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Export Tips

Export Solutions has published more than 150 articles on Export Strategy and building international businesses through distributor networks. We source Best Practices and inspiration from more than 300 Distributor Search projects across five continents. Our goal is to help the industry by providing practical commercial guidance to translate Export dreams to tangible brand presence on the shelves of supermarkets in 96 Countries.

How to Excite Buyers - New Product Checklist

Retail buyers are challenged to maximize profits and sales from every available inch of shelf space. Every new item accepted must improve on the performance of the brand currently occupying that space. Buyers are overwhelmed by new product offerings, all with ambitious promises. Improve your chances of success by incorporating Export Solutions’ 10 poin ...

People Power- Strong Teams Build Great Brands

Brand building  is a team sport, requiring a deep organization of functional experts. A key issue is not the strength of your distributor team, but the time dedicated to your companies priorities. Every distributor in the market sells to the same customers and claims great relationships and results. For me, the true measure of distributor performance re ...

New Channels, New Customers

Sales through conventional supermarekts are flat to decling in many countries. Export Solutions identified 30 new trade channels worth exploring for exporters. These emerging trade channels offer new sales and higher profitability. ...

Retailer Benefits: Purchase from Local Distributors

Retailers primary objective is to maintain in stock conditions to maximize sales. Purchasing from local distributors offers retailers significant benefits ( like 48 hour delivery) versus purchasing via direct import from overseas manufacturers. Read Export Solutions 10 Tips on the benefits of purchasing from local distributors. ...

Export Express Summer 2017

Feature Export Express articles include : New Channels, New Customers , What Distributors Like ( and Don't Like),and 10 Tips on Reducing Export Diverting. Read the Summer 2017 issue of Export Express. ...

Brand Manager Assessment Template

Yourt Distributor Brand Manager represents your key day to day contact person. Successful Brand Managers are good partners who deliver resulst , not excuses. Is your Brand Manager an experienced veteran or new hire ? View our Brand Manager Assessment template ...

Distributor Search Guide 2017

Export Solutions has completed more than 300 Distributor Search projects on 5 continents.Our Distributor search guide is packed with insights,templates, and sample questions to guide every aspect of the International Distributor Search Process. ...

Customer Relationship Assessment Grid

Every distributor claims great relationships with global retailers such as Walmart,Carrefour,Tesco, and Costco.Use Export Solutions Customer Relationship Assessment grid to measure your partners capabilities with leading retailers.  ...

Finance & Logistics- Money Matters Handbook

"Turnover is Vanity,Profit is Sanity,but Cash Flow is Reality". The purpose of an export program is to deliver incremental, profitable sales for our companies. Too many times, this fundamental fact is blurred in pursuit of sticking more pins in our export coverage map. Our activities focus on the glamorous aspects of export: new country entry,distributor sel ...

Distributors: 15 Tips for Winning the Big Brand Interview

Export Solutions participates in 100 distributor interviews per year. Many distributors ask...What are big brands looking for  ?How do we prepare for our presentation ? What will it take to win the business ?See Export Solutions 15 tips for Winning the Big Brand Interview  ...

Export Catalyst -New Sales from Old Markets

Export Catalyst is a new export development tool. Export Catalyst stimulates incremental sales and productivity from your existing international Distributor network. ...

Selling to the USA 2017

The USA is the world’s largest consumer market with 326 million people and retail sales exceeding one trillion dollars. The USA has a rich history of receiving immigrants . As a reuslt,the USA is a cultural melting pot, with appreciation of foods from every part of the world. The retail industry is robust,with large stores bursting with food choic ...

Export Strategy Guide 2017

Strategy is not a once a year event.All business development activities should ultimately sync with your strategy. The first step is to review your existing strategy document. How are you doing? Based upon 2016 results, are there adjustments to be made ? Our Export Strategy Guide will stimulate ideas and discussion for formulating your strategy to ...

LEAP: Distributor Strategies to Attract Profitable New Business

How do distributors attract the right new business ? Strong Distributors are always looking for strong established brands to add to their portfolio. Export Solutions LEAP strategy is a dynamic approach to building distributor business. Includes development of a targeted new brand acquisition strategy and module dedicated to Marketing your Distributor Brand. ...

