Posts Tagged ‘Marcela Jenney’

Personal Branding Across Cultures: Culture, Creativity and Communication: Developing Innovative Value through Differentiation

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?

Culture, Creativity and Communication: Developing Innovative Value through Differentiation

Whether it comes to branding your products and services, it’s inherently important to separate yourself from the competition in a creative and unique way. In fact, differentiation is the key to success, but when combined with a fun and enjoyable experience it underscores what the Blue Ocean Strategy is all about: innovative value.

The aforementioned concept is especially relevant in the global business community, where developing innovative value through differentiation is a make-or-break strategy for immigrants branding their products and services to diverse cultures and ethnicities. An outstanding example of this can be found in the story of Joel Orbina Laguidao, a Clarendon, VA-based cabdriver who emigrated to the United States from the Philippines.

Laguidao believed that something as simple as providing transportation can create an entirely new experience for consumers, and had to look no further than his own culture to add something unique to the service he offers. Laguidao knew that he and his fellow Filipinos love karaoke, or singing to pre-recorded background music, so he decided to install a karaoke machine in his cab. On the October 10th segment of the Today show, Laguidao was filmed driving people around Arlington, VA in his cab with fares who were singing karaoke (albeit off-tune), and enjoying themselves immensely in the process.

Laguidao’s ability to transform a typical, mundane cab-ride into an innovative and original experience without spending a small fortune is proof-positive that you can apply unique ways to attract new customers. By pursuing differentiation and affordability simultaneously, you can also create considerable barriers to imitation by competitors. Just like going for a ride in Laguidao’s cab, that is truly something to sing about!

Marcela Jenney is an international entrepreneurial marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. She partners with language service providers as well as professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.

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Personal Branding Across Cultures: Building Relationships Online: The Importance of Social Media to Cross-Cultural Branding

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?

Building Relationships Online: The Importance of Social Media to Cross-Cultural Branding

Today, the universal reach of social media has the capacity to influence cross-cultural branding like never before. In fact, the introduction of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media giants has empowered ‘solopreneurs’ and small business owners (in the US) to compete with large corporations in their ability to connect with consumers, businesses and the media.

Despite its widespread popularity in the US, social media usage and acceptance diverges in some parts of the world. In a CrossCulturalConnector.com article, 3 Social Media Lessons for Global Marketers, author Amadou M. Sall notes that Germany currently lags behind the US in adopting social media. Only 58% of German Internet users are on social networking sites, compared to 77% in the US. The most popular networking site in Germany is StudiVZ, although Facebook is rapidly gaining market share. Moreover, Germans typically have privacy and safety concerns, as they don’t trust unofficial sources and tend to shy away from openly sharing personal data online.

Although 9 out of every 10 Chinese citizens utilize social media, their online community vastly differs from those of us in the West. In Field Report: Shanghai and China’s Social Web, also written by Amadou M. Sall and appearing on CrossCulturalConnector.com, the author writes that the Chinese Internet users gravitate toward different tools and websites, including Baidu, Tencent QQ and Cina. In fact, Western-owned social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are blocked by a firewall in China, rendering them basically irrelevant. Furthermore, Chinese brands and consumers gravitate towards ‘pay-to-play’ social networking sites (SNS) rather than creating their own.

So don’t make the mistake of taking a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to cross-cultural social media. It will only detract from the strength of your brand, and plant seeds of doubt in the hearts and minds of target markets beyond your borders. Instead, do your homework/research and take the necessary time to adapt your social media communication to fit diverse cultures and ethnicities. This important step will enable you to significantly bridge the gap that separates your brand from global consumers and businesses, and to forge lasting and strategic relationships with them.

Marcela Jenney is an international entrepreneurial marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. She partners with language service providers as well as professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.

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Personal Branding Across Cultures: Developing Your Personal Brand ‘Offline’

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?

Developing Your Personal Brand ‘Offline’

In today’s global business environment, the use of the Internet has forever changed the way in which we brand ourselves across cultures and ethnicities. However, ‘solopreneurs’ consumed by the ongoing task of honing their personal brand online should not forget the importance of networking in developing their personal brand ‘offline’.

Networking essentially involves building relationships with people, and special care must be taken when networking across cultures and ethnicities. Regardless of the culture in question, the key to cultivating lasting cross-cultural business relationships is by establishing trust. This is achieved through a combination of communication and credibility. Communicating with people in a way that is culturally sensitive shows them that you respect their traditions and beliefs, and earns you a level of credibility that garners their trust.

Begin every networking encounter with a big smile and firm handshake, then introduce yourself by offering your name, job title, company and location. Ask open-ended questions without appearing to be overly personal or prying, talk in terms of your new contacts’ interests and always remember to be a good listener. This endears new people to you and helps make you memorable. They will be more likely to remain in touch with you, and may lead to an exchange of business cards; the desired outcome of a networking encounter.

As soon as possible after your networking exchange, make notes of whom you’ve met and what you’ve learned about them, and comprise a subsequent plan of action. Whatever the plan, begin with a follow-up ‘thank-you’ e-mail, which can lead to new business and social relationships.

