Culture matters: How to brand your company to excel in the Israeli tech market

Marketing is a very niche subject, especially when it comes to penetrating specific markets. When companies think about going global, they don’t just use a one-size-fits-all approach. They set out feelers and see what kind of content and marketing their demographic best responds to and launch their campaign. This is why sometimes you may see different burgers in McDonald’s all over the world. They assimilate, they localize, and they become relatable to the locals in order to increase their own appeal.

When it comes to invading the Israeli tech market, there’s one thing that marketers and international companies need to understand: they are contending with a very strong tech presence so that they need to find their essence in order to stand out. 

Let’s talk branding

Websites are a strong attribute of marketing because it represents your brand. Whether you’re a big or small company, you want to run your domain through a domain appraisal to get an idea of how powerful your domain is. If it’s not ranked very high, you might have to spend more effort building up your website. Higher value domains don’t require as much effort because they are generally seen to be more legitimate, but it is still a necessary element in branding. 

Now, when you go to international websites, you’ll find that there are regional websites for each sector. Whether you’re browsing for apparel or tech, it is even more important in tech because of the various specifications that differ from nation to nation. Take a look at your powerpoint – it’s not the same in China, or the U.K. Sockets aren’t globalized so if a Londoner buys something from a China store, they’ll need an adapter – not ever convenient or user friendly. 

So when you’re setting up a tech company in Israel, you also want to consider the use of domain extensions. For instance, if you’re in New Zealand, you might want to go with .nz, and it gives people an immediate identifying element that they are visiting a website that is based in New Zealand. For Canada, it’s .ca, and America, it’s .us. When it comes to Israel, their common domain extension is .il. Simple and easy. 

Adapting your website to their culture

Websites don’t have any culture, right? Well, technically, websites exist on a global plane and therefore should not have any kind of cultural identifiers, but the fact is that websites made by Americans or websites made by China do have a different kind of aesthetic, which plays directly into their culture of what the general masses consider to be attractive. 

In Israel, they do tend to emulate the West because they are striving for professionalism, but they do not quite have that quirkiness that Americans are known for. If you take a look at Israel’s top 20 websites, you’ll quickly notice a trend: It’s very dynamic, very American. The graphics move along with you as you scroll through the website, as is apparent in Nanox Vision, which focuses on med tech, IronSource, a tech company dedicated to app monetization and management, the list goes on. 

However, it should be noted that the reason many of these Israeli companies have websites that exhibit American features is because they are targeted at Americans. For many locals, they often overlook the prettier websites in favor of those that are more straight to the point and less flashy, because they understand that a polished website often equals higher quality and higher fees, and while the American market may consider the price for quality Israeli products to be reasonable, it simply isn’t as affordable to the locals. 

Furthermore, simple websites tend to rank higher on search engines, so for those looking for efficiency, it’s worth designing a more basic looking website than going all out with the bells and whistles. 

The role of social media

If you haven’t noticed, websites may be the foundation of every company, but it’s their social media that has the ability to increase leads exponentially. If a video goes viral, your business can explode with orders. It’s very important to leverage social media carefully and make sure that your business is able to handle a sudden influx of traffic and users. If you are unable to meet the basic expectations of being able to purchase a product due to server failures or having poor customer service, it’s likely those customers will never return.

Currently, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are fastest growing social media platforms in Israel, and companies should use that information to their advantage in penetrating the Israeli market. But don’t forget about forums – while social media is where tech companies can get a lot of exposure, it’s the forums that will give you loyal customers that will likely be your first few conversions. That’s where research comes into play – Reddit isn’t a big forum in Israel, unlike in the States, so get an Israeli’s opinion, because at the end of the day, if you’re marketing for a specific demographic, it’s always best to get that demographic’s personal opinion. 

About the Author
Justin Doebe is the President of Nevelis Media. Justin is interested in Israel's startup ecosystem and aims to share his insights learnt from expanding to and managing business in Israel.