Top 3 Highlights from the Brand2Global Conference London 2013

by Steve Maule

I recently attended the Brand2Global conference in central London. This is a new event, organized by the people who run the Localization World series – The Localization Institute Inc. The Brand2Global Conference focuses on the best practices for global branding, marketing campaigns, websites and social media.

It was an early start on Day One with a “very early” 7:30 AM registration. This meant the 6:00 AM London to Manchester train for me. I was looking forward to meeting and learning from a mix of academics, creative agencies and other Language Service Providers, as well as key representatives from leading global brands from the world of technology, travel, entertainment and luxury.

Here’s my top 3 highlights from the conference:

  1. Dr. Geert Hofstede’s keynote speech “Markets are People”. He introduced the concept that societies and countries can be categorized by where they rank across different cultural dimensions. The two most important for brands are Individualist vs. Collectivist and Long-term vs. Short-term. Communication and advertising styles should be adapted accordingly. One delegate commented that their usability tests for web content are not valid for them in more Collectivist countries, like China, as “people don’t speak their mind” like they do in more Individualist countries, like the USA.
  2. Julia Kenyon from BBC Worldwide talked about how your fans are your best marketers. The BBC has seen a total shift from the traditional “make a program and it’ll be seen” approach to now making sure they’re going to where the fans are.  One simple Facebook post about Dr Who on Facebook reached 5.4m people!
  3. Senior Analyst Ben Sargent, from independent research firm, Common Sense Advisory, presented “Fundamentals of Online Engagement for Global Brands”. Ben shared research that showed:
  • There is a clear link between business success and number of languages found on a brand’s website.
  • Lots of companies are investing in the wrong languages.
  • If brands are not adding between 2 and 3 languages each year, then they are not keeping up!

Ben also introduced the emergence of a Pan lingual User Experience (UX), noting that 50% of the people on the planet speak 3 or more languages.

I thought it was a great conference and hope to see it run again next year. Did you also attend Brand2Global?  What did you think?  I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.

Let’s connect and drop me a line.

Steve Maule, Welocalize Business Development Director