American Market Tips for Foreign Companies
If you want to do business with American clients, or succeed in the US market, it is essential to understand the complex cultural factors that influence American customer behavior.
Many foreign companies, especially European companies, make the mistake of thinking that the US market and American customers are similar to the market and consumers of their home country, just in English.
This is the BIGGEST mistake you can make when going into the American market.
There is so much to say about this topic, that I will write an entire series on it over the next few months.
You’ll get plenty of tips and practical insights into the minds of American clients, to help you better understand how they think and what they look for.
To be sure you get the entire series, be sure to sign up to my email list, or you risk missing an important insight!
Our 1st topic, “How to make your brand appeal to American clients” will be covered in 3 articles.
This is the 1st of the 3 articles, and covers 3 aspects of making your brand attractive to American clients :
- Understand and Embrace American Values
- Localize and Adapt to Cultural Nuances of the American Market
- Leverage Digital Marketing & Social Media to Reach American Customers
Whether you are breaking new ground in the American market or you want to increase your existing presence in the American market, the tactics presented here will give you ideas & practices to attract American clients.
How to Make Your Brand Appeal to American Clients, Part 1 of 3
To increase brand appeal for an American audience, a foreign company or entrepreneur should consider several key strategies that can help them connect with and attract American customers effectively, despite the fact that English is not your native language.
Understand and Embrace American Values
Research and understand core American values such as freedom, individuality, innovation, and pragmatism. Integrate these values into your brand’s messaging and marketing. For instance, if you’re selling a tech product, emphasize how it promotes innovation and individual creativity.
For a foreign company to demonstrate that they understand and embrace American values in their brand, here are three concrete, actionable, and specific strategies:
1. Tailor Products to American Preferences
Adjust your product designs, features, or formulations to align with American tastes and preferences. This can include size adjustments, flavor modifications, or incorporating features that cater to American lifestyles. For instance, if a company sells kitchen appliances, they might offer larger-sized appliances in the U.S. to cater to American preferences for spacious and multi-functional kitchen gadgets.
2. Engage in American Cultural Events and Causes
Actively participate in and align your marketing efforts with American holidays, cultural events, and social causes. This can involve special promotions during holidays like Independence Day or Thanksgiving, or supporting causes that are widely recognized and valued in the U.S., such as environmental sustainability or veterans’ support.
3. Adopt American Marketing and Communication Styles
Use marketing and advertising approaches that resonate with American audiences. This includes employing a communication style that aligns with American values of directness, clarity, and optimism. The marketing content should reflect the diversity of the American population and include culturally relevant references and humor.
Case Study of a Foreign Company Successfully Embracing American Values: Toyota in the USA
– Toyota’s Approach in the U.S. Market:
The Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota has successfully adapted to the American market by understanding and embracing American values and preferences.
Here’s how Toyota specifically adapted:
– Product Adaptation:
Toyota recognized the American preference for larger vehicles and expanded its U.S. lineup to include a wider range of SUVs and trucks, such as the Toyota Tundra and Tacoma, which are tailored to American tastes and lifestyles.
– Marketing Strategies:
Toyota’s marketing campaigns in the U.S. often emphasize values like innovation, safety, and durability, which resonate with American consumers. They have also engaged in marketing efforts that align with American sports, such as sponsoring NASCAR events, which is a sport deeply ingrained in American culture.
– Community Engagement:
Toyota has established strong community ties in the U.S. by investing in local manufacturing plants, contributing to local economies, and engaging in philanthropic efforts, such as education initiatives and environmental sustainability programs. This level of community involvement demonstrates a commitment to American societal values and helps to build a positive brand image among American consumers.
Through these specific adaptations, Toyota has not only shown a deep understanding of American values but also successfully integrated its brand into the American automotive market.
Localize and Adapt to Cultural Nuances of the American market
To localize and adapt to the cultural nuances of the American market and its customers, a foreign company can implement these three concrete and actionable strategies:
1. Customize Product Offerings for American Preferences
Adapt products to meet the specific tastes and needs of American consumers. This could involve modifying sizes, flavors, or features of products. For example, if a company sells food products, they might introduce flavors or ingredients that are popular in the U.S., or adjust portion sizes to match American eating habits.
2. Develop Marketing Campaigns with American Cultural References
Create marketing and advertising content that resonates with American culture. This includes using local idioms, humor, and references to American pop culture, sports, and holidays. The marketing materials should also reflect the diversity of the American population.
3. Align Business Practices with American Expectations
Adapt business operations to align with American standards and expectations. This includes customer service practices, return policies, and business hours. For example, offering a 24/7 customer service line can be a significant adaptation, acknowledging the expectation for constant availability in the U.S. market.
