Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney-Reyes
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?
Get Excited About Your Brand
It is undeniable that humans foster relationships with certain brands, sometimes favoring some companies for reasons they can’t explain. What many consumers fail to realize is that behind the loving relationship with their favorite product is a marketing specialist who cleverly creates an appealing brand personality designed to lure them in.
A brand’s personality is designed to be human-like, so consumer-product relationships can grow in a way that is similar to real interpersonal bonding. However, a factor that must be taken into consideration when marketers design this personality is creating one that can be interpreted in a globally consistent manner. The vast differences between cultural values around the world make this a difficult task.
Luckily, according to Jennifer Aaker, five key “personality dimensions” stand out and are regarded highly everywhere. In my last article I emphasized the importance of the “sincerity” dimension. But a dimension that more obviously stands out in this list is “excitement.”
What is meant by “excitement”? The word “excitement” brings to mind other vibrant words: unconventionality, style, passion, loudness, movement, exhilaration, thrill, etc. This high-energy word implies never-ending fun and a total lack of boredom.
What does this mean for your brand? People are constantly searching for the means to better enjoy their lives. In this increasingly materialistic society, the vast majority craves to be trendy and sharp, and many are resorting to products and companies that help them fulfill this want. By incorporating the excitement dimension into your brand’s personality, you are creating an image that appeals to this specific customer desire. When you market your brand as exciting, you are sending out a message to your customers that your product is fun, happy, and popular while also subtly advertising that the use of your product will make their lives the same.
Why is this important? The importance of maintaining a globally consistent brand is great. Your goal is to appeal to an international market, while also keeping the interpretation of what your brand means consistent everywhere. The easiest way to do this is to incorporate one or some of Aaker’s five key personality dimensions into your brand’s personality. When this is done, you can market your brand the same way everywhere it is available.
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.