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How to Define Your Brand Message For Other Markets: The Dos and Don’ts

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Written By Ainsley Lawrence

Defining your brand message in other markets is very important.

No matter what segment of the industry you are in, you face significant competition. Your ability to grow and develop in new directions tends to be essential to remaining profitable. Particularly in the current climate, you’ll find focusing on a single demographic simply isn’t practical.

As such, one of the key ways to increase your business revenue is by expanding your audience. Alongside the utilization of tactics like multichannel marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), your ability to connect with global audiences can bolster your success.

With the right marketing strategy, you can make inroads in new territories in a way that boosts your industry reputation and your profits.

Nevertheless, this can be a challenging prospect. In many cases, you won’t just be able to utilize your current marketing materials or branding. So, let’s take a moment to look at what you should and shouldn’t do when defining your brand message for other markets.

Considering Context

1. Considering Context

Your brand messaging is likely to be very specific to your business. It is designed to encapsulate the unique characteristics and values of your business, after all.

However, it is important to remember that some of the specific languages of your brand voice won’t translate directly into different tongues. As such, it is important to consider the context in your translation rather than relying on utilizing translations of wording you may use in your home territory.

Think about the meaning behind your home brand messaging. Remember, successful businesses tend to craft entire brand identities to communicate what their company does. This allows them to utilize the unique aspects of their brand to meaningfully connect with consumers.

Such companies aren’t overly reliant on catchphrases or slogans alone. This is the approach you should take to translation.

Don’t be too literal, this only restricts your messaging options. Do work with your translation team to help them understand the core aspects of your company. Discuss your values and goals.

Talk about the experiences you strive for all consumers to benefit from during their interactions with you. This ensures that you have a better chance at translating the contextual meaning of your brand messaging, rather than just the words.

Allocating Investment

2. Allocating Investment

You are likely to be very protective of your business’ capital. During periods of economic uncertainty, you need to be mindful of your finances so you can survive potential downturns.

However, it is also important to recognize that, alongside creating emergency funds and safeguarding your assets, some investments can be wise. Marketing to new global customers can bolster your business, but it is also not something you should attempt cheaply.

One of the mistakes too many businesses make is being lured by one of the many free translation software platforms on the market. These are certainly improving in quality, but they are still a long way off from being reliable tools.

Some of the programs may give you what appear to be accurate literal translations of the words in your marketing materials. However, in many cases, this isn’t the same as translating the meaning of your message. Indeed, you may well wind up inadvertently insulting consumers.

Instead, seek out professionals with a native understanding of the language. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a translator. The remote working landscape can often mean you can hire marketing staff members that are natives to the new territories you are targeting.

This approach means you not only gain insights from someone with a deep familiarity with the nuances of the language. It also allows you to develop your messaging with someone who can put it across in a way locals will appreciate.

Connecting your brand message to the Culture

3. Connecting your brand message to the Culture

Your domestic brand messaging makes sense at home. This is not just the result of the fact that it is designed by people who speak the local language.

It is also informed by incredibly nuanced elements of cultural understanding that likely come as second nature to you, your marketing team, and your consumers. However, this is also something that can make translating your brand messaging to those of other cultures difficult. Content marketing that is acceptable at home is not necessarily so further afield.   

Therefore, don’t simply assume you can transplant your brand campaigns, images, and other materials. Even something as innocuous as color choices can have very different connotations to other populations.

For instance, while your purple logo may denote wealth or even mystery at home, in Brazil it’s more likely to be associated with death and mourning. The fashions your models wear in domestic marketing may be considered too risque in some areas.

You must commit to applying cultural sensitivity during your brand messaging translation process. If you don’t want to begin marketing from scratch, assess every element of your existing material for potential issues.

Consult with natives of the region on everything from the name of your business to the symbols you use. This can help you avoid inadvertently alienating your new consumers and empower you to build strong relationships. It also tends to make for more effective marketing localization.


Expanding into new territories can be an effective way to increase your revenue. However, it is important to translate your brand messaging mindfully.

Avoid being too literal in your approach, and translate contextually rather than linguistically. Commit to investing in native professional input instead of free software.

Remember that gaining an understanding of the culture allows you to translate more respectfully and effectively. With some effort and investment, you can build positive relationships with global consumers.

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