Every company knows the importance of brand research. It is essential that your branding communicates your company’s values to consumers, resonates with your audience and carries the right associations and attitudes that people will link to your company.
Now imagine that you have found the perfect branding, a slogan that works beautifully and a tone of voice that gives your brand the right identity. More often than not, you will have hired a professional brand consulting team. You are doing great in your home market and are thinking of taking your brand abroad. Should you just go ahead?
The short answer is yes, but plan carefully. Of course you want to be able to harness the huge potential of foreign markets, but just like it takes a lot of work to develop a brand in a market, there should be a significant amount of research carried out before attempting to enter a new market.
The best way of achieving this is through multicultural brand research and transcreation. First of all, it’s important to research things such as the associations that certain words, colours and images may have in the target market, as they may differ greatly from your culture. You want to avoid blunders such as the famous Mitsubishi Pajero.
Secondly, transcreation, a combination of content creation and translation, can help preserve the essence of your brand in the target language, whilst respecting the cultural conventions and expectations, which translates into brand understanding and engagement.
So, in order to make your brand go further, it is best to work with a team who knows the target market well and can provide the necessary brand research information, as well as excellent copy that resonates with your audience and communicates your brand values. One brand that has achieved that beautifully in China is Nike, whose transliterated name “Nai Ke” also carries the meaning of being enduring and persevering, two concepts that perfectly match their products. And they’re doing great in the country, which shows the importance of good market research.