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Looking for the key to profitable international expansion? This article has the answers


Ever wondered why some strategies, which thrive at home, fail spectacularly overseas? What are the secrets to international success? This real-life example will help us to identify those secrets.

Once upon a time, IKEA, the global retail giant, faced an interesting dilemma. When they first expanded into Russia, they thought their tried-and-tested format – self-assembled, minimalistic, functional furniture – would work just as well as it had in other countries. The only problem was, it didn’t. Sales floundered, and the Scandinavian giant found itself in a conundrum.

Why? Well, it turns out Russian customers were simply not into the whole “DIY” culture that IKEA had so cleverly packaged and sold worldwide. They viewed assembling furniture as a chore, not an adventure. The very USP that had propelled IKEA to success elsewhere was flopping in Russia.

However, IKEA didn’t pack up and leave. Instead, they did something unexpected: they adapted. They hired a swarm of ‘handymen’ available for hire at checkout. These professionals would assemble the flat-packed furniture for the customers at their homes. And voilà! The sales picked up, and IKEA found its feet in Russia.

The lesson here? IKEA learned (perhaps the hard way) that even though they had a winning formula, it was essential to adapt it to meet local tastes and preferences.

Every international market is different. It’s a simple, straightforward fact, but one that’s surprisingly easy to forget. Whether you’re selling furniture, digital products or a service, it’s easy to assume that what works at home will also work abroad. After all, people are people, right? 

Well, yes, but also a resounding no. People come with cultural baggage, unique expectations, and distinct ways of life. They approach the world, and the market, with lenses shaped by their histories, their languages, their societal norms. It’s not just about speaking their language – it’s about understanding their idiosyncrasies and catering to their unique tastes and preferences.

Don’t let the simplicity of this insight deceive you. It’s as profound as it is practical. Recognising and adapting to these differences is the hallmark of international success. Just ask IKEA!

It’s just like stepping into an Ikea store, you find products designed and crafted to fit various needs, but imagine if you had a personal guide who’d help you navigate through the entire store, pointing out which product would be perfect for you. It’d be so much more convenient and less time-consuming, wouldn’t it? 

It’s the same when you’re planning to expand your business to international markets; you’re stepping into a space that’s packed with opportunities, but it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out where to start and what to do. 

This is where Go Exporting comes in. Our Export Growth Plan Service is designed specifically for those who are ready to venture into international markets but could use a little bit of guidance. 

Here’s what our Export Growth Plan Service offers:

  1. Understand exactly which international markets offer the best opportunity for your business: We do a deep dive to identify where your products or services will make the biggest splash.
  2. Evaluate and compare markets: Not all markets are created equal, and we’ll help you rank the opportunities, so you know where to concentrate your efforts.
  3. Understand Customs and Compliance Rules: We help demystify the often-complex world of international trade regulations, ensuring your business stays on the right side of the law.
  4. Define your best route to market: We lay out a clear, step-by-step path to get your products or services from concept to customer.
  5. Identify key distributors, partners, and customers: We help you identify the key players in your new market who will help your business succeed.

Think of our Export Growth Plan Service as your compass, guiding you towards successful international expansion. 

Time to unlock your business’s global potential!? Click here to discover how the Export Growth Plan Service can pave the way for your international success! Let’s conquer the globe together.

Remember, every international market is a unique treasure trove of opportunities waiting to be explored. As you embark on your export journey, keep in mind that understanding cultural nuances and consumer preferences will be your key to unlocking untapped potential. Just like assembling that first piece of IKEA furniture, take it one step at a time, and soon you’ll see your business flourish in uncharted territories.

And here’s a bonus insight: Building relationships is the currency of global success. Cultivate authentic connections with your partners, customers, and distributors in these new markets. Trust, respect, and open communication will be your most valuable assets in this grand global adventure.

Happy exporting, and may your business venture be an exciting and rewarding odyssey!

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