Building a global brand is a difficult task that must be achieved one step at a time. Expansion into a foreign market is one of the most important steps in the process that can bring additional revenues and greatly increase brand visibility. Unfortunately, it is also one of the areas where mistakes are common, since companies are literally making a foray into the unknown.
To avoid some of the typical challenges of a cross-border expansion and achieve the best results, you should pay attention to the following tips.
Whatever your business may be, someone is probably already selling something similar in your target market. Even if your product is innovative and superior to any alternatives, you still need to know how the consumers are fulfilling their needs at the moment. Understanding the strength of competition is essential for your preparation and might spare you from a serious and expensive embarrassment.
Every nation adheres to its own set of rules of socially acceptable behaviour. This can be confusing for foreign businessmen with no previous experience with local culture, often leading to serious gaffes during sales meetings or media commercials. Bringing a bottle of champagne to a business partner may be considered stylish in France, but it is likely to be taken as an insult in Saudi Arabia.
It is usually a good idea to focus your marketing resources on the new market you are targeting. To do that most effectively, you might need help from those who have direct experience with the circumstances typical for that country. For example, it’s wise to get advice from SEO consultants in Germany if you are trying to establish a presence in this country primarily through the online channel, as the most searched keywords could vary due to language differences.
Launch of your product in a new market is a great opportunity to make a spectacle and capture the imagination of the consumers. Some of the options at your disposal include organising a big promo event, supporting a highly visible cause or at least ramping up online presence. Due to novelty factor, such efforts stand a good chance of attracting media attention and earning you lots of free publicity.
Just like it took a while for your business model to become profitable in your home market, it may take a year or two before you fully make the adjustment to the realities of your new environment. Impatient business owners are prone to jump from one country to another in search of a perfect storm, but it may be more optimal to stay patient and continue improving in those markets where you are already present.
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