Branding as an International Market Penetration Strategy.
Companies investing in their efforts to grow and introduce products and services into other countries rapidly become aware of important aspects and needs of a successful market penetration strategy.

A well defined and executed brand, design, intellectual property and human resources are essential elements of such strategy.

Khoo Wee Lin of International Enterprise Singapore, an organization working to promote overseas growth of Singapore based enterprises, has pointed out that these elements assist in adding customer value or in differentiation from the many companies offering similar products and services around the world.

According to Khoo, the key goal of branding is to make a difference and shape consumer behavior. She adds that it ensures steady sales and profit growth plus lower acquitision or retention costs. It also ensures a premium price over weaker brands, strong barriers to enry for competitors and staff retention.

As companies set up operations in a new country and become aware of its new market, they strive in a search for obtaining the correct “formula” that will allow them to survive and grow. As it turns out, branding has been strongly identified as one of the key elements in that formula as companies begin to find their niche among strong competitors in those new markets.
One of the most important elements of the branding strategy is consistency. The brand must be properly aligned with the company’s core values. Design plays an important role in communicating brand values, creating new market segments and strengthening emotional bonding with consumers.

Management is the other very important side of branding and market penetration strategy. Management must be convinced and prepared to correctly manage brand strategy and optimize resulting benefits and returns. For many companies, design is perceived as a cost, rather than as an investment mainly because its returns are not immediately visible or their benefits are too complex to measure.

Engaging brand management in the appropiate way helps companies to confidently set up collaboration negotiations with local companies in the new country. It also aids them in the process of licensing and franchising for future expansion and growth. Brand strategy must be flexible so that it can be continually adjusted to close gaps in foreign cultures and meet global trends.
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