Workshops and Speeches

Export development is not easy.Success requires new strategies, approaches, and an environment to share international best practices. Export Solutions brings fresh ideas to help your team grow professionally and achieve your expansion goals. Options range from a one hour speech as part of a meeting to a 1.5 day integrated workshop. Clients can select fro ...

Distributor Management Guide 2017

Export Solutions captures strategies and methodolgies for growing your brand through use of international distributors. This guide features Best Practices, Templates, and hundreds of ideas from our Ten Tips series. ...

Brands-Analyze your Contribution to Distributor Profit

What is your brands contribution to your distributors company profitability ? Export Solutions supplies a template with 20 key assessment criteria to help you analyze how your brand contributes to the financial health of your distributor network. ...

30 New Trade Channels-New Customers?

Export Solutions identified 30 new trade channels representing potential new customers for export managers. View this chart to see our Prime Prospects for your category. ...

Distributor Capability Assessment Grid

Export Solutions established 15 assessment criteria to identify "Best in Class" performers as well as "under-achievers." This template allows you to rate Distributor performance and alignment with your companies vision . The grid can also be used as a reference check form when evaluating new distributors.  ...

Export Express- Spring 2017

Spring 2017 issue includes feature articles:Export Catalyst,Customer Relationship Assessment Scorecard,Getting a Distributor to Love Your Brand,and Pioneering: A Gamble, not a Gold Mine  ...

Export Treasure Chest-Favorite Templates & Charts

Why recreate the wheel? Export Solutions is pleased to launch our 2017 Export Treasure Chest. This 56 page guide shares our most popular templates and charts all in one convenient document. These tools supply “best practice” formats for many aspects of building a strategic export business. Templates cover Country Segmentation, Distributo ...

300 Tips for Export Managers 2017

Export Solutions shares more than 300 practical tips on Export Development, Distributor Management, and building new business in foreign countries. ...

Export Handbook 2017

An essential guide containing insights on all aspects of the Export Development cycle. Read our insights on Market selection, Distributor identification and brand building. ...

Idea Guide 2017

Export Solutions Idea Guide provides 37 thought provoking columns on export development. The Idea Guide challenges our readers to leave the comfort of the office to consider Big Picture Concepts to advance our Export Business. ...

Reduce Export Diverting

Read Export Solutions Best Practices to reduce export diverting. The chart also identifies 10 "Bad Practices" to avoid ! ...

SELECT Your Distributors ,Do NOT Let your Distributors Select You

How many emails a week do you receive from "distributors" wishing to represent your brand ? Why are you surprised when you search these companies on the internmet to discover that there is no information or a web site "under construction" ? Do you really believe that the most powerful distributors are waiting in line at trade shows or sped dialing export man ...

Lessons Learned Template

View this one page template analyzing your export "Leaders" and "Laggards".Every brand owner features countries and distributors that are over achievers and others that are delivering sub par results. This chart allows you to segment countries based upon key performance attributes. ...

New World Order 2017

First Brexit, then Trump. These populist uprisings seized the agenda, threatening the pace of globalization and free trade. Read New World Order 2017 to learn about implications for our industry and action steps to take now ! ...

Searching for New Distributors

Export Solutions makes life a little easier for more than 2,700 Export Managers. Our time saving database serves as a helper in identifying qualified, local brand builders in 96 countries. Click here for free sample distributor list.Total coverage is more than 7,300 distributors of supermarket products. New ! Search by country, category , or distributors spe ...

Export Express Winter 2017

Our Winter 2017 issue of Export Express includes feature articles: New World Order 2017,Next Stop Cuba,"Select your Distributors, Do Not Let Your Distributors Select You", and a Distributor Assessment Capability Grid. ...

Next Stop Cuba

Fidel Castro died on November 25, but buzz around Cuba remains at an all time high. Millions of USA citizens wish to visit to see what they ve been missing the last 50 years. I visited Cuba recently as part of a market assessment project , Read Next Stop Cuba to learn about the opportunity to begin bnrand building in Cuba. ...

