At the Powerwomen Club event with Allyson Stewart-Allen

The Citywealth Powerwomen Club met up to network and listen to speaker Allyson Stewart-Allen, founder and CEO of International Marketing Partners and an expert in brand internationalisation.

A Californian based in London for the past 25 years, and author of bestselling book "Working with Americans", Allyson is well placed to give advice on how to do business with our partners across the pond.

"Don't think the US is the UK with a different accent" Allyson warned. American English is very explicit and a functional language evolved through the necessity to make the language accessible to the multi-lingual layers of immigrants. Very simple words are used in contracts but they tend to be long documents. It's very much a "What you see is what you get" approach and speed in business is much appreciated. 

Allyson gave some examples of amusing miscalculated marketing campaigns occurring through lack of understanding foreign cultures. First introduced in the USA, the Starbucks Trenta coffee that holds a whopping 31 ounces, larger than a bottle of wine, failed to make a success in the UK unsurprisingly, and had to be withdrawn.

Another example of how different commercial products may have different appeals in other countries underlines the importance of understanding different cultures.

For example Kit Kats turned out to be extremely popular in Japan, especially with schoolchildren, as the name sounds like "Kitto Katsu" meaning good luck (or sure to win) in Japanese. Nestle, the manufacturers, acted swiftly to exploit their popularity further by introducing some wacky flavours such as baked potato and soy sauce amongst others.

Allyson serves as a Mentor for the Mayor of London's International Business Programme and appeared on many TV shows, including The Apprentice on BBC2, and had a 4 year slot on Sky News Business Report programme..