Launching a brand in a foreign market is always a significant challenge, but there’s also a lot of proven science to it. Regardless of the country, client product, or target audience, brand development and management practices carry across all borders.
In May and June of 2012, SKM Group worked with Identifix as they prepared to launch their products and services in Latin America. Located in Roseville, MN, Identifix has been a leading source for vehicle diagnostics, Original Equipment Manufacturer service & repair information and Factory Scheduled Maintenance for over 25 years. Identifix’s products and services include their technical Repair Hotline and Direct-Hit™, their award-winning online tool. The timing of the launch was centered on a June trade show in Guadalajara and the July PAACE trade show in Mexico City. Since the inception of Identifix, the company has primarily served customers in the U.S. and Canada, so the launch in Latin America was a brand new endeavor.
The challenge was to create effective new branding that would resonate with the target audience in a country, Mexico, in which there is no brand awareness of Identifix. While the company name and products were still to be ‘”Identifix” and the look and feel of the brand would remain the same, the messaging needed to be modified to suit the Latin American market. Specifically, the main message in the U.S. is speed and in Latin America it needed to be confidence and pride.
Managing this mix of work was not difficult from a general marketing perspective, but what did add a degree of difficulty was the fact that I elected to take German in high school, not Spanish.
(Sidebar: I didn’t regret that decision until now, and I blame my mom for not telling me that taking Spanish was a better choice as the second most spoken language in the world. My limited grasp of the Spanish language comes from ordering numerous meals in Mexican restaurants. So unless Identifix wished to communicate the difference between frijoles pintos and frijoles negros, I was pretty much useless.)
Luckily for me, we have a few team members here at SKM that have a better handle of the Spanish language, and Identifix had a partner who helped us execute the translation work. We developed country-specific branding, sales collateral, print advertisements, trade show displays, promotional material, and a micro-website to which all communications drive traffic.
In the end, no thanks to my mom, we were able to create new branding and marketing materials in Spanish that introduced Identifix as the best source for diagnostic and repair information in Latin America. And the developed creative effectively positioned Identifix in a manner that met the client’s defined expectations and worked to introduce their award-winning product to a new audience in a new country.
Senior Account Executive