International marketing has new deal
As technology creates leaps in communication, transportation, and financial flows, the world continues to feel smaller and smaller. It is possible for companies and consumers to conduct business in almost any country around the world thanks to advances in international trade. According to the World Trade Organization, the volume of international merchandise trade increased 33 times between 1951 and 2010.
Brands and products that originate in one country are enthusiastically accepted in others. For example, Louis Vuitton handbags, BMWs, and Columbian coffee, all foreign products, are symbols of status and quality in the United States – and many American brands, like Warner Brothers motion pictures, have similar footholds overseas.
However, globalization has created just as many challenges as opportunities for brands that venture overseas. Because consumers have so many more options for similar products, companies must ensure that their products are high in quality and affordability. Additionally, these products cannot be marketed identically across the globe. International marketing takes more into consideration than just language – it involves culture, market saturation, and customer behaviors. American and European companies especially have turned their international marketing efforts into something more than just exporting – they have adapted their branding to account for differences in consumers, demographics, and world markets.
Companies who have done this very well include Coca-Cola, who discovered that the word ‘Diet’ carries a negative connotation in Latin America and changed the name of their zero-calorie product to ‘Coke Lite’ for those countries. UPS, known in America for their brown trucks, issued a fleet of a different color after learning that their flagship brown trucks resembled Spanish hearses.
Rapid technological advances mean that geographical and cultural communication barriers are disappearing, and even smaller businesses without a physical presence in other countries can market and sell their products internationally. This means that almost anyone with the desire can market internationally, but will do so with varying levels of success, depending on the thought and research that is put into the international marketing strategy.
Companies selling goods that have customs restrictions, like food and live plants, must contend with a more rigorous regulatory process before marketing their products internationally. While they may have a more difficult time setting up their international export business, they also have the opportunity to expose other countries to native products they couldn’t access otherwise.