Building Your Brand in Europe: Tips and Strategies

Establishing and building a brand identity is essential when starting a new business or seeking to increase growth at your current business by expanding into European markets and there are several steps you should take to make sure that your brand, products or services will find the market you seek in Europe.

F4E can ensure that you can maintain quality in delivering and/or distributing your goods or services, but how can you make sure that your business or product branding meets cultural expectations?Here we guide you through several of the steps you should take to make sure that your brand, products or services will find the market you seek in Europe.

The following steps may help you in building a brand success in Europe:

Research your market.

If you already have proven success with your current target audience in your home country that doesn't automatically mean that you will connect in the same way with your products or services in Europe.

First and most important, he says, you'll want to determine if a market exists for your product. If so, make sure the want or need isn't already being well met by someone else. If there are existing competitors, what (in the perspective of your potential customers) makes you remarkably different? If there is a market and there are no competitors, make sure you find out why -- are there laws against distributing your products or can consumers buy them through other means?

Make sure you can deliver.

Make sure you can get your product to, or manufactured within Europe. F4E have the expertise to guide you through the import and manufacturing laws that vary from country to country to ensure you can make your products reliably and consistently available to your new European target markets.

Investigate the local laws. You need to make sure your products meet the local standards for construction of components, use of chemicals, disposal of goods, proper labelling of products, etc.

Re-examine your business and/or product names.  

In choosing a name for your business or product, you need to be culturally sensitive if you intend to sell in European markets. Make sure product names make sense to customers both in English and in the local translation. If you are considering translating names, don't rely on computer translation.

As F4E have offices in each major European country you can work with someone locally who can help make sure you communicate what you intend.

Cast an eye over your logo.
Similarly, review your logo to make sure that you don't use any wording or symbols that would offend in a European market. Do an image search on Google to make sure your logo isn't similar to that of another international company.

Understand packaging requirements.
F4E are experts at local laws, customs andpackaging requirements in most areas of Europe, we can advise on the localstandards and ensure your packaging includes any necessary regulatoryinformation and meets transportation standards. 

Register trademarks and domain names.

Follow the process in your new market to ensure you preserve patent and trademarks. If you're doing business in the European Union filing for a Community Trade Mark (CTM) will protect you. Another consideration is making sure the Internet domain name for your company and product are available. You still want to register a dot-com, which is the most popular domain worldwide for businesses.

But you may also consider registering domains using specific country codes .nl for the Netherlands of the UK -- if you are targeting only one or two local markets and plan on providing up-to-date translations of your websites into the local languages.

Branding 4 Europe - Key Points

  • Research your market

  • Make sure you can deliver

  • Re-examine your business and product names

  • Look again at your logo

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