Distributors Need to Make Money Too- Ten Tips

Exporters need to focus on how much money a distributor makes from representing their brand. Many distributors are family run operations,relying on thin net margins in the 3-5 percent range. Distributors are attracted to brands with existing sales that will add scale to their operations. ...

Ten Tips: Connect with Distributor's CEO

Many exporters spend 80% of their interaction with their "brand manager " at a distributor.  Contacts with the CEO or managing director may be limited to a 30 minute meeting during a market visit or a phone call when something goes wrong. Brand managers represent the day to day master of details for your business. However the CEO controls the purse stri ...

Export Express Fall 2016

Our Fall 2016 issue of Export Express includes feature articles including: Top 10 New Frontier Countries 2017, Boots on the Ground (creating your export team), 10 Tips for Managing Distributor Warehouse Visits, and our Export Lessons Learned template. Also learn more about our expanded search tools and coverage from our industry leading Distributor Database. ...

Export Boot Camp

Export provides a new channel for incremental sales. Chances are that neighboring countries have similar eating habits and may be familiar with your brand.  Emerging markets feature large, young populations, open to treats from around the world. Export Solutions provides a one day Export Boot Camp to get your company Export Ready. ...

Ten Tips: How to Minimize Listing Fee Payments

Slotting allowances, listing fees or as the Irish say “Hello “ money are all real estate rental fees charged in advance by retailers for access to their limited shelf space. Store owners seek to obtain maximum productivity from each self facing and fixed entry fees are a tactic to gain immediate income from new products without an established con ...

Hot Countries- New Frontiers 2017

Each year, export managers are faced with the challenge of "Where to grow and invest next ".Export Solutions shares our Top 10 New Frontier countries for 2017. These high potential countries could deliver exceptional returns in the long run. ...

Distributor Search Best Practices

Selection of a strong local partner is a key step in your export development process. Learn Export Solutions Best Practices for international Distributor Search. ...

Currency Exchange-Tough Tactics for Tumultuous Times

Dramatic currency gyrations wreak havoc with retail pricing around the globe. Distributors devote more and more time to f/x management than brand building in some countries. Unfortunately, most export managers distance themselves from the problem until they receive an urgent call from a distributor faced with a 10-20 percent price increase in local terms. Re ...

Distributor Data Sheet

One page Fact sheet summarizing Distributor capabilities. A resume or "CV" for Distributors. ...

Distributor Search Help

Can we help you ? Export Solutions serves as a Distributor Search helper for many leading European and USA companies. We help through our immediate access to owners of leading distributors in all of the 96 countries covered by our famous database. Distributors everywhere respect Export Solutions and our database and provide our client projects special consid ...

Export Express - Summer 2016

Our Summer Export Express includes feature articles:Hurdling Export barriers,Lessons from your Local Grocers,Distributor Search Best Practices,Export Problems and Export Solutions and Country Experts.  ...

Country Experts- UK,Germany,USA,Italy

Export Solutions launched new database coverage featuring distributors dedicated to brands from one country. Database subscribers may use filters to select distributors in 96 countries specializing in brands from the USA, Germany or the UK. This capability follows our popular Italian Food Distributor list tracking 934 Italian food and beverage distributors ...

Ten Tips-Fast Start 2017

Many brand owners are cautious about 2017 shipment expectations. Few international companies maintain enough business in high growth countries like China or USA  to offset likely weakness in Europe. December represents a perfect time to establish your personal “Fast Start” game plan. Read our Ten Tips below to secure a good beginning to 2017 ...

2017: New Year, New Business Ideas

It's far from business as usual in the export world. Most companies are managing to a decent 2016 finish through a combination of emerging market growth offsetting tough conditions in the home market. 2017 looks tougher, with smaller increases projected for Asia and Latin America and a continued squeeze in Europe. Trump,Brexit, currency swings,and the ...

New Distributor Checklist

Starting a partnership with a new distributor involves many steps. Our New Distributor Checklist captures key activities to translate your strategic plan to brand presence on supermarket shelves. ...

Navigating Amazon

This year, Amazon will claim the title of the worlds #2 retailer, with sales exceeding 130 Billion dollars.Read Navigating Amazon to learn strategies and insights for building your company business with this online retailer growing 20 percent per year. ...

