E-commerce has reached critical mass in
many countries. It is crystal clear that this
powerful channel will only become more
significant. In Asian countries like China
and South Korea, e-commerce is rapidly
becoming the primary outlet for imported
brands. Create an e-commerce business
plan for each country with activities,
budget, and monthly reporting metrics.
Treat Amazon as a global customer like
Carrefour or Walmart. Share best practices
from your corporate headquarters.
There is a difference between strategic
brand building and tactical exports. All
companies should identify one “Big Bet”
country with a significant size of the
prize. Attractive targets include highly
populated countries, with healthy category
development. Exporters must “walk the
talk” in a challenging big bet country by
investing in brand marketing activities,
local manager, and product innovations
aligned with consumer habits.
Asia emerged from lockdown in late 2022,
at least one year behind other regions.
Drivers such as young populations and
new middle class have resumed their
upward trajectory. Southeast Asian
countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and
the Philippines are future stars. Japan,
South Korea, and Taiwan are rich
countries with large stores and good
potential, especially for USA companies.
Many distributors thrived during the
pandemic, benefitting from the shift to
meals prepared at home. Others suffered,
as core channels and gourmet-priced
brands lost relevancy. Distributor change
is a last resort, but every team has at least
one partner that is a chronic under
performer and not a good fit for the
future. Begin today, as the transition
period to a new distributor may require
one year to implement.
Is the Store a 10?
The supermarket is a product showroom
where export dreams are translated to
financial reality. How do you determine a
good store presence for your brand versus
a bad one? Each member of your distributor
sales force should maintain a clear
understanding of your in-store placement
and off-shelf merchandising objectives.
Export Solutions has designed a program
called Is the Store a 10? to allow all the
capability to evaluate store conditions for
any brand based upon a simple 1 to 10
Beyond the Brand Promotions
Exporters repeat the same boring price
discount trade promotions year after
year. The world has changed, with
supermarkets looking for unique special
offers tailored to their customers, not
the general market. Challenge your
distributors to create fresh promotional
offerings around meal solutions, country
of origin, or a retailer’s favorite charity.
Try something new!
Selling to the USA
All international brands claim sales to
the USA, but struggle to gain scale in this
attractive country of 335 million people.
Our retailer database tracks 418 USA
customers, all looking for unique new
food items. The path forward requires
that overseas brands play by USA rules
with brokers’ slotting fees supported by a
USA-based country manager.
Human resource allocation may equal
marketing investment as a tool to drive
export development. “Distributors
respect what the brand owners inspect.”
Consider strategies such as appointing
a manager dedicated to launching new
markets or global e-commerce. Hire
people in growth hubs like Bangkok,
Jeddah, or Mexico City versus expensive
expatriate destinations such as Singapore.
Increased headquarter-based supply-
chain support is critical as managers
return to the road.
Can We Help You?
Why do companies use Export Solutions
consulting services? Export Solutions
serves as a “hands on”accelerator,
quickly helping companies find
distributor solutions worldwide.
We are able to help, through the world’s
leading global distributor rolodex,
with relationships created through
300+ projects on five continents.
Export Solutions maintains a single-
minded focus on the distributor search
process “from first meeting to first order.”
Recent projects ranged from Thailand
and Taiwan to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Europe and the Americas represent core
areas too, with projects in Italy and the
UK as well as Argentina, Peru and, of
course, the USA and Canada. Consider
subscribing to our popular database
covering 9,400 category specific distributors
and 2,845 retailers in 96 countries.
continued from page 1
2023 Winning Strategies
Geographic • Big Bet: Choose Focus Country
• Accelerate USA Development for Overseas Brands
• Asia Rebound: Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines
• Saudi Arabia & the Gulf
• E-Commerce KPIs
• In-Store Visibility: Is This Store a 10?
• Listing Maps – Every Country
Team • Reconnect: Increase Market Visits
• Upgrade Underperforming Distributors
• People Power: Shift Resources to New Business Development