Brand Language: Hows Your International Attendance?

In our hypermediated, multicultural landscape, it’s amazing how many companies have yet to address the world and its many languages in their media and marketing strategies. To shape a brand in which language and creativity flourish, you have to build it into your company strategy and systems and live it every day. The three companies listed below are just a few examples of how success in branding carries through in every language.

Have you thought about your international attendance?


For the king of all brands, Coca-Cola has done a decent job of addressing the language of culture around the world and adding a little wit as it goes.

If you venture onto the home page and click “Around the world,” you will be welcomed with a strong statement that the company is “enriching the lives of people everywhere.” It also plays the PC game by stating that it is a brand that is “recognized all over the world, but we are also a local operation, a source of commitment in nearly 200 countries.” Smart. Very smart.

On your left, hit the “Profiles” button, and you will find a list of select countries. Argentina will entertain you with a spinning Coca-Cola bottle, Japan with an animated Coca-Cola machine. Magically, the company has allowed each audience creative leverage in branding while somehow maintaining the Coca-Cola brand components throughout.

Longtime brand awareness. In my youth, Coca-Cola started addressing the world with a song that still rings in my memory: “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.”


A baby brand compared with Coca-Cola, but a strong contender in the online start-up world, has created a community focused on the U.S. Hispanic Spirit. It has a model that provides users with information and interactive content in both English and Spanish languages.

As an Internet portal, its goal is to “establish as the leading worldwide online community for Hispanics living in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and other parts of the world.”

A tall order, but Quepasa has done an excellent job. Check out its site for everything that Yahoo has, but with a more direct communiqui to a select international audience. Yahoo definitely has addressed different languages, but it’s hard to find.


Microsoft has the formula.

It has made it easy to traipse around the world. Hit the home page and look directly in the middle for U.S./ Worldwide. This will guide you to a map of the world and a handy list of locations. Simply click on your choice to play. In the traditional way of Microsoft branding, every option looks the same. A formula for the world. Interesting, but Microsoft has done its homework and has addressed all audiences. Bravo, bien, vyborne.

According to, the United States has a 36 percent share of Internet users, leaving the rest of the world with 64 percent, and is forecasted to decrease. Something every company should soon consider.

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