Traveling to a new country is a cornucopia of experiences: the expressions on people’s faces, the striking detail in the architecture, the smells of local cuisine, the distinctive cadence of the language. But as novel and exciting as this all might be, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer foreign-ness of everything — especially when you’re halfway around the world, miles away from home.
If you’ve felt this way before, you probably know the comfort of stumbling across a shop front bearing the familiar red and white branding of Coca-Cola. It’s a slice of home in what might otherwise feel like a confusing and inaccessible world. And because Coca-Cola is available in all but two countries (the exclusionary pair being Cuba and North Korea), you’re just as likely to see that iconic cursive logo in Times Square as you are in a rural Kenyan village, or a Chinese hutong.
That particular feeling of familiarity and homeliness is a direct result of the consistent brand experience that Coca-Cola offers consumers around the world. When you think about it, thanks to its impeccable brand consistency, Coca-Cola has become an unwitting antidote to culture shock. And remarkably, no matter where you are in the world, the brand always evokes the same feeling: positivity, authenticity, inclusiveness.
When a customer has multiple conflicting brand experiences, it damages their perception of your brand and undermines your company as a whole. This is only amplified when the quality of service in different areas varies significantly as well. If the Starbucks down the road serves up a killer chai latte, but the one across town tastes like scolding-hot dishwater, it makes sense to be confused and distrusting of the entire Starbucks brand.
Brand consistency not only ensures a predictably great first-impression for new customers, it also safeguards that experience for returning customers, which in turn fosters long-term familiarity and brand loyalty. This is true for organizations of any size, but especially those with multiple locations across the country and the world. In these cases, brand consistency additionally works to unite employees under a strong, unified banner.
A great way to encourage brand consistency is by making sure that every office and employee has access to the same high-quality materials and branded merchandise — no matter where they are in the world. This is exactly what is achieved with an online company store, wherein employees can “shop” for supplies and promotional items in an easy-to-use branded interface. This means you’ll be able to maintain brand integrity while streamlining your company’s purchasing process and reducing transactional costs.
If you would like to learn more about how an online company store can help you create a strong international brand, get in touch with a member of our team. You can also sign up for a free demo and see its streamlined purchasing wizardry in action.