The most exciting part about international marketing is that you get to create or adapt your marketing mix to expand into a new country and connect with a whole new audience.

The truth is, it's never as easy as "translating" your marketing communications and website to a new language—the key is to "localize" and better understand the unique qualities of different cultures.

You might need to modify your product to agree with local preferences, the way Coca-Cola and Fanta do. In Europe, for example, Fanta has a higher percentage of fruit juice, no high fructose corn syrup, a lighter color, and a taste that's more refreshing than the way too orange and sweet American version.

Or, even if your product stays the same, you need to find a way to communicate with a new market. One example is the way multinational companies use different brand names in the US and the UK for the same products: Axe in the US is Lynx in the UK; Mr. Clean in the US is Mr. Proper in the UK.

Localization is the practice of adapting a product, service, or marketing content to conform to the language, culture, and legal and technical requirements of a country.

Here are three basic levels of localization to get you started as you gear up to expand into a new market in another country.

1. Functional requirements

These are the building blocks of your product launch in a new market, and the minimum investment you need to make to set up shop:

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image of Isadora Badi

Isadora Badi is director of brand marketing at Wyndham Hotel Group. She has worked in brand marketing in the telecommunications, logistics, and hospitality industries in several countries. She blogs at Are we "abroad" yet?

LinkedIn: Isadora Badi