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How To Maintain Brand Identity In The International Market


Does your product or service stand out from the competition? Do customers instantly recognize your products online or in stores? When expanding into new countries, global brand identity is extremely important, as it’s how consumers find your products and choose them over similar offerings. There are unique challenges when you’re selling products in the international market. 

This article will cover ways to maintain your brand’s international identity.

If you’re looking for talented marketing directors who can navigate brand identity in international waters, CulverCareers can help. Our marketing recruiting services help you find the best marketing talent with expertise in your industry and your target region.

What Defines a Global Brand?

When a company enjoys brand recognition worldwide, that’s a global brand. When entering a new market, there are special considerations to keep in mind, such as how the brand is perceived in each region. Your company should research consumer usage and attitude in every region where you plan to offer the product. 

Effective international branding involves creating a global brand identity, voice, promise, values, targeting, and positioning.

How To Keep a Consistent Look Across Borders

International brand recognition can be improved by paying close attention to brand elements such as:

  • Brand name
  • Logo
  • Catchphrase or slogan
  • Typography
  • Imagery
  • Color palette
  • Tone and voice
  • Product and packaging shape

In this way, your brand will be instantly recognizable no matter where it is. This creates familiarity and can lead to increased customer loyalty and international growth for your company.

Embracing Localization

Localized marketing, also known as brand localization, is when a company adapts its brand and offerings to appeal to specific markets or consumers in different countries. 

You start by performing market research in that region to better understand your audience’s culture, demographics, and preferences. You can then localize the language on your website and in advertising, logo design, and packaging. 

Working with regional partners such as local media outlets and influencers can help introduce your brand and create a cohesive identity that’s also customized to the area. Using specific content marketing and social media with localized languages and hashtags will help target your message to specific consumer demographics. 

One company that’s a localization expert is Starbucks. Coffee drinkers are not created equal. They speak in different languages and have unique cultural backgrounds and beverage preferences. Starbucks addresses this by creating different social media accounts for specific regions around the world, to appeal to those customers. 

They’ve also added local favorites to their menu, such as matcha-flavored drinks in Japan to appeal to the country’s tea culture and traditional teas, and chai tea lattes in India, where chai spiced tea is extremely popular.

Translate To Success

How can I ensure my translations make sense to a native speaker if I don’t speak the language? The only way to be internationally successful when translating your company’s brands, products, and messaging is to use a professional translator. 

These companies learned the hard way how important accurate translation is:

  • Pepsi’s slogan “Pepsi brings you back to life!” became “Pepsi brings dead ancestors back from the grave” in China
  • Canadian Mist and Clairol both had a problem when introducing their products in Germany. In German, the word “mist” means “manure.”
  • Schweppes tonic water, when first launched in Italy, was translated literally into “Schweppes toilet water.” 

While free online software like Google Translate is fine in a pinch, it doesn’t address the nuances that can exist in another language or words that may sound like other (less desirable) words. Something is bound to “get lost in the translation,” and while it can sometimes be amusing, sales that fall flat aren’t funny at all.

Find Savvy Global Business Leaders for Your Organization

Highly skilled marketing directors ensure that a company’s global brand identity and messaging look and sound good in any language. As experts in brand perception and consumer behavior, they’re able to turn new opportunities into successful business ventures. Don’t leave such important hires to chance. 

Maintaining a strong brand identity can be tough work, which is why you need top-notch marketers on your team. Let Culver Careers help you to find the best marketing talent, no matter where your business is located.

Ty Culver headshot
Written by

Ty Culver is the Client Development Director of CulverCareers focusing on talent acquisition and workforce solutions with a wide variety of local, national and global clients.

Ty has been working in various aspects of the industry for over 10 years and developed deep expertise in Executive Search, Executive Benefit and Talent Acquisition Programs along the way. He has a range of experience from SMB to Enterprise clients and hyper specific executive searches to high volume recruiting with companies in a dynamic state of flux.

Today, Ty leads a talented team of Talent Acquisition Specialists, Executive Recruiters and Client Success Managers at one of the most respected Recruiting Firms in the Nation, CulverCareers. While leadership is a key aspect of his role, Ty still enjoys working with clients on recruiting strategies, executive benefit solutions and workforce solutions to help clients build a holistic approach to talent acquisition and talent retention.

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