So, you’ve successfully launched in your home markets, sales are strong and customer feedback is positive. Your product or service has a global market appeal, which can create further growth and success for your company and brand. So how do you expand your business into Europe?
To maintain momentum and to continue rapid growth it’s now time to expand internationally and grow your business into new markets. But two key questions continue to crop up:
- Where do I start?
- How do I start?
In us helping over 70 companies successfully launch into Europe, achieving £150m+ in revenues, a number of consistent key factors have been identified. Removing the concerns around legal entities, employment plans, logistics and all the concerns around finance, FX and localisation, all which can all be easily managed by partners like bridgehead® the critical aspect is to ensure there is a demand for your product or service, BEFORE over investing to early.
Therefore, the following 7 steps have been tried, tested and proven over the past 10 years of how to expand your business internationally, achieving the right results as quickly as 90 days.
Expand Your Business into EUrope in 7 Steps
- Global Go-To-Market Strategy:
If you want to make the most of your product potential by introducing it into new markets, creating a go-to-market strategy is essential for each of the markets you wish to enter. We all know and understand that every market is different and so are the customers within those markets.
Europe has over 750 million people spread across over 50 countries, with many languages, dialects and unique buying patterns. Following this process gives you the desired information and answers to the two critical questions above, so what is Go-To-Market (GTM)? What does it mean to you and your business and why is it relevant, I hear you ask?
An official definition of Go to Market is as follows:
“A company’s Go-To-Market strategy is a blueprint for how they will successfully deliver their unique value proposition and reach target markets, channels and customers to achieve competitive advantage.”
Follow the trusted next steps to help compile and complete your Go-to-Market strategy for Europe.
2. Identify Your Product/Services Unique Selling Points:
You will need to assess your product or service with a critical eye. What can your product do, and why does this help your customer, what pain points is it solving?
You may have many features, but are they truly unique? So it’s essential that you identify your key features.
Once you’ve completed this, you will then need to evaluate your competitor’s product features and this will identify which of your features are unique and therefore will be your USPs.
This can vary from market to market as there will be many companies like yourselves launched in their home country, and not yet in others. So for each market, or country, you may want to enter you will need to do this exercise.
3. Target Market:
Understanding who your customers are is critically key. Your value proposition needs to be conveyed clearly to your target market and customers within.
Now you have identified where you fit among your competitors, you can work out who will be your primary target market in each country. But don’t forget about your secondary or tertiary target markets as these could be a source of vital sales as well but it is important not to try and put your eggs in too many baskets as your messaging will become unclear and you could alienate customers in your primary, secondary and tertiary target markets.
And don’t forget to test your findings and assumptions with your target customer.
4. Competitor Benchmarking:
At a high level you’ve already worked out who your competitors are within the european region. Now it’s time to go deeper…use primary and secondary market research to find out all you can about each particular brand you see as a direct competitor and then establish where each of them are positioned within each particular market and/or vertical.
Which brand is the premium brand? And which one will be entry level? Where does your product or service fit within these competitors? Identify a gap.
5. Target Channels:
You have decided what your value proposition is), who you are selling to (primary, secondary and tertiary target markets). The next step is to now understand and decide where to sell.
Based on the previous steps, you will obviously need to take into consideration where your primary target market shops. Once you’ve identified this, you know where your customers buy and how. you can now identify which channels are the most valuable to your business, thus generating the most sales of your product or service and giving you a foothold in the market, ready for future expansion. This is called ‘creating your bridgehead®’.
6. Channel Approach:
You’ve decided on your primary channel targets. But what exactly will your team and partners and your channel partners need in order to make a success out of your product or service in this market?
This could be a detailed itemisation of all things from pricing and branded collateral through to distribution agreements and roadmaps.
However, to ensure swift and professional market access, it is important to have these in place before approaching channel partners. Once you have everything compiled and ready…it is time for action.
Now this is really where it does get exciting. It’s now time to get in contact with your target customers and start selling.
You have 2 options:
You employ an expensive seasoned Sales Manager’, Sales Director’ or ‘Commercial Director’ with proven credentials and a history of results.
You bring in – dare I say it – a team of Market Entry experts.
There’s pro’s and con’s for each solution of course, but here at bridgehead® we sincerely hope you see the value in working with a Go-to-Market partner such as ourselves. We can really help you grow your business successfully and rapidly in the UK and Europe, with quantifiable results in 90 days, guaranteed.
At Bridgehead, we specialise in assisting companies like yours to take advantage of the phenomenal opportunities which Europe and North American can offer. We become your guide offering extensive international expansion advice and local expertise, we help you to get both feet on the ground to get your product/service into the hands of prospective buyers. Take inspiration from the big brands who took a calculated leap of faith during the GFC. Are you familiar with this Chinese proverb? “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Talk to our expert team today.
Insights on international expansion
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