If your brand is online, you automatically have an international brand. Easily accessible to the entire world at just the click of a button, part of your strategy should be capitalizing on marketing your business to the world that’s already at your doorstep. If you’re not, chances are you’re missing out on making your brand internationally viable.
Take LuisaViaRoma, the fashion brand that has been one of the leading luxury retailers for 86 years. From its humble beginnings in in 1930 when Luisa Jaquin and her husband opened their first boutique on Via Roma in Florence to spearheading the worldwide online luxury shopping world in 1999, LVR has made its footprint as an international brand right from Italy. Now with over 600 designer collections and a website that translates to English, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, Russian and French, this family owned and operated company is dominating the digital space with their marketing efforts that includes lifestyle content as well as influencer campaigns with some of the world’s most popular fashion bloggers.
We took notes from the international luxury retailer on how to build an international brand. If you are looking to grow your brand beyond borders, we suggest you do the same.
FIND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMON DENOMINATOR
To build a brand internationally, you have to fulfill a need in the worldwide market that isn’t exclusive to your own market. Seek out the international common denominator and find a product or service that is internationally known, as well as needed. The more complex and niche you make your service or product, the more you limit yourself to being received by a worldwide market. Start broad, narrow down your international demographic, and tailor your product or service to them.
UNDERSTAND YOUR MARKET AND ENSURE YOUR MESSAGE TRANSLATES
It is one thing to welcome the worldwide market to your business, but you have to make sure that they welcome you as well. Which means you need to make sure your business strategy speaks to them not in only their language, but in a cultural sense as well. Your message needs to empathize with the markets that you are targeting. You also need to understand values and cultural differences, because what might be acceptable in one market might be frowned upon in another.
It is one thing to welcome the worldwide market to your business, but you have to make sure that they welcome you as well.
BUILD INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
To build an international brand, you’re going to need to build your international rolodex. Just like you need an “in” with a celebrity, you need to do the same with the countries you want to do business with. The internet has made it easier to build those key relationships without having to board an international flight. For the 85 years that Luisa Via Roma has been in business, they have been able to create a massive network over the years that ultimately helped them transition to being a digital powerhouse as a luxury retailer. Tap into the people who will help make your brand known, as well as those that have the on-ground resources you need to achieve your professional goals. Everyone from distributors to influencers who can get your product into the right hands.
Additionally, if you onboard your international contacts as a part of your business team, you’ll have a POC on each home base, ensuring that your company is up and running in every touchpoint. You need people on the ground to get your business off it.
BUILD YOUR GLOBAL BRAND AWARENESS WITH INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCERS
Another advantage of building an international brand online is that you can tap into top-tier influencers in each of your markets and have them bring awareness to your growing brand. If you’re not fluent in the languages that your brand is trying to grow in, not only will the influencer speak the language but they will also speak the culture of the market you’re aiming at. In short: that influencers knows how to sell your message. With international influencers, the goal is to make sure that your market knows that as a brand you are willing to understand their language, customs, interests, and culture, and ultimately build a close proximity to them that will translate into sales.
BUILD AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND CULTURE
Selling a product or service is one thing. However, when you want to build a strong dynamic with an international market, selling your product with a brand ethos or culture that translates worldwide gives you leg up against competition. Take Luisa Via Roma for example: they have been able to sell luxury items internationally while investing in their cool factor. They have not only set themselves as an online luxury retailer, but they have set themselves as an online destination for fashion and culture in the world of luxury.