What I Learned in 2016

2016 has been a good year for Export Solutions, with Distributor Search projects completed in 24 countries, from China to Cuba,South Africa to Israel,Philippines to Peru,Australia to Germany and of course the USA. I source inspiration and best practices from everyone that I meet along the way: Export Managers, Distributors, and hundreds of retail s ...

Hurdling Export Barriers

Export is not easy. World population exceeds 7.4 billion people, including 2 billion people shopping at modern supermarkets. This includes more than 1 billion consumers in emerging countries living better and eating healthier. Global giants like Procter and Gamble and Nestle successfully balance businesses in mature markets while creating expanding footprint ...

Category Review Template

Two page Category Review template. This template can be populated from store checks or analysis of Nielsen data. ...

Hot Markets 2016

There are 196 countries in the world. Each company faces tough choices on where to invest limited resources. Export Solutions advocates a long term goal sourcing 50 % of your company sales from international markets. Hot Markets 2016 represents our eighth annual report.  Many of our Top 10 countries are not "red hot" any more with double digit growth ra ...

Export Express Winter 2016

Featured Articles: Somes BRIC's are Broken, Top Ten Island Markets, How we Help, Ten Tips: Converting Promising Leads into New Business Partnerships, and Distributor Database : New & Improved. ...

New Distributor Interview Agenda

Initial distributor interviews are critical meetings to establish the basis for a business partnership. Our New Distributor interview Agenda lists 9 key elements for a successful meeting. ...

Export Express Spring 2016

Feature articles include Navigating Amazon, the worlds # 2 retailer, How to Minimize Listing fee Payments,Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast, Act Now, How We Help ...

Year One Launch Plan

Our Year One launch plan template provides a practical format for measuring year one volume expectations, listings, and marketing activities and costs ...

Distributor Warehouse Visit- Best Practices

How often do you visit your distributors warehouse ? Warehouses serve as the precious nurseries where are brands await sales to customers. A periodic warehouse inspection reveals important insights into a distributors business.Read our Ten Tips on a productive warehouse visit.  ...

2017 Focus: Underperforming Markets

All Companies Have Problem Markets! The first step is to admit that the market has a problem. It’s a natural instinct to rationalize poor results and hope for future improvements. We must remind ourselves that chronic underperformers impact our ability to achieve our personal sales and profit targets. Four Warning Signs 1. Low development for your b ...

Some BRIC's are Broken

Oops. Companies that targeted BRIC countries as the cornerstone of their international strategy suffer disappointing results. Brazil and Russia appear deep in recession, India is labeled as a  persistent under-achiever and the China Express has slowed. The mid-term outlook does not improve. Brazil's structural complexities represent a significant barr ...

Price Calculation Worksheet

Our price calculation template captures all cost inputs from your factory gate to the supermarket shelf. ...

Islands - Export Paradise

Top 10 Island MarketsGlobal strategists would be surprised to learn that most USA food brands sell more to Puerto Rico than Brazil.Ireland ranks as the number one export market for most British companies, far larger than Germany. Italian producers do well in Malta. These facts are no mystery to veteran exporters who know that island markets serve asreliable ...

Ten Tips: Converting Promising Leads to New Partnerships

Have you ever experienced an incredible first meeting with a distributor ? Strong alignment , good fit, everyone smiling, timelines agreed. Then, nothing happens ! The export manager may take up to six months to translate his outlook from "done deal" to "dead deal".  There are two reasons why this occurs: First ,distributors are positive, competitive at ...

Money Matters 2017

Today's Export managers devote more time to finance issues than their historical role as international brand builders. Global managers are turning grey from problems in Russia,Brasil, and Venezuela.  It's virtually guaranteed that this month a new crisis will evolve somewhere. Few money issues should come as a complete surprise. Watch for clues in your ...

Essentials of Distributor Search

The Essentials of Distributor Search Guide sharesstrategies, templates, and best practices to help your Distributor Search projects. This includes a Distributor Assessment Grid and 10 Questions for every distributor interview. ...

