In our last blog post we talked about how rebranding can make a business stronger and, in some cases, completely revitalize a company. We decided to rebrand a year ago to better position ourselves as a company with a proven ability to connect cultures. Successful, forward-looking companies that do business with non-English speakers, or in multiple countries, understand that it takes more than a language to connect cultures. You don’t have to veer away from your business identity, but smart companies will “rebrand” to fit the local culture and business climate.

Nestlé is an example of a consumer company that knows how to tailor its products to local niches – which is one of the biggest reasons why it managed to gain market share in most business segments during a global economic recession. Nestlé’s “glocal” approach is what has helped it land at the No. 1 spot in its category in Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list every year but one since 1998. This mindset has created items like Nescafé with creamer and sugar included, useful in places lacking refrigeration, and a huge range of products targeted to subgroups like Hispanics in the U.S.

All business is local, not just in the retail industry. Nobody wants to be embarrassed when doing business in another country. Yes, translating your company’s website into the languages of the countries that you’d like to do business with is important, but beyond that you need to understand the country’s culture. What if you reach to shake the hand of a new Japanese business acquaintance, and you were actually supposed to bow to that person? We need to develop cultural knowledge, cultural awareness, and cultural sensitivity to improve cross-cultural competence.

When working on building your brand’s international presence and market-share make sure that you’re thinking globally and creating a comprehensive strategy. The extra level of insight and understanding you bring to the table will signal to potential clients that you’ve done your homework and that you know how to successfully “rebrand” your company to their culture.

Cultural “Re-branding”