May 26, 2016

3 Things to Consider when Taking Your Brand Name Global

Most organizations are looking for their brand to grow throughout its lifetime, and for some, that anticipated (and hoped for) growth includes expanding outside of their home region or country. However, this growth can come with a downside for the brand if certain aspects, specifically the brand name, aren’t suited to travel. Everything is going well – the brand is growing, new markets are identified, the stage is set for an initial foray into the global market – until the brand name falls flat once it leaves the home in

So how does a brand ensure its success both locally and globally? Here are three areas of consideration to take into account when creating a brand name that will be used on a global scale:

  1. Legal: Make sure your brand is legally able to extend outside of your current market and that you won’t run into legal opposition using your brand name in another region or country. For instance, a local business could use parts of the brand name of a larger company, which wouldn’t cause too many problems until they tried to go national or global. Then they would almost certainly face opposition from the larger organization, which would result in time and costs spent in working out any issues that arise. Additionally, there could be parts of a brand name that pose no legal issues in the originating country, but when expanding to other nations face differing laws.
  2. Linguistics: Be conscious of how the brand name translates in other languages. More times that most would think, one or more words in a brand name translate very poorly into the language of a potential new market – everything from profanities to translations that don’t bode well for the business or product involved.Don’t wait until you see the negative reaction or end up on a “worst name mistakes” list to properly do the research necessary to avoid this problem. Also, keep in mind that knowing exactly where a brand might grow is rare – in this case, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry and research the linguistic aspect of a potential brand name in as many languages as possible.
  3. Growth/Expandability: Once you expand, consider the impact on the business. Ideally the business will grow and you need to make sure the brand name isn’t so limiting that it impedes this progress.

Just like any aspect of a brand, a name carries valuable weight with an audience. Often, it is the first interaction they have with the overall brand, so as the brand grows, so does the potential audience. This also increases the importance of a high-quality brand name – one that will have the same impact whether it is known to 100 people or 100 million.

Creating a global-friendly brand name shouldn’t come as an afterthought or be consigned to a reactive strategy. When developing a brand name, work under the assumption that there exists a real possibility that it will be utilized on a global scale. That way, you can avoid hoping your established brand will have success when it expands beyond its current borders and find a new, global audience.

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