Your export strategy: how to formulate it?

Formulation of a solid export strategy is a very important step for SMEs and start-ups that plan their international expansion.

But the companies often struggle to start working on their export strategy or just ignore it trying to sell everything to everyone and everywhere. As one can guess, the result might be quite disappointing.

So, where to start if you want to approach it strategically? You need to find the answers to several questions. Please see below some of the examples explained:

  • Do you export branded products or unbranded /private labels or in bulk?

Sometimes companies are ready to sacrifice their brand to get to the shelf of a famous retailer under the private label of a retail chain. This happens in many consumer industries: food and beverages, cosmetics, apparel, electronics and appliances, furniture, sport, products for babies, etc.

This can be a good solution because building a brand in a new market can be time and resource-consuming.

Some commodities (for example tea) are easier to be sold in bulk. However, some producers intend to increase their brand awareness in other markets.

  • Do you plan to sell online / e-commerce?

Initiating online sales as an initial approach to market entry can prove to be a cost-effective and advantageous component of your export strategy. Online channel is booming everywhere in the world and can potentially deliver a solid sales volume to an exporter. However, the inexperienced vendor shouldn’t take it for granted. It’s way more difficult to sell through the marketplaces than it seems.

Also, it takes time to understand how to approach it correctly. Some online channels are strong in some countries and weak in others. Just an example. Amazon started operations in Poland years ago. Still, the company has less than 10% of the market (online marketplaces in Poland) because local tycoon Allegro managed to establish trustworthy relations with the clients much earlier. This cannot be compared with Amazon’s performance in France or the UK. It goes without saying one must be savvy to sell online. Specialists invest a lot of time and money to do this.

  • How significant is the role of marketing activities within your export strategy?

Marketing strategy involves all parts of the marketing mix. But here we mean promotion. Everyone wants to sell first, then promote the product. And it’s correct. The product needs to be on the shelf before the company starts advertising it. The distribution comes first. However, as we mentioned in the article:, distributors will demand your commitment to local brand promotion. It’s also naïve to think that a retail buyer (TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR PRODUCTS IN RETAIL CHAINS INTERNATIONALLY) will list and push the product w/o financial support from your side. This is because retailers really need the product to be promoted (unless the brand is very famous already or the product is truly unique and needed or the price is very low). Even multinationals promote their famous products in-store a lot because one of their main KPIs is market share.

Long story short, if you want to export under your own brand, please get ready to commit to promotional activities.

If you want to know more about export strategy, please check our “Export growth hacker manual.”



Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates


On Key

Related Posts

Scroll to Top