Case Study of Successful Localization: Aldi in the USA
– Aldi’s Approach in the U.S. Market: Aldi, a German discount supermarket chain, provides a good example of a foreign company successfully localizing and adapting to the cultural nuances of the American market.
Here’s how Aldi specifically adapted:
– Product Localization: Aldi modified its product selection for the U.S. market, introducing more locally sourced products and expanding its range of organic, gluten-free, and American-specific items, such as peanut butter and specialized coffee flavors, which are more aligned with American consumer preferences.
– Store Layout and Design: Aldi adapted its store layouts and designs to suit American shopping habits. The stores in the U.S. are larger with wider aisles compared to their European counterparts, accommodating the preference for spacious shopping environments in the U.S.
– Marketing and Branding: Aldi’s marketing in the U.S. focuses on value for money, quality, and convenience, which are key drivers for American consumers. They also run local American holiday-themed promotions and advertising campaigns, such as for Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July, to resonate with American cultural events.
Aldi’s approach to adapting its products, store design, and marketing strategies for the American market has been instrumental in its success in the U.S., demonstrating a strong understanding of and adaptation to American cultural nuances and consumer preferences.
Leverage Digital Marketing & Social Media to Reach American Customers
To effectively leverage digital marketing and social media to reach and appeal to American customers, a foreign company can adopt the following three concrete, actionable, and specific strategies:
1. Localized Social Media Campaigns
Create social media content that is tailored specifically to American audiences. This includes using language, themes, and imagery that resonate with American culture and values.
For example, a company can create posts that reference American pop culture, local events, or holidays like Thanksgiving or Independence Day.
2. Engage with American Influencers
Collaborate with American influencers who have a strong following in your target market. These influencers can help promote your brand through authentic content that appeals to American consumers.
To specifically engage with American influencers, a foreign company could collaborate with a well-known YouTube personality in the U.S. tech community for a product review if they’re launching a new electronic gadget, or partner with a prominent Instagram fitness influencer for sponsored posts and stories if they’re introducing a health-related product.
Additionally, for fashion or beauty products, they might work with influencers attending high-profile American events like New York Fashion Week, leveraging their visibility to reach a broader audience.
3. Utilize Targeted Advertising on U.S.-Popular Platforms
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads offer tools to deeply understand and reach specific American demographics. Use them to understand American consumer behavior and preferences, and tailor your ads to these insights for different regions, age groups, or interests that align with your brand.
For example, Thanksgiving, Independence Day, or the Super Bowl hold significant cultural importance for Americans. A food and beverage company might run special ad campaigns for Super Bowl Sunday, focusing on party snacks and drinks.
Additionally, you can leverage regional targeting, for instance, focusing on beach lifestyle products for audiences in coastal states like California and Florida. Or a company selling outdoor gear could target ads towards users in mountainous and regions where hiking and an active lifestyle are popular, like Colorado or the Pacific Northwest.
Case Study of Successful Digital Marketing: Spotify in the USA
– Spotify’s Approach in the U.S. Market: Spotify, a Swedish music streaming service, offers an excellent example of leveraging digital marketing and social media to reach American customers.
Here’s how Spotify specifically adapted:
– Personalized Playlists and American Music Content: Spotify created personalized playlist features like “Discover Weekly” and “Release Radar,” which use algorithms to suggest music based on individual user preferences. In the U.S., these playlists often include a wide array of American artists and genres, catering to the diverse musical tastes in the country.
– Social Media Integration: Spotify capitalized on integrating its service with social media platforms popular in the U.S., like Facebook and Instagram, allowing users to share their music and playlists easily. This integration helps in organic marketing as users often share their music experiences on these platforms.
– Collaborations with American Artists and Podcasts: Spotify has also focused on collaborations with American artists and podcasters to create exclusive content. They have invested in podcasting, a rapidly growing medium in the U.S., by acquiring American podcast companies and promoting popular American podcasts, thereby attracting a wider American audience.
Through these specific digital marketing and social media strategies, Spotify has effectively expanded its presence and appeal in the American market, distinguishing itself from competitors and becoming a popular music streaming choice among American consumers.
Understanding and embracing the complexities of the American market is crucial for foreign companies aiming to succeed with U.S. clients.
By integrating American values into your brand, localizing products and marketing strategies, and effectively leveraging digital platforms, you can significantly enhance your appeal to American consumers.
Remember, each step towards understanding the American market is a stride towards global success. If you’re looking to dive deeper into these strategies or need personalized assistance in connecting with and converting your American prospects, we’re here to help.
Book a meeting with me to discuss how our team’s expertise can empower your business to thrive in the vibrant and diverse American market.
Coming up in next week’s article:
I’ll continue to look at how you can make your brand attractive to American customers. We’ll focus specifically on the following topics: Customer service & experience, Quality & value proposition, Community & social responsibility.