Entering a new market might be the logical next step for your brand and its products, however, it’s a costly exercise that can be incredibly risky when not executed properly. To successfully break into a new market, first you need to have a clear understanding of:
- Your goals from the outset
- The new audience that you’ll be reaching
- Your established competitors in this new market
- How your brand’s presentation and visual identity will be perceived in this new market
So, how do you go about market expansion with confidence? By conducting thorough and targeted research that equips you with a sound knowledge of the new market you’re looking to have an impact on. With the right information, businesses can drastically reduce the risks associated with entering new markets, and improve their chances of scaling up quickly.
This article covers what consumer insights to consider when evaluating your market entry and shaping your go-to market expansion strategy.
1. Assume nothing
The biggest mistake you can make is overestimating the ease of which your product will transfer into a new market. Your brand may be an industry leader in your existing market; but cultural and societal differences play a huge role. You essentially need to treat it as though you’re introducing your product to the world for the first time. Things like consumer pain points, for example, are likely to be completely different elsewhere in the world.
Until you can answer the following questions, you are entering the market blind:
- What problems are you solving for your new audience?
- What’s the job that they need doing?
- Where are they located?
- What are their interests?
- What are their ethnographic traits?
- How would you define them demographically?
2. Research informs strategy
There are four things that underpin the success of any new market entry (whether it’s a new region within the same country or an entirely new market altogether). You must understand your audience, their needs, your product fit and how to effectively position your offer to these new audiences.
Before implementing any kind of strategy, start with the cold hard figures. It usually makes sense to begin with some qualitative research to explore and capture the nuances between new and existing markets, before conducting more robust quantitative research to validate your early findings.
3. Get to know your competition
The same as you would when introducing a new product to your local market; it’s imperative that you identify and understand the scale, positioning, strengths and weaknesses of your direct competitors in a new market.
As an example, research tech businesses like Glow can enable you to quickly and effectively understand market dynamics and gather insight into competitors through surveying category users. That way you can identify and monitor key competitors before you even enter the market, so that you’re well prepared for the landscape that you’re introducing your products to.
4. Get to know your customers
Who is your ideal customer – what is their persona? What journey do you want to take them on, and what kind of experience do you want them to have with your brand? Once you’ve created a map of this target customer, it’s time to build your go to market approach and test this as part of your research. See how footwear brand Shoes Of Prey used research to help define its re-positioning and entry into a new market.
What does the feedback and market research tell you? Is the potential of this new market worth entering with your product, or is it best to walk away (or at least make adjustments to your strategy)?
5. Show the new market what you’re offering
This is where concept testing comes into play. Now that you have an idea of who your target market is, you can run your product by them and gauge the appeal. This will either validate your product-market fit or help to pinpoint areas for improvement.
6. Find out if your brand messaging and marketing communications are hitting the mark
Marketing and advertising always makes up a large chunk of your expenses for entering a new market – so make sure it resonates with your audience. Communications testing is often the biggest hurdle, where the most attention to detail is required. Why? Different cultures have different senses of humour, different core values, and other factors which can drastically impair your current marketing strategy’s ability to hit home with this new audience.
Transcreation is the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. To literally translate your brand messaging and marketing material into a new language is one thing, but what about things like sarcasm, or irony? Will these nuances carry across, or do you need to completely adjust your advertising campaigns accordingly?
When testing comms across markets with different languages, translation is often a problem – adding considerable cost and time to the process. Glow’s platform instantly translates surveys, so that local language speakers can then easily tweak the content or questions in platform to reflect market nuances. This saves time and money.
See how Reckitt used Glow to test and optimise messaging for the launch of its infant formula brand Enfa into multiple markets.
7. Track your impact, and monitor your progress
The research doesn’t stop when you finally enter the new market – if anything, it’s only just begun! Once you’ve launched, you need to keep a close eye on how your brand and its products are going. Have your audience heard of you? Are they acting as you intended? If not, what can be tweaked? What can be improved? Are there any anomalies in this new market’s consumer behaviour that your research didn’t pick up on?
The more real-time data you collect on your recent market expansion, the better. It will help you stay ahead of the curve, and further streamline the process for next time.
So where can you find all this essential information, assemble it in a way that makes sense, and then analyse it for the crucial consumer insights that your brand needs before entering a new market?
If you don’t know it, Glow it
Who better to give you insights about your potential customers, then the potential customers themselves? Market research platforms like Glow take the guesswork out of measuring your success and help to optimise programs post launch, just like they did for Gatorade.
Glow’s state-of-the-art platform gives you access to 110 million people in 60 countries, speaking over 30 languages. Take advantage of instant language translation, real time data visualisation and one click analytics to get the insights you need to reduce your risk. Whether its market assessment, buyer profiling, concept or comms testing or brand tracking, Glow can provide robust consumer insights fast.
Glow helps reduce the risk in market expansion by making research more accessible, affordable and reliable. Pay for what you use, with no need for long-term commitments – simply grow your business faster.
Want to learn more about using consumer insights to break into a new market safely, confidently and successfully. Book an intro with our research experts today, and sign up to our monthly newsletter for research tips and case studies.