Marketing your business in Europe

Position your brand for European markets


Before you start doing business in another country you need to decide on what goods or services you would like to offer. You should then consider the image you want to present for your products or services. You may already have a well-established brand - including name, trademarks, logos and more - but you should still analyse if these will translate well into your new market.

Consider the country you are planning to do business in - what qualities are admired there? Are there any negative connotations you should avoid? What difference will language make?

Define your business values

Consider the values that your business stands for and how to emphasise these. Remember you are operating in a foreign country so it may make sense to use a different approach to marketing.

In some countries UK-made goods may carry extra prestige or be desirable because they are foreign. For example, a small business selling antiques may do well by emphasising the history in the UK or the foreignness of items compared with local suppliers.

Conversely, if your business is built on offering a local service then it may be better to focus away from your foreign origins. Working with a reseller or setting up a branch office can give customers the impression that you operate as a local firm.

Lost in translation

Language is a powerful tool in any marketing campaign. You should do as much research as possible before entering any new market. This will help you avoid any mistranslations or negative connotations. It's a good idea to consult with a fluent or native speaker.

Remember what appears as a good brand name in English may not be appropriate in another language. Ask people what they think as slang words often don't appear in dictionaries. Consider how your brand name may be pronounced differently in another country. Check whether it is similar to a local brand name or word in the native language.