A few months back, Delta Airline came under serious criticism from social media fanatics for depicting Ghana with a Giraffe in a tweet the company sent out after the Black Stars’ defeat to the USA in their 2014 World Cup opener. The company had to apologise for something it could have easily avoided if it had committed to making the necessary enquiries. Would it have hurt for the company to do its background research before putting such information on Twitter, one of the most fertile social media platforms for business?
In this modern age of digital communications, it is imperative for businesses to exercise extreme caution in the type of information they put out. You have to maximise efforts in ensuring that whatever advert or branding you put out connects positively with the target audience, especially when you are entering new markets. Here are a few pointers on what to do;
- Investigate and try your market
It is very risky for your company to assume what a potential customer’s preferences are. You have to investigate and try your market by using diverse offers, prices and packages. This will assist you in determining how the various marketing efforts are paying off. You can also get response from your customers on what package suits them best. For example, when Dr. Pepper decided to enter Australia in 1997, the manufacturers forgot that though people may behave similarly, they had different taste. The product performed poorly because it was absolutely rejected by the Australians for its palate.
- Mind you language
Language is an important facet when entering new territories with your marketing campaign. You need to learn and understand what words mean in different tongues, especially if your territory has multiple dialects. The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover, until after thousands of signs had been printed, that the phrase means “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax,” depending on the dialect.
- Learn their Culture
Culture differs from one society to the other. Every society has its own distinctive way of life with regards to traditions, norms and taboos. In 2011, when Puma decided to launch a shoe in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it made the mistake of designing the footwear with the colours of their national flag. Now, in the UAE, most people are predominantly Muslims. In Islam, the feet is considered unclean and for the company to associate their national flag with footwear, was the biggest insult ever. This action led to the failure of the product. These are but a few examples of what you should consider when entering new markets. Imagine the amount of money these companies lost because they took for granted these simple elements. You do not have to be the next culprit to be caught in the act of a marketing blunder; do the right thing and spare yourself the loss of money and embarrassment.