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Cultural barriers, language & translation issues challenge brand management: EIU paper
Effective brand management across multiple markets is a significant challenge for companies that enter new markets, reports a briefing paper titled "Guarding the brand" written by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by SDL. More than half of the 145 senior executives from around the world surveyed for this study state that it is becoming harder to maintain brand consistency.
The main challenges in brand management are cultural barriers (64%) and language and translation issues (44%). However, over 66% gave a thumbs up for the benefits of localization of marketing and branding efforts, agreeing that translation and cultural adaptation had a positive impact on sales in those regions.
Some of the findings reported in the paper include:
With globalization, brand management is harder but more vital than ever
To avoid being just another commoditized rival competing solely on cost, companies that globalize need to have strong brands. However, operating in an international environment provides companies with considerable challenges. Forty-nine percent of firms agree that brand consistency is getting harder to achieve as they enter new countries.
Explosion of marketing channels makes adds to the challenge
Technology is introducing a plethora of new channels that marketers must deal with, from mobile phones and e-commerce web sites, to newer variations, such as blogs, wikis and podcasts. Forty-five percent of firms polled for this report agree that it is difficult to deliver a consistent customer experience across both online and offline channels, while 33% describe themselves as ineffective when it comes to online marketing. Almost 10% of executives polled for this report believe their global, regional and country-specific websites are entirely inconsistent.
Technology is helping to facilitate better brand management
For many firms, a range of communication and collaborative technologies are helping them to manage their brand experience across multiple channels and geographies. For example, companies can effectively manage the life-cycle of brand-related materials, such as advertising posters or customer-facing websites, from creation in one language to publication in many different languages, using the Internet to facilitate consensus without losing control.
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