For lasting global success abroad, brands with multi-national locations need skills, strategies, and tools that are relevant to their local market. From the C-Suite to the local store managers, these leaders want all customers to enjoy stellar service, high-quality offerings, and fantastic brand experiences at every location on the planet.
Brand consistency is a vital component of any successful international organization. But it’s far more complex than consistency alone. Between the diverse cultural nuances, complexities of international online listings, and countless other hyper-local factors, it’s impossible to carbon copy a strategy in, say, Alabama and expect it to work effortlessly in Argentina.
Sure. In any country, people want clean facilities, friendly employees, accurate online directory information, and the perfect product — whatever that may be. Global brands, however, must be able to nimbly adjust their strategies, services, and environment to meet differing customer needs across cultures and time zones.
Look at the overseas expansion of U.S.-based brands like Starbucks and McDonalds, both with thousands of storefronts abroad. Of course, many factors contribute to the success of these behemoths. However, brand visibility and consistency, product quality, and customer satisfaction are all essential ingredients.
Pop into any McDonalds or Starbucks on the planet, and you can expect a similar experience and quality of service as in your hometown. Chances are that you’ll also see unique products strategically localized for that region’s particular preferences and demographics.
For McDonalds in India — a country with little beef consumption and a huge vegetarian population — the brand tailored its menu to the tastes and trends of the local markets. Some of their biggest food hits? The McAloo Tikki Burger, swapping out the meat for a flavorful veggie patty made from potatoes and peas, and the McSpicy Paneer, essentially a fried slice of India’s most famous cheese slathered in a spicy sauce. Today, the fast-food giant has about 300 locations around the country.
On the flip side, you have horror stories like Target’s failed foray into Canada or Home Depot’s ill-fated attempt to reel in China’s rapidly growing middle class. Similar to the success stories, there are plenty of layers to international expansion failures as well — many due to a lack of the brand’s leaders truly understanding the wants, needs, and expectations of their local consumers.
Multi-Location Brand Success At-Scale Worldwide
Is your brand determined to follow — and even exceed — McDonalds’ multinational success? It all depends on learning, connecting, and growing with the human beings you serve. The good news is that brands from any industry can trust powerful, all-in-one solutions designed to help teams do just that.
With listings and reputation management for international brands, you can access technology designed to enhance the customer experience, gain unparalleled buyer insights, boost local SEO, increase positive reviews, and resonate with the right people anywhere on the planet.
While these tools are excellent for any location-based business, several attributes are especially beneficial for brands abroad. Here are four ways listings and brand reputation management helps businesses succeed internationally:
1. Build an Agile International CX Strategy
Agility in your marketing and customer experience strategies is vital for solid brand growth. It’s even more so for a multi-location business spanning multiple hemispheres.
Customer trends and preferences often shift significantly from store to store — sometimes within the same region. Now imagine how drastic that shift can be between a location in small-town Nebraska and one in Dubai.
With reputation management, identifying and understanding these shifts becomes exponentially easier and more streamlined. On a single feed, teams located anywhere can see every online review and rating that gets published from around the world. Through the use of filters, reporting tools, and metrics, they can analyze real-time customer feedback that can then guide customized, data-backed regional strategies.
Consistency is also critical to international success. With direct voice-of-the-customer (VoC) feedback, brands can quickly zoom in on individual locations and regions to ensure all company standards and expectations are being upheld.
Now, anyone from the marketing and operations department at corporate headquarters to a store manager 5,000 miles away can easily see what’s working and what’s not from the customer’s point of view. With these insights, brands can proactively enact informed and strategic changes to create the perfect buyer journey for every store.
2. Easily Translate Online Reviews
Businesses need to know where they’re succeeding and falling short — no matter what language buyers speak. This is especially true for global organizations.
By choosing a review and reputation software with a translation integration feature, language barriers won’t stop your team from gleaning insightful feedback, praises, questions, and complaints directly from your buyers. A platform with localization support also provides a vital opportunity to respond to customer reviews online despite differences in language.
In a single feed, see reviews pulled from channels like Google, Facebook, and Bing with translations provided, in many cases, from hundreds of native languages. Then respond to every review and create connections even if you don’t know a word of the native tongue. It’s a simple, seamless way to strengthen loyalty beyond borders.
3. Ensure Accurate International Listing Addresses
It’s not just language, culture, and buying habits that can vary from country to country. The way addresses work can change drastically as well. For businesses with international locations and listings, understanding these addressing systems and verifying the accuracy of each storefront can prove exceptionally challenging.
Take Japan’s complex address system. Street names exist but aren’t used in business or residential addresses. Instead, Japan uses an intricate system of district names, block numbers, postal codes, prefecture suffixes, floor numbers, and more.
And that’s just ONE country. For a large, corporate enterprise with thousands of locations worldwide, it might feel impossible to keep online listings consistently accurate — or even complete them at all.
However, for maximum online search visibility and local SEO success, business listing accuracy is essential! In fact, around 80% of consumers say that they’d lose trust in a business with an incorrect address. Yes. It’s a big lift. But it’s a manageable one that usually leads to a big payoff.
With listings management for international brands, locating, formatting, and publishing accurate business listings becomes stress-free and easy. Designed with global listing integrations, users are automatically given the proper address format for each country.
When ready to push location data live across directories, the platform will automatically validate that the address is in the correct format. If the data provided is not correctly formatted for the specific country, it will be rejected with guidance on providing the correct format. Once the location details are structured properly, it will be approved and pushed live to listings for the world to see!
Publishing and optimizing international business listings correctly isn’t always quick, easy, or intuitive, even with the best tech. A great online listings service provider should provide expert listing support and assistance from an actual human who is fully dedicated to your success.
White-glove review response services are also available to further free up your time! No matter what you need, friendly help is always available.
4. Understand Your International Customers
Many organizations don’t have a marketing or operations department dedicated to each country or region. They might not even have teams in the same hemisphere as some locations! This makes it difficult for brands to keep an accurate pulse on strategic data points like:
- Current customer trends and preferences
- Local and cultural differences between regions
- Customer service complaints and compliments
- Online ratings and rankings on local search
- Accurate online directory listings
- Your brand’s local reputation
With an all-in-one listings and reputation management solution, you’ll have access to all of these insights — and so much more — no matter how far corporate headquarters is from a location. In addition to ensuring listing accuracy, easily connecting with real customers without language barriers, and using reviews to uncover critical customer insights, a robust solution also delivers in-depth analytics and reporting.
These features provide a new level of real-time metrics that allow users to launch pinpoint, data-backed strategies. From customer sentiment engines to search engine rank tracking to head-to-head location comparisons, your team can make smarter, better-informed choices that drive your brand to success worldwide.
Chatmeter’s listing and reputation platform can support your multi-location brand’s success on a global scale. Learn more about our international solutions here. Then schedule a demo with our friendly team to find out exactly what we can do for you!