Ten Tips: Export Failures and Lessons Learned

What are the major reasons that export initiatives fail? The chief reason is that manufacturers obtain a case of “international amnesia” and forget the fundamental steps that are required to build a brand in any country: Research, Marketing, Investment, and Selecting the right sales partner. Listed below are Export Solutions Ten Tips on why expo ...

Brand Parents - Launching your Baby

Good news you finally received the first container order from a far flung, highly populated, Asian country. With product registration nearing completion, your brand should be on the shelf in 90 days. But what is your plan ? My experience is that many companies devote significant energy to finding a good distributor, completing paperwork requirements, and get ...

Ten ThingsThat Distributors Like

           1. Respect for their Right to Make a Reasonable Profit Distributors have profit targets just like manufacturers do. Distributors measure total supplier contribution, defined by sales multiplied by gross margin. How much value do you receive from your distributors relative to your contribution to th ...

Distributor Assessment Road Map

Most companies maintain diverse distributor networks: A mix of large and small distributors, categoryspecialists, and those focusing on brands from your home country. Which type of distributor delivers “Best in Class” results for your company ? An important consideration is your brand ambition and investment level for a country when evaluati ...

Ten Things Distributors Dont Like

1. Unrealistic ExpectationsCategory growth ranges from 1 % to 5 % in most Western countries. So how can a manufacturer demand a 10 % increase in sales in a mature market ? It's possible if the brand plans a major increase in marketing spending. However, normally, business growth parallels overall market conditions. 2. Direct Contact with their assigned Re ...

The World in 2025

2025 is ten short years away. The world will add another billion citizens, with over 80 % of them born in Asia and Africa. Consumer marketers will likely focus on the "Next billion" consumers, a group of one billion middle class citizens living in developing nations. Everywhere people will eat healthier and live better with more access to the brands we produ ...

Ten Tips:Action Steps for Poor Performing Countries

Every exporter has countries where their brand performance lags far behind expectations and market potential. This appears as a serious issue when the poor results are in a large strategic country like the USA or China. The first step to fixing the situation is to admit that you have a problem. Too many times , export managers loyally cling to their plan and ...

Think Big, Start Small,Scale Fast

Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast, Act Now !  Great advice for those companies looking to develop a successful international strategic road map. Read Export Solutions guidance on how to build a success story first in a few countries, capture Lessons Learned, and expand quickly thorugh deployment of International distributor networks. ...

Export Problems,Export Solutions

Export Solutions provides practical advice to handle tough export issues. Read Export Problems, Export Solutions to obtain guidance on handling pricing and promotion problems and more. ...

Making Babies vs. Babysitting

I learned a lot in 2016 through projects completed in 24 countries on five continents. One of the important issues revealed is human resource allocation in the world of export. Our function appears anchored to the title of regional export manager. This export manager is expected to achieve their assigned objectives through a combination of managing existing ...

5 Steps: From Niche Status to Mass Market Success

Can you resist the temptation to sell to the biggest retailer in a new country first ? Multinationals armed with barrels of money and stacks of market research attack all retailers with a high profile market entry plan for their new products. More likely that your company supplies you with a beloved local brand and a small checkbook to invest wisely. What is ...

What to Tell International Retailers who try to buy Direct

International distributors serve as our best customers. They purchase from us and provide a tremendous service by building our brand with all customers in a country. Some , large, short sighted , retailers attempt to bypass the system though direct purchases. This strategy is bad for the brand and not a good decision for the retailer either. Listed below are ...

On the Road to 50-50

Nestle sources 56 % of its sales from Developed markets like Europe and the USA. These markets experienced organic growth for Nestle of 1.1 % in 2014.  Emerging markets, representing 44 % of Nestle's sales recorded organic growth of 8.9 %. Unilever sources almost 60 % of sales from emerging markets and P & G close to 40 %. Few of us boast the scale ...

How We Help

Export Solutions role is to make life a little easier for Export managers. We perform distributor search projects in more than 30 countries every year. This provides us with excellent visibility among leading distributors and the ability to help through the distributor selection process. ...

