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Figuring out a market go-to strategy can be a challenging task. Add to this the complexity of culture and economics from across the world and it is clear why few businesses successfully make the transition from being a domestic player to an international corporation. Take McDonald’s for example. The extremely successful quick service chain is positioned as a cheap fast food option for customers in countries like the US. At the same time, the company markets itself as an urban fast food joint for customers in developing economies.

As an entrepreneur, it is important to understand how your product fits each of the demographics that you target. This is true not only while working on the positioning of your product in a specific geography, but also in deciding whether or not you must enter a specific market or not. Here are a few factors you will need to take care of while marketing your product in different countries across the world.

Understand your market 

Your go-to strategy and positioning depend a great deal on the level of saturation and competitor profile in the market. Take dishwashers, for example. The product is quite ubiquitous in countries like the United States where the market is saturated and is dominated by the likes of Bosch, Samsung, GE, Frigidaire and Whirlpool. At the same time, dishwashers are not really a thing in a number of emerging markets including the likes of China and India. A brand entering countries such as these would not only be required to position themselves as the best in business, but also educate the customer on the need for such a product.

Chart your competitor profile 

How your customers view your product vary across markets and a major contributor to this is the prevailing competitor profile. ECommerce is a terrific example of this. In many countries in the developed world, eCommerce is a mainstream reality and your market positioning should be based on creating a streamlined process and differentiating yourself from existing players in the market. On the other hand, eCommerce in smaller and poorer countries could still be in its infancy. As a result, a lot of your marketing should be about establishing credibility and trust in the market. Customers who are not exposed to eCommerce may not really prefer purchasing a product without the ‘touch and feel’ that they are used to with conventional retail.

Acknowledge cultural and linguistic differences 

Marketers routinely make the mistake of crafting a universal positioning statement that is then translated into the various native languages that the product is marketed in. This is not only ineffective, but also extremely risky. KFC, for instance, launched their “finger-lickin’ good” campaign in China with a Mandarin translation that literally meant “we’ll eat your fingers off”. Such campaigns can cast a negative light on your brand and can potentially be viewed as culturally insensitive, ultimately hurting your customer acquisition efforts.

Prepare a pricing strategy 

Pricing plays a major role in determining the success or failure of your product in a market. Startup businesses seldom have local manufacturing or assembly plants and instead rely on global distribution from their warehouse or supplier. This can affect your success in a number of ways. Competitors who source and manufacture locally in emerging economies will often have a price advantage over your product. This is especially true if it is exported to the market, as the international shipping costs can add as much as $10-$20 per product for even small scale shipments. Your marketing strategy should identify a price point and this should help you work out the strategies for procurement, manufacturing, assembly and distribution.

Catering to a global customer base can be quite challenging. But we are living in an extremely globalized world that has made such transactions simpler and seamless. By understanding your market and your customers, you can pave the way to building a solid go-to strategy that is the first step towards succeeding at a global scale.



1 Response to How To Market A Product In Different Geographies

Sonal Patil

May 24th, 2017 at 3:06 pm

This is actually the fact that the companies in thrust to emerge in new geographical areas forget to concentrate the behavior of customers in that region, the culture of the region and which leads them to lose the new audience.

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