If you haven’t heard of the science fiction-horror series that is Stranger Things, where have you been? The Netflix show is set in a fictional town in Indiana in the 1980s. It follows a group of kids who find themselves in trouble after befriending a psychokinetic girl who has escaped from a sinister government agency and claims to know the whereabouts of their missing friend. Oh and it’s probably important to mention that the place they call home also just so happens to be some sort of portal to a frightful place filled with insidious creatures called ‘The Upside Down’.
It is this group of spunky school kids who are the backbone of the show, working together to battle the malevolent supernatural forces that have converged on their humble town.
When taking your brand global, you probably won’t encounter any ominous creatures but that doesn’t mean your endeavors won’t be without any challenges. Here’s how you can draw a little inspiration from a few of the TV series’ main characters:
Don’t go missing like Will
In the very first episode of Stranger Things, Will Byers disappears after encountering a monster. His disappearance actually forms the basis for much of the series. If you’re a business and you’re interested in making an international mark, you do not want your messages to “go missing” like Will Byers. If you think that you can just take your marketing plan from one region and use it in another, you’re mistaken. You’ll need to adapt your product offerings, marketing strategies, pricing and sales channels to match the needs and cultural nuances of consumers living in each region.
It’s okay to be cautious like Lucas
Being cautious is a good thing. In the beginning, Lucas was quite wary of the strange girl they found in the woods with the shaven head. It’s only after getting to know Eleven a bit, and understanding her better, that he really warms up to her. When taking a business to new markets, it’s best to do research so that you can make the most informed decisions. Marketers have a wealth of data at their disposal, which they can use to better understand their new customers. If you’re entering a region that favors Facebook, for example, it’d be silly not to use this fact to your advantage. It’s all comes down to doing your homework.
Be loyal like Mike
One of the best ways to promote loyalty is to be loyal. Localization is a great way to build a relationship with customers, and ultimately build loyalty. By taking the time to show your new customers that you care enough about them to tailor your offerings and content to speak to them specifically, you’re showing them that your intentions go beyond just making money. In the same way that Mike constantly shows his commitment to his friends, ensuring that your marketing messages are delivered in your customer’s’ native language shows them that your businesses is really interested in cementing a solid relationship with them and establishing a lasting presence in that region.
Use your words like Dustin
Dustin is the cute kid with the lisp. A lisp may be endearing on chubby-cheeked, curly haired adolescent but a brand looking to enter new markets can’t afford any miscommunication faux pas. Just ask Gerber, a Nestle-owned seller of baby foods. When the brand first entered Africa they made a rather embarrassing marketing mistake. Using the same packaging they employ in the US, Gerber shipped its products to Africa with the standard baby face on the label. They soon learned that low literacy rates across the continent mean that many African companies opt to put pictures of the foodstuff inside the tin or jar on the label.
Partner up with the right people like Eleven
When Eleven escapes from the covert government facility, where she is being kept as a lab experiment, she finds herself in a world she knows nothing about. Without the help of Mike, Lucas and Dustin, she probably would’ve struggled a lot more than she did. When you take your business to new markets, you’re likely experience a similar sense of trepidation. And it’s just as important for your business to partner with people who can make your transition into this new territory as smooth as possible. Local partners understand the people, the culture and the intricacies of doing business in that region. They should be seen as credible advisors. They have a wealth of information that can help you make the most strategic decisions.
At Rubric, we offer all the localization and translation services you need to ensure that your international marketing efforts always deliver the right message. Download our Marketing Messaging Guide for more insights into how you can achieve global expansion success.
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