So don’t forget to do your part to develop and strengthen your personal brand ‘offline’, and let networking ‘work’ for you in ways you never thought possible. You’ll be glad you did!

Marcela Jenney is an international entrepreneurial marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. She partners with language service providers as well as professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.

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Personal Branding Online: Unlocking the Secret to ‘Net’ Profits!

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?

Unlocking the Secret to ‘Net’ Profits!

In recent years, the Internet has prompted an unprecedented global exchange of people, goods, services, information, and capital. As a result, the World Wide Web is now among the most dominant influences on cross-cultural marketing and advertising. This has led some international marketers to mistakenly believe that globalization has resulted in a unified convergence of culturally-diverse markets, and take a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to brand development. However, when it comes to personal branding online, nothing could be further from the truth.

In spite of their universal impact on globalization, the Internet and World Wide Web DO NOT eliminate the numerous cultural differences and influences that exist from country-to-country. Therefore, your marketing research must give due consideration to a pair of the most important aspects of online brand development: consumption and culture.

Consumption
The Internet is a relatively new channel of communication compared to the traditional media outlets (newspapers, radio and TV) through which advertising and public relations are disseminated. In nations where political, economic and technical factors influence media consumption, the impact of the Internet as a marketing tool is still somewhat limited. However, these factors are generally less significant in highly developed nations where Internet usage is widespread, and the Internet is considered a profit-based, marketable good. That’s why it’s necessary to determine whether your target markets’ Internet consumption is dependent on marketing, or their marketing is dependent on Internet consumption.

Culture
Once you’ve pinpointed the level of Internet consumption of target markets beyond your borders, it is important to research their cultures, traditions, influences and buying habits in order to cultivate your personal brand online. Culturally-appropriate website design and content is not only required for entry into the global marketplace, it is essential for creating a ‘household brand’ that conforms to the unique needs and values of diverse cultures and ethnic groups.

Conclusion
Understanding how your target markets utilize the Internet is the key to successfully communicating your personal brand online. So take the time necessary to conduct your consumption and cultural research, and unlock the secret to connecting with consumers worldwide. You’ll be glad you did!

Marcela Jenney is an international entrepreneurial marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. She partners with language service providers as well as professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.

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Personal Branding Across Cultures: Color, Culture and Communication

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?

This column will discuss various aspects of cross-cultural branding that should be considered as we develop our brand across cultures and in diverse environments. Topics will include language, communication styles, social interactions, traditions, rituals, aesthetics preferences and value systems.

Color, Culture and Communication
Color is one of the most important keys to communication in the global marketplace. It plays an instrumental role in attracting your target market(s), capturing and retaining their attention, shaping their perceptions, attitudes and opinions, and ultimately influencing their decision to buy your products or services.

Communicating Through Color

From the logo, image and signage to the display, packaging and even the product itself, color is among the most engaging and persuasive aspects of any brand, including your personal brand. In addition to connecting with consumers on a sensory level, color has an uncanny ability to transcend demographic factors such as age, gender and ethnicity, and establish an emotional connection with virtually any target market.

A Culture of Color

Over the past few decades, globalization has increasingly dominated the overall market for most goods and services. However, you must be aware of the cultural color differences that exist among most nations around the world, especially since color perception, interpretation and preferences vary by culture and ethnicity. The tricky part is determining which colors are best-suited to the target market you’re trying to attract.

A few examples include: Blue is the most popular and commonly used corporate color in the United States, but is perceived as cold and evil in East Asia, warmth in the Netherlands, coldness and masculinity in Sweden, death in Iran, purity in India, and femininity in Belgium and the Netherlands!

Green represents danger or disease in Malaysia and envy in Belgium, but love and happiness in Japan, and sincerity, and trustworthiness and dependability in China! White symbolizes mourning or death in East Asia, but happiness and purity in Australia, New Zealand and the United States!

Made in the Shade

While determining what color best represents your personal brand, it is important to take into account the target market you are trying to reach. Before you enter the global marketplace, don’t forget to research and determine which colors compliment your brand and the cultural ethnicity of your target market. You’ll be glad you did!

Marcela Jenney is an international entrepreneurial marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. She partners with language service providers as well as professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.

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Personal Branding Across Cultures: Cultural Authenticity

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?

This column will discuss various aspects of cross-cultural branding that should be considered as we develop our brand across cultures and in diverse environments. Topics will include language, communication styles, social interactions, traditions, rituals, aesthetics preferences and value systems.

Cultural Authenticity: Keeping Yourself ‘Real’
 


Regardless of which global market you are trying to penetrate that market’s consumers buy YOU long before they consider purchasing your products or services. That’s why, as a ‘solopreneur’ targeting overseas markets, it is imperative that you cultivate a personal branding strategy that captures their hearts and minds WITHOUT losing your ‘sense of self’ in the process. The million-dollar question is…How?
 


