Last month I went on an exploratory trip to east coast America with a view to expanding my business. “Exporting can open up new opportunities, fuel growth and dramatically boost your takings and profits”, says The Marketing Donut, Business Resource. “Selling your goods and service abroad can massively increase your customer base – and your profits”.
If you are thinking of venturing into export, then getting your brand strategy in place is critical to your success. The brand is the promise your company makes to its audience, wherever the audience may be if the company delivers on its promise your audience can trust the brand. A well-defined and executed export brand strategy thorough knowledge of the export market, however, other factors must be considered as this is a whole business initiative:
- An understanding of cultural and buying needs and motivators.
- The communication plan to be adopted.
- The positioning of the brand locally.
- How to influence the brand perception.
- A thorough knowledge of the local competitive environment.
The goal of a brand is to create approval and commitment to the brand by developing a strong and sustainable consumer-brand relationship. You must adapt the communication plan to the export country nuances as each country has its cultural values. Every culture has its perception; what will work in one country may not work in another country.
Adapt your Brand Strategy to the Aspirations of the Export Market.
When launching and export brand, it is not enough to play on the brand’s home country personality. The local culture and audience is most important in any export brand strategy. Values and behaviours vary from country to country, market to market. A successful brand may be rejected in say, India. The communications plan must convey a clear internal message of engagement and benefits. The message must be communicated and transmitted through the media and the channel appropriate to the local market. You will have to:
- Do your homework of the character of the local market.
- Define your business goals.
- Create the export brand strategy.
- Understand the local market needs, habits and emotions.
The brand must demonstrate uniqueness and convey strong values; however the brand must also be able to adapt the message to local nuances.
There is a danger that the brand could lose its identity and character, by adapting the message to a new audience. However, exporting your brand requires the brand to adapt to local customs to integrate into the market.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets by helping them export their products and services overseas. UKTI aims to fast track exporting success, on average, companies earn £100K in additional sales within 18 months of working with UKTI. The previous Export Week in May saw over 27,000 businesses in the UK attend exporting focused events. UKTI will be holding its next Export Week 9-13 November 2015.
Exporting your brand allows you to grow your business overseas. To succeed in exporting your brand, you must have a knowledge of the export market, knowledge of the local market and cultural differences, an export brand strategy and a communication plan adapted to local needs and emotions.
What are your export ambitions?
Note: This blog was written by Marie-Louise Fofana.
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