Going Global: Cultural Implications for Companies to Consider

In today’s marketplace, there are many products and services competing for our attention as consumers, and companies are going global more than ever before for a myriad of reasons. However, based on the increased amount of companies going global, there are some questions a small business might want to ask itself before attempting to enter the international market. Conducting a thorough self-evaluation of your company’s offerings could help you determine whether going global will work for your organization. While going global has the potential to increase your company’s profits by a landslide, the process is often more complicated than simply introducing your offerings internationally. Having a strong US brand often doesn’t automatically translate into a successful international brand.

Reasons to Go Global

Going global has the potential to yield serious results for companies looking to increase profitability, but not every company succeeds in the efforts to do so. Some of the potential benefits of going global include:

1.       You can extend the lifecycle of your product by increasing your company’s reach.

2.       You can improve your potential for growth and increase your profits by expanding your operations globally.

3.       You can meet international demand for your products.

4.       You can increase awareness for your brand.

5.       You can explore opportunities in emerging markets to extend your company’s footprint.

6.       You can increase your investment pool by considering international donors.

7.       You can protect your company from declines in US profits by increasing your global reach.

Will Going Global Work for Your Company?

Often, the reasons to go global seem to outweigh the risks. However, if you don’t take into consideration how your company’s products or service will be received in your chosen culture, you could face catastrophic consequences. Conducting comprehensive market research is key to successfully expanding your global reach. Here are some questions companies might want to ask themselves before they make their decision:

1.       Will your product or service sell in the country you’re targeting?

2.       Do you need to promote brand awareness in your target country or are they already aware of your brand?

3.       Do you know or can you become familiar with your target country’s cultural norms?

4.       Can you translate your company’s brand messaging effectively to your international target audience?

Solutions for Success

Success in going global can be dependent on how you come across as a brand to your target culture. Some ideas that have proven successful in past for companies like GE include: Hiring locally, conducting extensive market research about entering your target culture, and taking cultural communication norms into consideration in your messaging. By taking these time-tested suggestions into account, you might find yourself achieving the growth you’re striving for.

Takeaways

Going global can have an enormous impact on your company’s profitability. If you succeed, you can turn your company’s brand into a household name. However, you must make sure your offerings are compatible with your target culture, and you must be sure your messaging is consistent with both your brand voice and your target company’s cultural norms. As we know, context counts for a lot when you’re communicating internationally, and creating contextual and cohesive brand messaging will be an important step to success.

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