We’re reminded of a world-class Hardware/IT brand with a world-staggering market budget and some of the best marketing brains in the world…. agreeing a Middle East advertising campaign featuring a naked womanThen again, in China; Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”. Coca-Cola has also made mistakes in China. The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Ke-kou-ke-la”, meaning “Bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax”, depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent “ko-kou-ko-le”, translating into “happiness in the mouth.”

Perhaps some of your clothing has this label: Fabriqué en Dinde” (Made in Turkey). However, ‘Turkey’ the bird is ‘dinde’, whereas Turkey the country is ‘la Turquie’. And finally, an American company recently promoting some of its biscuits ran a promotion “Win a Milano Weekend!”…with an illustration of the Eiffel Tower…

By now, I’m sure you get the message. Working in markets other than your own, could be a minefield. So how can you best work an emerging market for your company? Interesting facts emerged from a recent study comparing six developed countries with  six emerging markets:

  • In the developed countries, income groups formed more or less a classic pyramid by first winning the approval of early adopters. The offer then simplified over time and the price reduced until it was fully accepted by the much larger segments at the bottom, but in emerging markets, this strategy didn’t work. This is because the number of affluent customers who could adopt and champion products remains small in emerging markets and the really wealthy still purchase outside their own countries.
  • Emerging markets tended to focus on the essentials, favouring lowest priced solutions that offer acceptable quality.
  • Purchasers in emerging economies were often baffled by products and packaging because they lack experience about complex offerings. The typical ‘bells and whistles’ that those of us in the developed world tend to expect, were meaningless to purchasers in emerging markets rendering them confused and bemused.

Therefore, some points you’ll need to remember will include:

  • It is critical to ‘entice and educate’; devote extensive resources to turning an in- country’s frontline sales/service personnel into advocates.
  • Make your offer affordable to the masses – the ‘wealthy’ in emerging markets are still shopping abroad for major business purchases and are more likely to work with your Head Office, then to purchase locally.
  • Remember, successful brands in emerging markets should focus on quality and reliability.

(marketingmoves is a specialist recruitment company that recruits Only the best marketers.Only for IT and Telecoms.)

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