Launching a brand in a new market is a tough challenge. Trust
and transparency are important for building corporate reputation, and for new
customers, knowing that they can rely upon a brand to deliver comes at the top
of their list.

The US is one of the toughest markets to crack. With so much
consumer choice and thousands of established brands, why would a customer
choose an emerging company over one it has used for years?

Managing brand reputation is key to a company’s expansion
plans. In an age where social media can kill a corporate dream, brands need to
work smarter and tougher than before to earn a customer’s trust and build
credibility.

From being on message to building an audience, here’s how an
international brand can gain credibility in the US market.

Core values and USP:
at the very outset, international brands must build a campaign focused on
sharing its core values and what makes it different from other competitors. This
could be showing how a brand will improve people’s lives, solve a consumer
problem or redefine a particular sector. The campaign should be explicit and
answer the following questions: why should your customers be interested and why
would they want to do business with you? Getting this right is crucial to
building credibility in a new market.

Strategic PR: to
gain exposure and build credibility, brands must create a strategic
communications plan. Heading directly to where its target audience hangs out,
brands should select a shortlist of media outlets on different platforms and
create content which will attract consumers with the purchasing power.

Tailored content
campaign:
brands can build their credibility and create a place as a
thought leader by producing content tailored for specific audiences. Whether it
takes the form of an opinion piece, podcast or white paper, creating content
that is unique and appeals to the needs of specific customers is a positive way
of shaping public perception and corporate credibility.

Build a tribe: every
company needs a team of supporters, and building a loyal tribe is a great way
for a new brand to launch in the US. Using testimonials, satisfaction reports
and word of mouth recommendations are all positive ways to build organic reach.
To gain viral status, brands must consider working with bloggers and social
influencers to build their online reputation and reach amongst powerful
audiences.

Be personal: new
audiences want to know about the faces behind the brand and introducing them to
employees and supporters is an effective credibility building technique. Try
creating a behind the scenes video campaign, introducing what your brand is
like through interviews and interactive content.

Consistency is key:
for brands launching in the US market, consistency of message is key. Ensure
your brand messaging, communications strategy and visual materials are
complementary, and the same theme can be found across all platforms and media
appearances. In the early days, customers need to be reassured by what they are
hearing, and an off-topic interview or piece of content can be a dangerous blow
to credibility.

Quality over quantity:
don’t overstretch your brand too thin in the early days. Opt for quality over
quantity, showcasing what you do and how you do it well. Customers want to get
to know you, and a targeted, quality approach will help to build credibility
and brand recognition.

Contributor: Jack Haanraadts, Account Coordinator at Marketing Maven