Expanding Into International Markets: Think Locally to Succeed Globally - (Archived)

Dave Glantz, Director of Research Services, Market Connections, Inc.

Many of us have heard the horror stories of companies running U.S-developed campaigns internationally without first localizing them to individual markets. A well-known consumer campaign gone awry was Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation,” which when translated into Chinese became “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.” To avoid such pitfalls, localized research is critical to your international success.

Of course, before they develop tag lines and ads, companies expanding to new international markets need to have a thorough understanding of the relevant cultural differences and considerations of their target markets. How will the products or services likely be received in different geographies? What is the local competitive landscape?  Should the unique selling proposition be tweaked or changed in different markets? Are there distribution channels that could hinder or accelerate success? What sales cycle should be expected? What price point will effectively balance profit and adoption?

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