Cultural diversity does much more than determine your physical characteristics, ethnicity and language. In many ways, you are defined by your unique cultural influences; they guide how you live, act, think and communicate with the world around you. And that is what your prospective customers are really interested in. As a result, it is inherently important that you preserve your cultural authenticity to elevate yourself above your competition and make the most of your personal brand.

Sofia Vergara at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards courtesy of Capital M on Flickr

A great example of someone who has developed a highly successful personal brand without sacrificing her unique cultural authenticity is Sofia Vergara, Colombian-born actress, comedian, television host, model, and entrepreneur. Vergara currently stars in the hit ABC-TV comedy series, Modern Family. Vergara plays the character of Gloria, a divorcee and mother involved in a May-December marriage to an older American man. Vergara plays a passionate, sexy, charming, engaging, true to her culture – funny character. She has brought critical acclaim to the series…and unprecedented success in her career. 
 


On her 20-year road to international stardom, Vergara overcame many personal obstacles, including the kidnapping-murder of her brother, divorce and a bout with thyroid cancer. Through it all, maintaining her unique cultural authenticity has enabled her to emerge as one of today’s most recognized and admired personal brands in the entertainment industry and around the world. By staying true to herself and her culture, Vergara has achieved a level of global success that exceeded her greatest expectations.

By staying true to yourself and your cultural authenticity, you can, too! 


Marcela Jenney is an international entrepreneurial marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. She partners with language service providers as well as professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.

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Personal Branding Across Cultures: Culture & Global Marketing

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?

This column will discuss various aspects of cross-cultural branding that should be considered as we develop our brand across cultures and in diverse environments. Topics will include language, communication styles, social interactions, traditions, rituals, aesthetics preferences and value systems.

How Culture Plays an Important Role in Global Marketing

When it comes to branding yourself to a domestic market, your ability to connect with your target audience is greatly enhanced by sharing a common language and culture with them. Conversely, branding to markets beyond your borders is another story and presents a unique set of linguistic and cultural challenges that must be addressed and overcome.

Lost in Translation
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to cross-cultural personal branding success is a lack of understanding of how people communicate in other cultures. In fact, one of the most common assumptions is that a straight translation of marketing, advertising and public relations materials are enough to conform to the unique needs and values of diverse cultures and ethnic groups. In reality, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. Incorrect or poor translations of marketing material are among the most frequent and costly mistakes made by ‘solopreneurs’ attempting to penetrate foreign markets.

When in Rome…
In cross-cultural marketing, language is a crucial tool for communicating with customers, suppliers, channel intermediaries and others. You can learn a great deal about another culture simply by studying its language and non-verbal communication, which includes gestures, touching and other forms of body-language that supplement spoken communication.

Familiarity Breeds Content
Regardless of the culture at hand, your target audience makes its buying decisions based upon how they ‘feel’ about you. It is only when you fully understand how people communicate in other cultures beyond your borders that you’ll be in a position to establish and maintain an enduring ‘emotional connection’ with them. So take the extra time to familiarize yourself with the language and culture of your target market, and reap the rewards of unprecedented brand acceptance, recognition and loyalty for many years to come. You’ll be glad you did!

Marcela Jenney is an international entrepreneurial marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. She partners with language service providers as well as professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.

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Personal Branding Across Cultures: Globalization

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Personal Branding Across Cultures
By Marcela Jenney
How does personal branding “translate” around the globe in other cultures?

This column will discuss various aspects of cross-cultural branding that should be considered as we develop our brand across cultures and in diverse environments. Topics will include language, communication styles, social interactions, traditions, rituals, aesthetics preferences and value systems.

The watchword of this past decade has been, without a doubt, “globalization.” Globalization not only means the evolution of economies and technologies across borders but it also embraces the migration of beliefs, cultures, languages and philosophies among nations and people of the world.

As Thomas Friedman explains in his book The World is Flat, we are living in a network that is connecting “people to people”, “companies with companies”, “people with companies” and “more people with more different places.” As we become more interconnected in this global environment where technological advances in communication allow us to offer our products and services to the entire world with a mere click, we are faced with a plethora of new obstacles that are not just based on legal, monetary or language differences.

Why culture matters?
Everyone in this world is in one way or another influenced or affected by culture. Thus, we have to take into account the role that culture plays in how we develop our value proposition for our market.

Resulting from our diversity we each have different interpretations of the world’s cultures, races and even physical locations. By nature, we often develop these views or images by observing one individual from a particular culture. This, in turn, affects our perception of that entire culture, albeit positive or negative, and shapes the way we communicate our personal brand to various groups. It is critical that we are aware of our own engrained mindsets in addition to those of other people in order to avoid cultural mishaps. The “one size fits all” mentality is no longer valid.

Culture is a colorful spectrum of differences that dictate our identity, values, behavior, norms, communication style, relationships and perception from others. We live in an interconnected world where the common denominator is cultural diversity.

Let’s celebrate our differences for a better world!

Marcela Jenney is an international entrepreneurial marketing expert, business coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience. She partners with language service providers as well as professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds.

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