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International Marketing: Three Steps to Muy Bueno

by Isadora Badi  |  
March 7, 2014
  |  3,688 views

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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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

Twitter: @ISADORABADI

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  • by Step 1 Fri Mar 7, 2014 via web

    Step 1 in international marketing: Check your translations. It's "muy bien" not "muy bueno."

  • by Rick Fri Mar 7, 2014 via web

    Isadora, Thank you for submitting such a great article. Many folks fail to recognize or adapt to cultural differences in doing business in foreign countries, thus many times resulting in diappointing outcomes. This post is a great step in getting people to understand the importance of keeping this in mind. Thank you.

  • by Kumar Aiyer Sat Mar 8, 2014 via web

    Thank you for this great piece of insight. Many marketers sitting in corporate office miss the ground realities how consumer react to your communication. As they say in creative 'You need a sharp nail, not a large hammer"- to make a lasting impression, if the message is not speaking in the language of customer and culturally connects, the contact is not made. The big challenge in International marketing is truly localization

  • by ratna karki Sat Mar 8, 2014 via mobile

    thank you for great article. I like this type of practical and research base article..

  • by DC Liquidators Mon Mar 10, 2014 via web

    To better handle businesses in foreign countries it's best to hire a manager that's native to that place because they will have a better understanding of their culture thus increasing the chances of selling successfully.

  • by Yo hablo español... Wed Mar 12, 2014 via web

    "Muy bueno" is ok in this case. Mercadeo internacional: muy bueno. (very good - as in a permanent condition)
    Muy bien is after "how are you?" Muy bien (very well - as in a current state).

    Good article. Thanks

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