Give a Buyer More
Selling internationally is significantly more competitive than selling in the domestic market. Not only are we competing with other Australian brands, but we have to compete with our ever-present brothers/sisters from New Zealand (who are extremely proactive in international markets and can fly the clean & green flag just as well as you can). We also have to compete with some big players from the US, Germany, Canada, Korea …the list goes on.
So what does this mean to aspiring exporters, or even experienced exporters seeking to identify business opportunities in another export market? Give the buyer something the others do not – or at the very least, offer it.
Not all buyers will have the coordination to integrate a promotional campaign into their sales plans, but just knowing you are willing to offer it and support a brand’s introduction puts you leagues ahead of your competition: competition that are likely still spruiking features such as the greatest formula, largest bottle or most amino acids – if that’s your thing.
Sales, especially in FMCG is a numbers game for most buyers. If the product doesn’t sell it gets delisted, or if you have a really polite buyer, “the range is being consolidated,” and you’re out.
During our travels overseas and our work with retailers, I recall a meeting where a very enthusiastic category manager of a major retail chain was explaining that just getting the product listed with his company was only part of the process.
As he pointed at a product and waved his arms widely (he was a very animated category manager), he yelled, “You see this product here, it will die, die right here on the shelf without some reason for consumers to give it a try.”
I am going to guess that his words have long out-lived the cherry-flavoured carbonated beverage he was pointing to.
So what can you do?
In our experience, which is now about to reach over 24 years in something like 30+ countries (just to blow our own trumpet a little), the offer is not one size fits all. Market research has been, and still remains our best tool. It’s about developing the knowledge of what goes on in a region and how you can adapt your domestic offers/procedures/or how you do business to the local scene.
It’s about communication with willing partners and securing their help to guide you in supporting the brand’s introduction.
And most importantly, it’s about ensuring you have a product offering from the first point of contact, that instils your long-term willingness to support an introduction.
So, what does all that mean to me?
In our work with clients seeking to identify business opportunities overseas, we don’t reinvent the product. We don’t dramatically change the pricing structure or the logo or colours. We work to distil the business’ offering and leverage that against what the competitors are doing, or better: not doing.
With businesses seeking to expand internationally, we ensure our clients hit the market with a clear and concise offer, that they understand the compliance requirements for the importing country, and importantly, that they know their competitor’s pricing and their own costs to reach a market’s consumers.
When our overly enthusiastic category manager meets them, we need him to see an opportunity – a product that will make his job easy and ideally help him to reach his sales targets.
Who is CVEN?
CVEN is an Australian based export consulting business. We work with some of Australia’s newest exporters to our largest national brands. Every day we build leads, negotiate contracts, collate documentation and send things overseas and the pathways we build for clients are the direct result of our international trade experience.
CVEN is different – we export.