Enhancing Corporate Reputation
Your business is built on your reputation.
How can you build yours fast in overseas markets?
It’s often difficult expanding in a place where no one knows you. Potential overseas allies and customers may misunderstand you. Even worse, they could perceive you as a threat, or simply ignore you.
Your brand is respected in China because of what you have achieved. Your brand communicates your company’s strength, values, products and services. But your brand means nothing to an audience new to it. Your strengths in China may even be seen as weaknesses abroad.
Chinese companies expanding overseas inevitably encounter initial distrust. Despite any good intentions, and goodwill at home, your company risks being unfairly associated with negative perceptions. This distrust is a significant barrier to success.
OVERSEAS YOU ARE THE FOREIGNER
The distrust you will face stems from such issues as China’s widely reported food and safety incidents. The hugely successful “Made in China” label is often criticised overseas. Foreign governments may fear losing control of their resources to overseas firms. Naturally, your competitors will inflate these issues and take advantage of them.
When expanding abroad it’s essential to methodically counter and correct the negative preconceptions you will inevitably face, and build a reputation your overseas customers and peers will respect.
REPUTATION IS BANKABLE
A positive reputation gives your company many advantages. You can acquire customers faster and more quickly build valuable trust among business alliances, partners and employees. A solid reputation is essential for raising capital and facilitating regulatory approval for products and transactions.
CAMPAIGN FOR GLOBAL RESPECT
To ensure smoother expansion, negative perceptions of your company in a market must be identified and corrected. Low or non-existent recognition for your name and reputation may actually be an opportunity. It means you can tailor perceptions of your company and offerings to appeal to new audiences.
To develop a positive reputation or correct a negative perceptions requires planning. As always, good planning means research, intelligence and metrics. Such a plan might encompass the following:
START AT THE TOP
Trust is built on relationships. When venturing into any new territory the most important relationships are those at the most senior levels. A trustworthy reputation among influential members of society makes it much easier to develop wider respect and confidence.
There are many ways to build a trusted reputation among senior influencers, some more effective than others. The Economist Group has documented many examples of how business leaders have cultivated trust to facilitate corporate expansion into new territories.
IN A PARTNERSHIP WITH GOING GLOBAL, COMPANIES LIKE YOURS HAVE RAPIDLY DEVELOPED CREDIBILITY AND TRUST AT THE HIGHEST OF BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT AND THE MEDIA.
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