Tips on exporting to foreign markets
According to UK Trade and Investment, businesses that export are, on average, 34% more productive, 75% more innovative, undertake three times as much R&D and are 12.5% more resilient than businesses that don’t.
But exporting comes with it challenges, and not every company is set up for exporting.
Want to export overseas? Then first, carry out your market research and competitor analysis. Think your product will be a success? Great! Now you can start considering factors like:
Does yours work in your target market?
An embarrassing example given by Mark Lasswell was that of the Ikea workbench called ‘Fartfull’ and their computer table named ‘Jerker
Some basic translation research on your product name may be useful - you don’t want to insult your customers and new market before you’ve started selling to them.
The technical stuff
Your product may need codes or symbols on its outer packaging, such as specific shipping codes for transportation purposes. Your international freight handler should be able to help advise on the necessary items required for shipping.
Depending on the product being exported, you may also need specific information to comply with legislation in your chosen country – for example, on an aerosol can, you must have regulatory information (text such as “keep out of reach of children”) and a flammable symbol of at least 10mm in width and height as the product is flammable. So you will need to consult your manufacturer or factory to find out whether there are any additional requirements or ask locally with a trade advisor in the country in question. Fragrance oils now have to be regstered at the Poisons Centre in the relevant countries before it they can be sold.
Translations are important if your product does not clearly specify what it is/what it does, or if there is specific information such as instructions for use that you wish to convey to the user. And traslation is not just about translating text into different languages - cultural differences are apparent when dealing with any region of the world, and you must be sensitive to this in your approach.
Remember – by achieving domestic success, you have already attained the background knowledge needed to break into foreign markets. Good luck!