12 Tips to Derail Export Diverting

1. Conduct Extensive Due Diligence on all New Distributors Visit each new distributor’s office and warehouse to calibrate the size of his business with other principals. This includes reference checks from existing manufacturer clients as well as from leading retailers in his home country. Run a Dun & Bradstreet or Equifax financial report. 2.Desi ...

Hot Countries 2015

Mouths plus Money equals opportunity. China vaults to the top of our Hot Markets list for 2015. China's affluence and retail build out has extended beyond Shanghai and Beijing to 14 other cities with populations of at least 5 million people. Our 2015 Hot Markets list is dominated by six countries with populations of 100 million or more. Many companies claim ...

Who is Your Brand Champion ?

Successful distributors may represent twenty companies or more, with each brand shouting for attention. Exporters should identify ,develop, and applaud a  Brand Champion at each of your distributor partners. A Champion is someone who is passionate about your brand and values leadership results for your company as something deeper than just selling anot ...

Price is Right ?

Consumer pricing is one of the famous "Four P's"of product marketing. Many export managers spend countless hours negotiating wholesale price lists with distributors and retailers. However, this intensity frequently disappears when the discussion shifts to the point of pricing to the consumer. This is unfortunate, because retail pricing is at the critical poi ...

Europe vs. USA - Vive La Difference

Europe vs. USA -Vive la Différence Europe and USA combined populations exceed one billion people. These developed markets serve as the source of most of the innovation and inspiration for the food and consumer goods industry. Yet the clear fact is that most European manufacturers sell minimal quantities to the USA and American brands are virtually a ...

Selling to Walmart: When and How ?

Selling to Walmart - When and How ? Everyone wants to sell to Walmart. This is logical, as they rank as the number one retailer in the USA and Latin America plus good presence in the UK, China, Japan, and South Africa. Walmart's International business ( outside the USA)is bigger than the total turnover of Carrefour or Tesco. Selling to countries where Walma ...

Contacting New Distributor Candidates

Every export manger has performed the time consuming function of reaching out to potential distributor candidates in a new country. The process is usually successful, but requires patience and perseverance. Top distributors are overwhelmed with new representation inquiries. These requests must compete for attention with the hundreds of emails in the distribu ...

YTIVITAERC

KLIM milk powder is a Nestle product popular when I lived in Saudi Arabia.  Try spelling Klim right to left ( backwards) and you will discover a great brand name for an instant milk product. Apply the same principle to YTIVITAERC and you will discover the theme of today's column. I am bored with the majority of today's brand promotional programs. It a ...

Export Express Fall 2015

Featured articles: Top 10 Hot Markets 2016 ( and 5 to watch), Distributor Intelligence,Distributor Selection Road Map,and information, samples and FAQ's on Export Solutions new Distributor Database. ...

Europe: Cracking the Code

Europe: Cracking the Code Europe is not easy, with 50 independent countries , 740 million people, and 24 official languages. Within Europe, you have the European Union of 28 countries, including 18 who use the Euro currency. The supermarket business includes a few multi-country players such as Carrefour,Tesco, Rewe and Auchan. However, each country tends t ...

China: Destiny or Disappointment ?

China surpassed the USA to rank as the world's largest grocery market. Retail sales growth averaged 14 % since 2011, including + 13 % in 2013, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. I recently visited Shanghai and Beijing and observed a global bazaar, with sporadic availability of most of Europe's and the Americas favorite brands. Global brands ...

What is your Perfect Store ?

Retail stores serve as showrooms for our products, the destination where supply chain inventory is translated to a sale. Leading multinationals such as Unilever,Coca Cola, Mondelez, and Con Agra are placing renewed emphasis on in -store execution through "Perfect Store" initiatives. Basically, perfect store programs seek to optimize supplier and store sales ...

Six Steps Before you Hire a New Distributor

1. Reference Check with their existing brand owners.2. Store visit to view in-store presencefor current brands handled.3. Call at least one retail buyer for a reference check. 4. Conduct a credit check through Dun & Bradstreet or Equifax. 5. Search local legal records for lawsuits against the company or owner 6.Secure independent local legal inpu ...

A Passage to India

Consumer goods manufacturers pay high end consultants substantial fees to create  strategies to enter BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China,). My experience is that “I” often stands for “ignored”, as companies prioritize resource allocation to the other members of this elite group. Many feel that India deserves their reput ...

