In a highly dynamic technological sector led by powerful multinationals that put considerable emphasis on branding, international presence and acceptance of any kind for small and medium-sized businesses is both noteworthy and appreciated.
At the same time, staying and even expanding in this market is an exciting challenge. Responding to this challenge requires adapting and even reinventing certain aspects of a business; some of them more obvious, like brand image or creating a powerful international network of offices and business partners to provide commercial services and local technical support. Furthermore, the impact on the product is quite clear, from product definition to marketing, through design, manufacturing and other product-related aspects. And it is on this topic that I wish to share with you certain aspects relating to brand internationalization.
First, starting with the product name itself, we need to think globally, keeping a watchful eye on legal cases like the one that forced “Dunkin’ Donuts” to change its name in Spain to “Dunkin’ Coffee” because Panrico had already registered the word “Donut”. The phonetics of different languages are another thing to watch and there are a number of funny anecdotes mainly in relation to car models; there’s the “Nissan Moco” or the “Mazda Laputa”, which failed to sell in Spain, and the “Fiat Marea” or the “Mitsubishi Pajero”, which ended up being called “Montero”.
Moving on to less humorous topics, I should mention the certification requirements of different countries for marketing and imports. First, there are the internationally recognized CE, FCC and UL certifications carrying their own non-insignificant costs, especially for devices incorporating radio communications (WLAN, WWAN) since they require testing in different bands and band combinations. Any slight component change or minor device modification will invalidate these certifications taking you right back to square one. Next, some countries have their own standards and certification requirements that require local tests and often duplicate certification efforts. And as if that were not enough, ensuring product compliance in some of these countries lies with the importer, with all the obstacles that implies. It is also quite common for import permits to have expiry dates, sometimes as little as six months, which in most cases requires a simple administrative process to renew the permit and a mandatory fee of course.
And I mustn’t neglect to mention the accessories. In the European Union, manufacturers and importers, for goods imported from developing countries, are responsible for ensuring product compliance. This is because according to regulation 768/2008/EC, non-EU manufacturers are excluded from all liability for a good; the liability falls on the importer (who is easier to pursue legally…). Having said that, according to the same regulation, everything is relative, and under certain marketing conditions a third party marketing goods under certain circumstances may end up being held liable.
The common legislative framework of the European Community clearly acts as a homogenizing element facilitating and driving the market. But while affixing a CE marking to a product provides a guarantee of product safety and reliability, not everything that glitters is gold! Watch out for a strikingly similar “CE” marking that stands for China Export and only means that the product was manufactured in China.
The international presence of Teldat, which in 2015 alone helped the companies of fifty-five countries on five continents with their communications, bears witness to the efforts of this Spanish company in the process of brand expansion and international product and brand recognition. The company’s manufacturing experience, together with a tightly woven network of partners fully committed to customer satisfaction, ensures efficient communication solutions wherever customers choose to trust their communications to Teldat.