It’s your brand’s first time going to the Asian markets, which might be uncomparable and unfamiliar to the home market. Now you have got an idea of branding strategy, how do you proceed to establish the brand image in a foreign market?
Let’s do an exercise: Name a favourite international brand of yours off the top of your mind, can you use one to three adjectives (here is how to find the adjectives for your brand) to describe how the brand makes you feel?
The three adjectives that come to your mind so vividly when you think of the brand, is the “brand image” which resulted from a solid brand strategy. From our last episode, we have laid out the three essential mindsets you should keep in mind when exploring your branding strategy abroad. It’s time to move a step forward by transitioning the brand strategy to brand image.
There’s one thing about bringing your brand abroad: you have to first get a hold of the local culture. It is never easy, but luckily, we now have social media to utilise. You have incorporated the brand strategy in every aspect of the brand, including your online presence, it’s time to listen to the feedback from your local customers.
Your local market research
When hearing the jargon, “market research”, it sounds like a million-dollar task, but you can start simple by:
Comments: Scroll through the comments your customers left about your brand
Just chattin’: Chat with your local customers to know how they perceive your brand
Competitors: Have a peek of what your competitors and their clients are talking about. Not stalking, but knowing what your local competitors are doing well and bad at can certainly help you improve localisation on top of your customised brand strategy.
Working with the product:
You may think, what? How does branding have anything to do with MY product? Well, alot.
Branding and product design goes hand in hand especially when the brand is going through a phase of establishing its brand image in a foreign market. After collecting the market feedback of your brand image, you will have a good re-examination on your brand strategy and the product itself. Does the design fit the brand image? How well do the packaging and the appearance represent it? Do the messages the brand conveys resonate with the target clients? These are all important questions to help you get started in a market that you might not be familiar with.
Find a slogan (not forever, for now)
To make sure the brand image is easy to be grasped, find a slogan that’s catchy and straight to the point. The trick is, if it rhymes, it’s even better!
Don’t feel pressured on finding THE one once you land your feet on the ground of a foreign market, the slogan can be changed over time as the objective/campaign changes. For example, McDonald’s slogan was “Look for the Golden Arches!” in the 1960s when its franchise grew across regions to make the brand itself recognisable. In 2003, when the golden arch was already a household name, it went ahead and changed the slogan in a totally different direction to emphasise its brand value and offer the sense of companionship: “I’m lovin’ it.” with an earwormed melody.
The slogan is not permanent, it only serves to offer a simple and easy way to remember your brand image.
We offered some techniques to establish brand image in the foreign markets by the brand strategy developed. In the next episode, we will be diving into the most common brand archetypes in Asia to help you further enhance the characteristics of your brand image.