Building a product for a global audience

The age of the internet has created a vast marketplace that allows companies to sell products and services across oceansand continents, rather than just domestically. It’s great news for those wishing to expand their business to underservedmarkets and untapped consumer needs – but only if executed correctly. Creating and marketing a product for the globalstage requires mindfulness and the ability to imagine your product from a point of view wholly different from your own.What’s seen as ingenious in your home country might be cumbersome, irrelevant, or even worse, offensive to a consumer onthe other side of the world.

1. Be Ready to Break Your Own Rules

The foundational rule of building a product that will spark delight and be attractive to consumers the world over isthis: do not attempt to create a product with a one-size-fits-all mentality. From the start, you mustbe flexible and willing to iterate, adapt, and mold your offerings for the myriad of cultures, environments, and usagestyles that your product will be exposed to. When we considered what options to provide for our customers in thePhilippines, we knew that in their culture cash is king. For this reason, we adjusted our model to their unique wants,needs, and cultural habits, and ensured there would be a cash pick-up option for remittances. This helped us remainvaluable and relevant in that market.

2. Embrace and Encourage Diversity

It isn’t easy to stay on top of changing trends, cultural shifts, and opportunities for growth in economies that arefunctioning hundreds or even thousands of miles away. For this reason, it’s smart to have a dedicated member of yourstaff reviewing global fluctuations and constantly keeping tabs on changes that may affect the viability of yourproduct.

Purposeful staffing is key overall: you cannot create a successful product for the global stage if you don’thave a diverse staff. A staff without varied backgrounds, ethnicities, beliefs, and experiences meansyou’ll miss out on the chance to explore a variety of point of view and leverage different life experiences – all ofwhich make your product stronger. Even if you’re not hiring your targeted end user, mindfully staffing your team willstill produce a truer, more authentic result than a company comprised of like-minded producers with similar backgrounds.

3. Be User First

Your customers are why you have a product in the first place. Respect your users by making them the centerpiecein your company’s vision and values. We embrace this idea by frequently going on-ship and engagingfirst-hand with our end users. We conduct interviews and distribute surveys to learn more about their priorities, goals,and needs. We are constantly attempting to get closer to the people directly affected by our product and services.

Commit your resources to testing, learning, iterating and having as much face-to-face contact with your end users aspossible. Deploy early and often to obtain feedback and recognize that your product doesn’t have to be completelyfleshed out in order to get reactions through user testing. Understanding human behavior is the key to building asuccessful product for a global audience. If you lose sight of what is meaningful to your user, you also lose globalproduct viability.

4. Replicate Your Attitude Company-Wide

Remember that no man is an island. From the executive level of your ranks to your newest hires, you cannotexpect your product to succeed globally if you don’t have full buy-in from your staff on your coretenets.This starts with senior leadership. At Brightwell, we broadcast our company’s mentality ofdiversity, empathy, and a user-first focus to keep our goals top of mind for everyone, and it fortifies us as a team.Strategically hiring individuals who are entrepreneurial-minded and looking to join a philanthropic cause that helpsunbanked consumers reach a brighter financial future has pushed Brightwell’s product to excel – because our team isfocused on the same end result and is seeking the same personal fulfillment from making the world a better, moreaccessible place.

Launching your product to a global audience is only as lofty as you make it – continuing to innovate and find new waysto be of service to diverse, unique users will open the door for your products to become real players, both at home andabroad. The rest of the work comes from the product itself, and its desirability to consumers around the world. With adedication to your user and outside-the-box thinking, you’re well on your way to becoming a global hero.