International Business Development: Opening New Markets and New Stores

I’ve worked with U.S. companies expanding overseas and international companies entering the lucrative U.S. market. In both scenarios, I’ve helped the companies achieve their goals.

place settingSelling to the U.S.

An Italian manufacturer of high-quality tabletop goods – picture frames, clocks, candle sticks, etc. – had no presence in the U.S. but wanted to enter the market. They hired me to help.

I created a branding and positioning strategy that helped them land accounts with upscale retailers like Tiffany, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. Through tools such as co-branding and co-op advertising, we built awareness of their brand in the U.S.

With that awareness established, we executed the next phase of their strategy: opening branded retail stores.

The Bottom Line

Just three years after entering an entirely new international market, they had three successful stores of their own.

Growing Internationally

A client needed to grow its sales, but that was a challenge in the thick of the 2008-2009 recession. We focused our efforts to expanding into new countries in the Americas.

We began by assessing our product – a line of lighters that ranged from low-priced to licensed items – and its fit with international markets. After determining it was most likely to be widely accepted in Mexico, we targeted retailers there.

We built on existing relationships with Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, but rather than simply coasting on those contacts, we conducted detailed research into the market and consumers, and visited Mexican Wal-Marts and Sam’s Clubs to understand their merchandising approach.

The Bottom Line

Thanks to this research we:

  • Identified a price point the stores didn’t offer
  • Positioned the products to hit that price point
  • Received initial orders of $250,000, which matured into over $1 million in annual revenue.

If growing your business in international markets is the next step in your growth, contact me today.