Whether you like it or not, the referendum has happened and democracy has been decided. Personally, I was team remain but now is not the time to start sulking about not getting what I wanted for my family and the country. That’s next week’s blog!
So like many businesses we’re thinking of what will happen next and when. At the moment we don’t know but one thing is sure, our approach has to be positive. We will need to embrace change and seek the opportunities from the given circumstances.
But in business, as in life, this should be the norm – shouldn’t it? But how?
Cast the net wider
We’re all well aware of how the internet, and in particular mobile access, has made us closer to friends and family dotted around the world and this shouldn’t be any different for businesses.
By creating a compelling brand story, businesses can attract interest from overseas and start engaging with new customers. Yes, an understanding and appreciation of local requirements needs to be researched, visits to the chosen market need to be made, along with connecting and speaking to local contacts – but all this is possible with the right sense of adventure and commercial acumen.
‘Fire, determination and ambition’
My recent trip to Israel showed me how a country in isolation to its neighbours (sounding familiar) has been innovative, determined and broad minded enough to seek opportunities from around the world. There are some (minor) parallels there with how the UK might be treated by its neighbours over the next few years.
The Israelis have the fire, determination and ambition to succeed across the world, and the UK will have to adopt such principles. Yes there will be failures in this process but it’s the ability to bounce back, learn from the failures and evolve them into successes.
With all the impartial BBC reporting we’ve experienced over the past few months, it’s important to highlight both sides of the argument. Martin Roll mentions some of the potential pitfalls of globalising a brand are:
- Strategically managing multipoint competition – competing with established local brands will be difficult
- Restructuring and reconciling the brand portfolio scope – expanding the brand portfolio too far can create brand chaos
- Ensuring optimal localization to maintain the global brand identity – a delicate balance between maintaining core brand identity but personalizing it enough to appeal locally
- Managing country risk in international market entry – the legal, political, cultural and regulatory requirements need to be dealt with
‘Go deep’ and do it properly
Roshin Hegerman talks about in ‘today’s world nothing local is just local anymore’ and gives the example of how IKEA, unsure of how to present women to a Muslim audience in its 2012 United Arab Emirates catalogue, felt that the most efficient and expedient solution was to remove them from the pages altogether.
This omission went global with negative coverage hitting the press in countries as diverse as the UK, Singapore, Australia, Sweden and Taiwan. IKEA was forced to apologise and issue a statement explaining that excluding women from the Saudi Arabian catalogue was in conflict with IKEA’s group values.
All this could have been avoided had IKEA paid attention to the fact that the era of shallow globalisation is dead.
Hegerman states you must now go deeper and develop culture networks, deep cultural knowledge and deep media savviness. Think of this, if you will, as a new era of ‘deep globality’.
So taking the Latin proverb of ‘forewarned is forearmed’ it is possible to prepare for new and exciting times and to start globalising your brand and business. Develop deep, meaningful relationships with local contacts and start embracing the new opportunities.
Despite the uncertainty it’s an exciting time for business with the right mindset.
Are you considering a globalisation strategy for your brand? Talk to us.
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Author: Henry Sanford
Henry is an experienced online communications consultant who has worked with a number of FTSE 100/250 companies, helping them to communicate with their key stakeholders. He heads up our Digital team and is interested in new technology to make life more simple and engaging.
Author: Henry Sanford
Henry is an experienced online communications consultant who has worked with a number of FTSE 100/250 companies, helping them to communicate with their key stakeholders whilst maximising their use of data to generate informed decisions and increased engagement with customers. He heads up our Digital and Corporate Reporting teams, and is interested in all gadgets that make life simpler. Recent projects include an international product launch across Europe, Middle East & Africa as well as leading a large data integration project in the UK.
A fan of all sports, he is often seen supporting the Exeter Chiefs most weekends but without the headdress and tomahawk!