there are two parts to their launch: the US launch and the global launch. Understanding that the language, imagery, and messaging needs to be different for the US market vs. the international market is the first step to a successful campaign. Creating materials that support your sales team in the US and your sales channel partners in other countries means localization of content and design structure to protect consistency and ensure proper use.

Why is this so important? If you don’t factor in the messaging, localization of content, and personalization of imagery plus design structure, your international sales channel partners will shelve the collateral that you worked so hard to create and send to them. Then, they will go ahead and create their own. That’s when it happens. Complete loss of brand consistency and messaging coupled with non-compliance and potential lawsuits that your unwitting partners just opened up on an international scale.

Think about English as a language. We both speak and write in English in the US and England, but the way we phrase certain terms and spell certain words is a result of each country’s version of English. Now, let’s consider South America. Sure, they speak Spanish in Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina. But, they all have different versions of Spanish that they speak, different spellings, and different slang. In order for global marketing to perform effectively, one needs to “localize” the content so that it is not only translated into Spanish, but translated into Spanish for Argentina not Mexico…if you’re launching in Argentina.

Localization ensures that your message is properly transmitted with the highest probability for success. It takes your translation one step further by speaking to your target audience with respect and in the manner that they most prefer. That is why localization is such an important part of a global marketing strategy.

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