Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney-Reyes
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?
Building Your Cross Cultural Business Relationships Through Trust
There are many variables at play in determining the prosperity of a brand. A highly important aspect of business interaction is one’s strength in creating new business with potential suppliers and buyers. It has been noted that the most successful businesses are organized and methodical when it comes to business-to-business relationship building, as is evidenced by the existence of a huge market for PR professionals. One of the keys to maximizing profitability and success is the development and execution of strategies that ensure the acquisition of new clients.
The importance of building inter-business relationships is unquestionable. But how exactly does a brand go about this? A valuable factor in the marketing game is trust.
Before the trust factor. At the base of every business-to-business interaction is the raw need of a supplier or a buyer for the other. When a business goes out looking for another enterprise from which to buy, it must first calculate and compare the economic value of each of its choices. It is commonly thought that the obvious choice is the one that is the cheapest. But what happens in the case where the economic value of each choice appears to be identical? It is at this point where the importance of trust comes in. This intangible variable is one that, instead of being influenced by economical factors, is more social and subjective.
What trust is all about. Your business looks appealing to buyers who have faith in your brand. This trust is primarily comprised of a buyer’s confidence in your integrity and the reliability of your services. Simply put, if buyers regard your brand as one that is trustworthy, they have faith in your value.
How it’s created. This sense of trust comes when you take away the uncertainty that plays a major role in new business-to-business interaction. This, coupled with a strong, clearly defined list of expectations, is what will set you apart from other brands. While this may seem to be just another economic aspect in the marketing of your brand, these feelings of trust arise unconsciously in your buyer and have underlying emotional roots, making them a social aspect.
The role of culture. Doing business with other cultures in this globalized economy is unavoidable. Sometimes the cultural norms that guide business interaction between two distinct nations become complicated, thereby creating a difficult barrier to cross. The following guide can help ease those tensions and create that important T.R.U.S.T. bond:
- Tailor your communication style by adjusting it to the one of your target market.
- Respect cultural differences. Remember, your culture is no better or worse than others; it’s just different.
- Understand that trust is not built overnight. You need to be open and adapt your way of doing things in order to build cultural competency.
- Strengthen relationships by adjusting your behavior. Small changes on your part can go a long way towards building cross-cultural relationships.
- Take the time to learn what motivates people. Get to know their values and beliefs and make sure that you focus on what´s important to them. Find that “emotional connection.”
Finding balance. When marketing a brand, a common mistake is to focus too strongly on your economic value. What many do not recognize is that there is more to be desired in business interactions than the completion of a task. In interactions with a new buyer, the achievement of a high level of satisfaction can lead to a strong inter-business relationship. So, how does one market one’s self accordingly?
Your value goes beyond the numbers and prices and stretches into the sense of reliability and integrity that your brand gives off. When marketing your brand to potential new clients, it is important to balance both the economic and “social” values of your brand (while paying close attention to the culture of your targeted market), because one is nothing without the other.
Marcela Jenney-Reyes is a global marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. Her clients include language service providers, entrepreneurs and business professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.