Thanks to the Internet, companies of all sizes can easily reach consumers in the global marketplace. But even with this powerful tool to aid you, global brands aren’t born—they are made through diligent management and consistency of message. When your small business starts to go global, you will be forced to relinquish some brand control as you rely on partners to represent your interests and the needs of your local consumers. The following are a few guidelines to help you ensure that the way your partners represent your business is consistent and reflects your standards.
Establish a list of brand guidelines to be used by all partners. Include an approved image library, color palette, and other pieces of relevant information to make it easy for your partners to comply.
Provide all of your suppliers and distributors with the same description of your company and products to ensure consistency. For global markets, provide your partners with the relevant translations, so you are able to control the quality of your message. Translations completed by partners may not be done with the same focus and can reflect poorly on your brand.
Provide clear guidelines about the use of your logo. Some sites favor a taller/narrower layout and others a shorter/longer display. Providing guidelines ensures you control the look, instead of leaving it to a Web designer trying to fit your logo into a predefined space.
Provide multiple images of your product at varying sizes and resolutions to ensure it is always shown clearly.
Periodically review your partners’ sites to ensure they are complying with your guidelines.
Kevin R. Bolen
Chief Marketing Officer
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
To submit a tip for consideration, first check our archive of previous tips to make sure you're not repeating a tip someone has already contributed. Then send the tip to Small Business channel contributor Michelle Dammon Loyalka. Because of the volume of material she receives, she may not respond to each individual.