How to Create Brand Loyalty in the Overseas Market
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From time immemorial, jewellery has played a vital role in cultures the world over. From feathers and shells to gold and diamonds, a vast array of materials have adorned the bodies of men and women down the ages, signifying their status, wealth, and position in the social hierarchy. While flaunting a new bauble has never been the sole domain of the rich and powerful, the passage of time and the rise of a middle-class consumer base the world over have seen the demand for jewellery skyrocket.
According to a recently published report by research firm Research And Markets, the global gems and jewellery the market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 5.5 per cent between 2018 and 2023, to eventually cross USD 443 billion. This growth is being driven by the confluence of several factors, key among them the rising socio-economic affluence in developing nations (especially in the Asia-Pacific region); increasing e-commerce sales; high penetration of organized retailers; and the growing number of women participating in the workforce. As Indian jewellery brands take advantage of this situation by expanding their presence abroad, it is essential that a number of key steps are followed in order to create brand loyalty in overseas markets:
Consistency of Values
The building blocks of a brand rest upon a unique set of principles and values. These values serve to set a brand apart from its competitors, help it build a name for itself in a crowded marketplace, and ensure that a customer has the same experience every time they visit a store. This is especially important for brands operating in overseas markets. Operating in a foreign environment against long-established local brands is never an easy proposition.
In these circumstances, having a strongly defined, pre-existing set of values to fall back on is key and allows brands the chance to introduce new elements to the marketplace, drawing from pre-existing experience and operating methods in their home country. This serves to guarantee that each new location upholds the standards of the brand, upholding its reputation and quality and building a devoted customer base along the way.
The Importance of Glocalisation
While upholding the brand values is critical, it is just as important to ensure that brands modify their operating strategies to account for the ground realities of the market. This factor comes into play when operating in a country with a different language and unique cultural norms and values. Glocalisation, a portmanteau of ‘globalisation’ and ‘local’, refers to the adaptation to and integration of local customs in a global business model and is indicative of an understanding of the target market and audience.
This results in potential clients viewing the brand more positively. For example, the purchase of jewellery in China (and other markets with substantial Chinese populations, such as Malaysia and Singapore) primarily occurs around the Lunar New Year, one of the largest occasions on the calendar. Tying promotional activities to the event appeals to public sentiment and indicates a respect for local values and traditions, and is an excellent platform on which to build brand loyalty.
Unique Brand Offerings
Entering a foreign market is undoubtedly a daunting task. However, it’s also an opportunity for a brand to apply its learnings and showcase its expertise in a new environment. This holds especially true for the jewellery industry, where many global brands have capitalized on their unique strengths and proclivities to carve a niche for themselves in new markets. Perhaps the best example of this is the international rise of Swarovski, which has emphasized its unique selling points of sparkling crystals, established heritage, and unrivalled craftsmanship in order to build a dedicated global fan base for itself.
By combining these three aspects into one cohesive whole, a brand has the tools it needs to establish a dedicated global following.