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Companies struggling to manage brands across multiple markets, a new report from the Economist Intel

SDL plc

Thursday, 6 July, 2006

Maidenhead, UK

Strong brands are increasingly recognized as a competitive asset, according to a new survey of 145 senior executives around the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit. However, managing brands effectively across multiple markets is proving to be a significant challenge, with half of executives stating that brand consistency is becoming harder to maintain as their firms enter new markets. Executives also reveal that cultural barriers (63%) and language and translation issues (44%) have become the two primary challenges in brand management. Localization of the brand does pay off though: two-thirds of survey respondents agreed that efforts such as translation and cultural adaptation had a positive impact on sales in those regions.

The findings are published today in Guarding the brand, a briefing paper written by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by SDL International. It finds that companies are responding to the challenges of brand management by focusing their resources on a smaller number of stronger brands, while also relying more than ever on technology to improve the brand experience.

"Just as brands become more crucial, they're also getting harder to manage, as firms grapple with a proliferation of new channels and an increasingly global marketplace," said James Watson of the Economist Intelligence Unit, the editor of the report. "In response, firms are focusing on fewer, stronger brands, which can be used more flexibly in a variety of markets."

To read more please visit: www.sdl.com

Guarding the brand is available from Nicola Bogle: +44 (0)1628 417225 or [email protected]

Notes for editors:
Guarding the brand is an Economist Intelligence Unit briefing paper, sponsored by SDL International. The research is based on a survey of 145 executives from across the globe, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit between March and April 2006, as well as in-depth interviews with senior brand executives at six firms worldwide.

About the Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit is the business information arm of The Economist Group, publisher of The Economist. Through our global network of over 650 analysts, we continuously assess and forecast political, economic and business conditions in 200 countries. As the world's leading provider of country intelligence, we help executives make better business decisions by providing timely, reliable and impartial analysis on worldwide market trends and business strategies.

About SDL International
SDL International (London Stock Exchange: 'SDL') is the leader in global information management (GIM) solutions that empower organizations to accelerate the delivery of high-quality multilingual content to global markets. Its enterprise software and services integrate with existing business systems to manage global information from authoring to publication and throughout the distributed localization supply chain.

For information on SDL, please contact:
Nicola Bogle
Tel: +44 (0)1628 417225
Email: [email protected]

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