Segmentation analytics will vary by company. Absolute
population is just one factor warranting consideration. Other
criteria include size of the category, proximity to your producing
plant, as well as per capita spending power. For example, most
USA based exporters sell far more to Puerto Rico, an island with
3.3 million people, than they do to China or Brasil. As a result,
some USA brand owners place a strategic focus on the Caribbean
Basin countries adjacent to the USA and process only occasional
opportunistic shipments to complex countries such as China.
Mix of Countries
Most companies can dedicate focus on a strategic launch into
only one or two “strategic” countries at a time. It’s appropriate
to create a growth plan aimed at a mix of Strategic, Priority, and
Market Share Expectations
Your export road map should also be adjusted based upon your
market share expectations for a select market. Generally, there
are three scenarios for a brand to pursue.
Leader: Brand investment and innovation to become
#1 in the category.
Player: Brand plans to compete effectively, obtaining a market
share of 5%-20%.
Participant: Niche. Brand objective is incremental shipments
with little/no investment.
Calibrate expectations to investments in brand support and
management oversight. Everyone wants to be a category leader
or player. To achieve this lofty status, you need to conduct local
market research, innovate, maintain competitive pricing, invest
in marketing, and align with a strong sales team just as you do in
your home market. Projects fail as certain brands want category
leadership but invest only to “niche” levels.
Strategic segmentation of export opportunities is “Job One” for export managers. Export Solutions divides countries into three groups:
Strategic, Priority, and Opportunistic. This approach filters countries by “size of the prize” and investments required to win. The basic
rationale is that a company should allocate different resources to develop a large country like Brasil, compared to a medium size
country like Belgium versus the Bahamas or Bermuda. Too frequently, we see companies handcuff all markets to one export program,
with common strategy, pricing, and investment models for all countries.
Country Segmentation – One Size Does Not Fit All
Country Proﬁle Investment Required Business Model Examples
(pop. 50mm +)
High Category BDI
in Brand support. Mar-
ket Research Manage-
Local Office or Distribu-
Mid size Country
(pop. 10 mm+)
High Category BDI
in brand support. Man-
aged by Export Manager
Low GDP Countries
in brand support
Direct to Retailer