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Chapter 4. ARE YOU READY TO GO GLOBAL? > WHEN “FOREIGN” IS A GOOD THING

WHEN “FOREIGN” IS A GOOD THING

Sometimes companies gain an advantage by being viewed as foreign. In the U.S., for example, people value watches that are Swiss, cars that are German and Japanese, wines that are French (and Australian), and clothing that is Italian.

Christiane Bernier notes that America has become more interested in other cultures, but still has a relatively naïve understanding of other cultures. Companies that market to Americans take full advantage of this fact. For example, “French vanilla” means nothing in France. Fortune cookies are an American invention and are virtually nonexistent in Asia.

The key question to ask when entering a new market is, “Am I serving a uniquely local need or am I selling a uniquely foreign product?” The answer will be the key to how you translate your brand and your product.

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