When exploring how to build an international brand, the benefit of studying the European and Asian markets is an excellent strategy. Market expansion can provide opportunities to reach further audiences and extend the equity and voice of a brand. Increasing market size can lead to overall brand growth and a chance to compete for a share in a previously unexplored market.
Why Europe and Asia, specifically? These markets are at different levels of development, with fast-growing commerce markets. They can offer significant rewards to brands bold enough to think beyond their home borders.
What to Consider When Expanding a Business Internationally
When thinking about building an international brand, familiarize yourself with the challenges that often arise with global expansion. Recognizing that expanding business globally is not suitable for everyone is essential. Entering new markets introduces a new set of nuances, and companies should reach a certain level of stability domestically before considering international strategies.
Venturing abroad requires a solid understanding of your product and target segments. Many factors will impact brand viability, from language use to logistics and local laws. Even if a product is already ideally suited to foreign markets, brands are challenged with building infrastructure in new locations, dealing with different payment customs, and the murkier challenges of marketing to new cultures and sensibilities.
How to Take Your Business International
Once you’ve weighed your options and are ready to expand internationally, how can you scale up your strategy? Your domestic strategy is complex enough; how will international laws, regulations, and customs factor in? Consider these actions:
1. Do proactive work to ensure relevance.
Check the suitability of your product or brand in the new market. Can you see ahead and identify potential problems? Can you clearly define segments that show you have opportunities to succeed there? Being proactive rather than reactive will enable you to expand at a healthy pace, scale your business, and avoid locations that could spell trouble for your brand. You need to plan ahead to define your international brand on your own terms.
2. Apply a digital strategy to your expansion plans.
Technology can ease the challenges involved in international expansion. With access to data and AI tools, you can become more intentional and informed when making expansion decisions and get to know your international customers before introducing the brand to them. International business and technology go hand in hand. As technology becomes more advanced and accurate, data capabilities advance with it and can tap into localized market data, providing valuable insights and making international expansion a greater possibility than ever before.
3. Gain a steady foothold.
Don’t move into five new territories at once; test new markets one at a time and ensure you have a stable foothold in a single unique location. This way, you can adapt and pivot product offerings and marketing strategies in one place and perfect them before taking those learnings and applying them to another market. You can test your offering on a new audience, analyze what needs to be changed, and form strategies based on real situations.
Finding local partners is another way of tapping into regional understanding and expertise, setting you up for success in a new market. No matter how you choose to execute, with a solid international expansion strategy, expanding your business globally is just another path of growth for your business — and it can open a wide range of audiences and opportunities.
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