Export Solutions Celebrates 10 Years

10 years has passed since a giant USA food broker decided that international development was not strategic and my job was eliminated. Rough day that turned out to be a fantastic personal move. This event inspired me to create Export Solutions, a platform that has allowed me the pleasure of meeting you ! Our Export Express publications have been read by more ...

Ten Tips: Measuring Distributor Enthusiasm for your Brand

All your distributors express enthusiasm and commitment for your brand. True passion for your partnership is measured by what distributors do, not by what they say. Listed below are ten tips to consider when measuring Distributor enthusiasm for your brand. 1. CEO commitment and involvement The CEO steers the distributor ship and sets the tone for your busi ...

Export Express Spring 2015

Feature Articles:On the Road to 50- 50 ...Goal:50 % of sales outside your home countryYTIVITAERC - CreativityContacting New Distributors - Best PracticesTen Tips: What to Tell International Distributors who try to Buy Direct ...

Ten Tips: Getting Better Results with Big Distributors

I admit it: I like big distributors. They feature more critical mass which allows them to invest in people and technology. Retailers and large distributors are "co-dependent", leveling the playing field. Also, big distributors get paid first during financial crisis and usually offer better multi-channel coverage and retail services. However, many small-mid s ...

Crawl Walk Run Wait Halt

Successful Export Managers can be compared to Roulette experts. You need to spread your bets around many countries in order to achieve your sales budget. Winning reflects luck in the countries where you place big investments and avoiding high risk regions .  Export Solution has completed projects in 31 countries across 5 continents during the past year. ...

BRIC Success Stories

Most companies are failing at building significant new businesses in BRIC countries. The same lackluster results are reported by export brands attempting to build scale in the USA or North American brands seeking acceptance in Europe. Why ? The fundamental reason is that brands are treating giant, new market opportunities as  "another export market" wit ...

Six Questions Regarding Your Distributor Pricing Calculation

Pricing is a critical element of our marketing strategy. The "calculation" defines all pricing inputs from a designated port to the retail store shelves. Brand owners and distributors invest significant energy developing a pricing model during initial negotiations. My experience reveals that the calculation tends to drift  over time, fluctuating from th ...

Middle East: Double Your Business

There is a gold mine in the oil rich countries of the Middle East. Business is booming, driven by population growth and stability in the world's oil trade. The prospect of Iran and Iraq emerging as important new consumer markets also contributes to the optimistic outlook for the region.  Marketers need to allocate their resources wisely, avoiding popul ...

Export Express Summer 2015

Feature Articles: Country Segmentation ..Crawl, Walk, Ru, Wait, HaltWho is your Brand Champion ? How to Excite Buyers ...New Product Checklist.5 Steps: from Niche Status to Mass Market Success.Ten Tips: Action Steps for Poor Performing Countries ...

Ten Tips-Improving Market Visit Productivity

You can usually spot an export manager in the fast track lane at airport security with the Diamond level frequent flier card and bulging passport. Many of us spend half of our business lives on the road , serving as roving brand ambassadors for the brands that we represent. Our friends envy this glamorous life, little do they know how punishing it is to take ...

Meet the VIP's

A recent trip to Southeast Asia left me inspired by the enormous potential of the VIP countries. Vietnam, Indonesia, and Philippines appreciate the attention, as multinationals move beyond BRIC fascination and frustration to these rising young economic stars. Expansion is fueled by new purchasing power associated with the transition from rural agrarian lifes ...

Too Many Flags , Not Enough Sales

Export Managers proudly salute the flags on their country coverage map as part of their export credentials. A typical conversation starts with an introduction such as "Brand X  is a leader in Italy and we sell to 40 countries around the world. This year, we plan to expand into 10 new countries." Your country coverage map, filled with flags planted, is i ...

How Multinationals Build Brands

Exporters envy the massive clout and impressive results generated by multinationals such as Nestle & Procter and Gamble. These powerful brand builders succeed in emerging markets by adhering to a well defined new business development process. Their approach represents an ideal mix of global category knowledge with local execution. Recapped below are key ...

