24 Apr 2023, 12:58 — 6 min read
Launching a new product in a pre-existing international trade export market can be a daunting task. A lot of factors go into determining whether or not a new product succeeds or fails in an unfamiliar market. Often the search for a new product and its subsequent success or failure can be determined at the drawing board itself. The demographic quotient of the percentage of the population that is going to form your customer base should drive every single one of your decisions.
Perhaps the first thing to do, even before you outline a product, is to choose the specific market you’re targeting. Target market allows you to focus on marketing and brand message for a specific audience who are more likely to buy from you than other markets. Remember, targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria; rather, you are selecting the ones who can be your customers. It is a much more efficient, affordable and effective way to generate business and reach potential clients.
Furthermore, keep a target export trademarket in mind to streamline business processes, guide corporate decisions, and formulate the strategies based on the way the particular demographic is going to react.
Now that we have the market let’s see how to choose the correct product that will sell.
Having a vision in mind while choosing a product for export sales could be worthy to strive forward, especially if you pick a niche market with a plan to monopolise or grab a large percentage of the market share with that product.
Take into consideration the age, location, gender, income level, education level, marital or family status, occupation and ethnic background of your clientele. Other important factors to think about when it comes to your customers are their personality, attitudes, values, interests/hobbies, lifestyles and behaviour. Since all these factors affect the purchase, it is important to keep a record and act accordingly.
Try not to enter a market with behemoth competitors. Supposedly, if you think you’re going to compete with the likes of Amazon or Apple, you’re just going to get eaten for breakfast. Having competitors is not an issue, but you are just starting, be careful with who you’re planning to compete with.
Do thorough research on the pricing, planning marketing strategies, market, customer behaviour, logistics, competitors, trade policies etc. You need to know all the players and what they do to sell. It is especially important if you don’t have enough information about the target market.
Even though the idea for a new product or service often comes from an assumption, it is important to do your research. Without research, everything you’re thinking is simply an assumption and as anyone will tell you, starting an export business based on an assumption is not a great idea. Upfront research is key to a successful product launch.
Pick the top products in the decided niche and see which one is viable for you to manufacture or source. Pick the one for which you can get raw material easily, and have a huge demand in the market.
Exporting to a foreign land requires you to take strategic steps. Make a plan of how to sell. Marketing is the key to reaching the customers and letting them know what you have to offer. Also, the market keeps on changing, and you need to learn to adapt. It requires expert guidance, especially when you are going to land in unknown territory.
Feedback will help you improve and make the needed practical changes to the product. Your genuine customers will get you feedback and will challenge your pre-set assumptions. Interact with the customers, answer their queries and get hands-on, valuable feedback. You want as many reviews as you can get. Our biases can often affect our thinking and lead us to make false assumptions that can be fatal to our business. Get feedback, work on it and strive.
Another misconception in the market is regarding oomph and show. With so much focus on brands and marketing these days, a lot of entrepreneurs think they have to create a whole image out of the gate. Starting small and staying focused is equally viable in the long run. Starting with a single product, building credibility, and growing from there could be a good business idea. It is not always viable to outspend your competitors and detract focus from your product. A "soft launch” is preferable to a big splash if a big splash might just end up drowning your product.
Most importantly, a word about your products is spread by customers. Nothing beats the conversion rate of customer referral. Your best customer is someone who wants what you have and values what you’ve put into it. These people can turn into champions who will spread the word about what you have to offer.
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Image source: Canva
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
Posted bySandeep Kaushik
I am an export growth consultant with 25 years of export experience selling to 98 countries. I do training and consulting for export growth. I have touched 20400+ entrepreneurs,...
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