This is the first of a series of blogs that will explore different aspects of exporting to Canada.
There are two broad categories of export. There’s “Fire and Forget”, and then there’s “Market Building”. Fire and Forget is a very basic way to export. You ship a container of something to a distributor and wait for his next order! Worry free but not effective in the long term!
The other broad export category is Market Building. In this model, you treat export markets just like your home base. You work out what the consumer wants, determine whether you can meet those needs profitably and adjust your product or brand to meet those needs. You then go through your basic marketing 101 and ensure that your route to market gets you distributed in the right place, that your (potential) consumer is aware of your brand, and that your pricing strategy supports the positioning. Its all basic stuff, but many companies don’t do it.
They default to the “Fire and Forget” Export model because its easier and cheaper. WRONG.
Sorry about shouting, but its so frustrating to see good products and brands wither and die in Canada (or not even be introduced) because people (not you…other people) take a short term perspective and miss their opportunity. Generally you only get one opportunity to launch a product, so its worth doing it properly.
“But” I hear you say,
- “We haven’t got the resources to find out about exporting to Canada” (Here’s a good place to start)
- “We cannot find a distributor and if we could how do we know they’re any good”
- “The retail trade is different in Canada, where should we start?”
- “We have no support materials and doesn’t it all need to be in French too?”
- “How can we afford to advertise when we have no sales?”
- “IT’S All TOO HARD”
Well, it doesn’t need to be hard, it can actually be quite easy. There are many ways that can export grow a brand in Canada, which won’t break the Bank of England! You can achieve results with (almost) any level of investment.
Certainly a national launch would be expensive, but you don’t need to launch nationally: Certainly traditional advertising can be expensive, but why be traditional?: Certainly some distributors can be demanding, but not all.
In coming weeks we will look at these questions and more in some detail.
In the meantime contact us, if your are thinking of exporting to Canada from the UK.