3 Important Branding Aspects For Overseas Branding
“Branding is the process of connecting good strategy with good creativity” — Seth Godin
by Adwright, 22 August, 2019
Singapore has a small domestic market. For our local companies to survive, they have to look outwardly and expand overseas. Here are three tips on how some local brands approached their brands to expand overseas.
A brand is more than just a name. It embodies a personality, a set of beliefs and an innate purpose which creates an overarching brand identity. Just like a person, when a brand resonates well with its audiences, it will establish a sense of familiarity and trust.
A well-respected brand possesses a deep understanding of its products and how it has an impact on the customers. It would also frame and communicate its message clearly and succinctly to its target audience. Over time, the brand evokes a strong sense of brand identity that people could resonate with and trust. With brand mindfulness, a brand will develop a strong foothold in its native market. It would also be able to transfer its brand equity overseas if it were to deploy the same brand management in the overseas market.
One such brand is the Pasture Group, a pharmaceutical company established in Singapore which specialises in clinical mask products. They aimed to raise awareness of their products and educated consumers to discern masks based on their product attributes.
Before Pasture Group’s branding efforts, the brand did not have a set of narratives that differentiated itself from the leading brand of the world. Through its branding exercise, the brand communicated strategically by highlighting the distinctive attributes and created a platform to educate the public on the importance of clean and virus-free air. They also developed a microsite that taught consumers how to choose the right type of masks before purchase. The visual-led microsite contained infographics with targeted communication points that spoke to parents. The messages were also consistently applied across posters, packaging designs, collaterals and advertisements.
To further enhance its unique value, Pasture also made use of the concept of a superhero for its hero product to lead the conversation with consumers. The superhero mascot played the role to convince children that they would be invincible and could fight off harmful viruses when they put on masks during hazy days. Inevitably, it subtly built up Pasture Group’s reputation and level of trust in the battle against haze and viruses. These communicational points reinforced Pasture’s reputable background. The Pasture brand had received many endorsements by relevant authorities such as FDA and NIOSH, that lent more credibility to the Pasture brand.
The educational and informative branding strategy established trust and confidence for the Pasture Group brand within Singapore. Pasture Group, with its consistent educational positioning, was able to transit over to Japan and resonated well with the consumers there, due to the nation’s high expectations of health quality.
Brand architecture is essential in creating a holistic brand structure that fills various needs for different consumer groups. Developing a brand architecture will require deep consumer insights and then develop effective marketing strategies for the target audiences. Well-defined brand architecture can better equip a brand to adjust and create new product units according to a country’s consumer demographics.
TheSeafoodCompany is one of the leading seafood operators in Singapore. It is a full-service company that imports, exports, farms, processes, and distributes seafood.
The brand used to sell its products under the name “Seaco” and “Mr Seafood”. The different brands did not have clear product differentiation, and the different names led to confusion among consumers regarding the brand’s overall architecture.
To tidy up the business operations, TheSeafoodCompany streamlined and kept one of the retail brands, ‘Seaco’ but divided the consumer market into three segments: mass, premium and ready-to-cook seafood. These segments culminated into Seaco’s respective ranges of seafood products: Seaco Everyday, Seaco Fiesta and Seaco EasyPlate.
A new logo, product packaging and microsite were created to amplify the Seaco brand as a holistic seafood brand. The renewed brand architecture integrated its unique suite of brand elements designated for the different product brand segments. The brand architecture and brand alignment would enable Seaco to have a competitive edge in the international seafood market.
Brand positioning is the aspect that differentiates a brand from its competitors. A brand has to position the product offerings or business processes to the market it wants to operate. Hence, brands must define its unique selling proposition that will appeal to its intended customers. Without it, the longevity of a brand may be compromised.
Bamco is a bamboo flooring company in Singapore. They pride themselves with their flagship product, BamcoFlor – an eco-friendly, patented Bamboo Charcoal flooring. However, Bamco’s previous brand positioning and product designs were not effective in communicating the eco-friendly and sustainability aspect of their product. Thus, the brand was not able to amplify its relevance to the society and the environment; which failed to resonate with international audiences who are more eco-conscious.
Bamco went through a rebranding process that enabled it to encapsulate the objectives and philosophies of the brand. Through the process, business objectives were translated into visual narratives through its branding tools such as logo, tagline, packaging, brochure and website.
These communication tools served as mediums to educate consumers on the importance of sustainable flooring and illustrated BamcoFlor’s exceptional attributes in simple pictures and words. With the strong environmental-friendly positioning, Bamco was able to branch out its operations from Singapore to countries like London and the Philippines.
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