When you enter a new physical market, say in another country or on another continent, you expose your brand to new audiences. You might find you need to create and nurture strong relationships with foreign or otherwise unfamiliar businesses. The whole thing can involve taking a massive leap of faith. It’s an adventure. But it can also be a disaster. Here are some tips to help you avoid getting it wrong, designed to support successful forays into fresh markets.
1. Competing With Existing Businesses In A New Market
You just can’t measure the advantages you get from brand recognition and loyalty, they’re marketing gold dust. Even if a competing business’ products are nowhere near as good as yours, and there are alternatives available, a truly loyal customer will stick with their supplier through thick and thin, often simply because it’s a choice they’ve made and nobody likes to admit their choices weren’t the best. If someone is loyal to a brand it can take something as dramatic as a disaster to shift their loyalty: a terrible after-sales experience, being ripped off, being lied to, that kind of thing.
To have a realistic chance of competing with companies who have lots of loyal customers and advocates, you need a suite of powerful tactics. Can you beat the quality of your competitors’ goods? Can you work on your brand image so it speaks even more clearly to their customers? Can you slot neatly into a new market while beating the current industry standards? Hopefully, you’ll be able to answer ‘yes’ to at least one of these vital questions.
2. Understanding Cultures In New Markets
Cultural nuances might not seem that important, but they’re crucial. You must be properly prepared to meet the needs of the new local market. Language is only one of the barriers you might face, and dealing with them might mean taking on local support to help you get to grips with the different ways things are done. You might hire a local agency with an existing team you can tap into. It’ll ease the transition and, importantly, help you avoid embarrassing yourself and others with your cultural ignorance.
Big data is also imperative when it comes to understanding a business’, country’s or region’s culture. You can examine and analyze vast amounts of data, for example, a large and comprehensive Hong Kong companies directory, to establish what your main competitors in the new market look like, what kind of systems they currently use, their revenue and a whole lot more, along with accurate, up to date contact details if you want to market your wares directly to them.
3. Knowing About Local Laws And Regulations
Without a thorough understanding of an unfamiliar market’s bureaucracy, regulations and laws, you can end up in real trouble. You might even be sued or imprisoned. Get support from a local lawyer, someone who is familiar with local commercial law. Don’t guess, never assume, always check to confirm you’re doing things the right way.
4. Creating Brand Awareness And Trust Via Social Media
You can’t migrate to new markets without marketing your brand fully. You need a rock-solid marketing plan supported by proven tactics and a workable overall strategy. You need to carry out detailed market research to understand your new customers’ lifestyle, needs, problems, and preferences. Only then will you be able to create social media campaigns that genuinely resonate with them. From there you’re just a few steps away from getting the business talked about and making it memorable.
Join the right industry-related Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Use the right Twitter hashtags. Post regularly. Avoid hard selling. Be human, be interesting, be relevant to your audience. Provide valuable content that boosts your credibility, builds brand awareness, and drives customer loyalty. Now you’re getting there! Just remember it isn’t about simply rolling out the things you’ve succeeded within your home territory. You need to make sure your marketing really does resonate with your new market, taking into account people’s needs, pain points and lifestyle choices. When you build meaningful relationships like that, you ultimately generate more sales.
5. Making Sure You Can Scale Up To The Right Level When It’s Time
You can carry out all the marketing you like, but if you can’t scale your operation up to deliver the right levels of customer service and support in your new market, you’ll sink like a stone. Planning is key, as it is in so many business-led circumstances. Make sure you know exactly what to do when the time comes to scale up, so you don’t get overwhelmed and end up with a load of disappointed customers.
If you don’t have the necessary internal resources, how about partnering with relevant business or businesses in the new territory, organizations that have the right infrastructure already in place and the local knowledge you need?
Ticking All The Right Boxes For Success
Once you know who your competitors are and what they look like, know your audience, and carefully plan for every eventuality, you’re ready to go forward and expand into fresh markets and new locations. Good luck!
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