Companies that wish to expand internationally must take into consideration the translations and cultural differences in the areas in which they look to expand. There are many case studies and examples of major US based corporations entering foreign markets without doing their homework. As a result of these missteps, millions of dollars were invested and then lost due to a failed launch, product flop or advertising gaffe.
Is it critical to do a complete market study when considering International expansion. The company needs to find out the differences in the foreign consumer and that of their domestic counterpart. Do they have different purchasing habits, do they like different colors or variations in the product, or do they have specific taste preferences? The obvious must also not be overlooked, like the actual name of the product. When translated into the local language, is the name or the context of the product offensive or derogatory in any way?
Successful companies must also evaluate the local and regional competition. What have they done that was successful and if possible, understand what hasn’t worked for the local company in their own market. Simple things like product design, packaging colors and even logos need to be scrutinized. Does the package evoke a positive emotional response? Check to see if the colors or logos are confusing or offensive in any way. The best way to avoid these market entrant problems is to find a reputable local business partner that can evaluate the entire product launch strategy. A local partner is critical to the initial and long-term success of a foreign brand entering an unknown market. If these critical steps are ignored, the long-term success of a brand or product in a market could be ruined for generations. Also, just because a brand or product is ultra successful in one part of the world, doesn’t mean it will have the same impact in another country.