What If ?

What If ? Recently, I completed a distributor search project in Latin America for a multinational. This company was implementing a bold transition from a direct selling organization to a distributor model to secure better customer coverage. This positive move to Distributor sold represented a strategic shift, as this company was famous for maintaining a str ...

How Exporters Build Brands

1. World Cuisine Foreign travel and exposure to world cuisine has sparked an appreciation of  food and confectionery products from around the globe. Today's consumers enjoy diverse food choices as they plan their weekly menus. Asians may consider American or UK brands as ethnic food, just as we consider Thai or Mexican cuisine as "international". Succes ...

Ten Tips- Best Practices for Using Consolidators

Most companies partner with consolidators(also known as Export Management Companies)  to source incremental business from tough to reach geographies. Consolidators are local companies that groups different products from one country into one container. The consolidator then sells to a list of customers that may include distributors and retailers. Consoli ...

Ten Tips: Credit Terms - What's Fair ?

It's fun to talk about brand building and entry into foreign markets. Shipments are great, but getting paid on time is the most critical element with your distributor partnerships. Financial issues can disrupt a business relationship quickly. Unfortunately, many situations are "out of the distributors control" and related to overall country practices versus ...

Discover the Americas

Discover the Americas Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas while seeking the riches of the East Indies in Asia. Brand owners will discover many lucrative markets in the Americas, bursting with more potential than the new frontiers of India and Asia. High priority Latin American markets are "next door" for USA exporters. The countries of South America ...

Taking Your Business to the Next Level

Next Level Business Management A client asked me a good question. This Export Manager stated that he always achieved his personal objectives, sold his brand across all countries, and maintained a pretty good group of strong distributors. What strategies could be implemented to drive his business to the next level ? My basic response was that this company ne ...

Time For A Change:Adjusting your Priorities

Time for a Change ?Time is our most precious resource. Export managers fill our days with a regular routine: email, market visits, and planning meetings. Naturally, our attention is diverted by urgent issues or tasks that are easy to complete. The reality is that this approach works and we manage to get the job done. However, we all seek to be heroes, the ce ...

Ten Tips: Getting a Distributor to Love your Brand

The classic industry question is: "How do you maintain distributor focus on your company priorities once you leave the market ?"There is no easy answer, but a solution is to encourage a distributor to "fall in love" with your brand and company. Falling in love is based upon an attraction to a person and enjoyment of spending time with them. The same feelings ...

Export Strategy Roadmap

Export strategy is frequently mistaken as a race to plant flags in as many countries as possible. Top management spends too much time reading economic reports pushing the export department in the uncertain direction of BRIC countries while ignoring opportunities on their doorstep. Exhibitors at Anuga or ISM act as traders at a Turkish Bazaar negotiating over ...

Ten Tips: Distributor Interview Preparation and Insights

Distributor interviews can be compared to a first date. There is no second date after a bad first date, even if both parties are interested in each other. On the other hand, a good distributor first interview can lead to a lifelong relationship. Listed below are Export Solutions ten tips on enhancing the productivity of your distributor interview process. 1 ...

Ten Tips: Your Company Credentials Presentation

Distributors are flooded with requests for representation of brands from around the world. Normally, these presentations are jammed with pretty photos and long stories about the companies history. Brands will receive better response with a fact based, company credentials presentation focused on "What Distributors and Buyers really want to know". Export Solut ...

Export GameChanger: Googlemarket

2017 Online sales will surge beyond $1 trillion in Europe and  the USA. This explosive growth reflects an 18 % increase in  Europe and 13 % in the USA. These results confirm a dramatic shift in consumer purchasing habits, as overall European retail sales are flat and USA growing at a steady 4 %.The internet is anointed as an emerging growth channel ...

10 Questions for Every Distributor Interview

1. Company History  How long have you been in business ? Who are the owners ? How many direct, "payrolled" employees do you have? Approximate annual sales volume ? 2.   Company Brand Portfolio  What are your top 10 companies/brands represented ? For which channels do you represent each brand ? How long have you represented each  bra ...

Finding our Next Billion Consumers

One Billion consumers reside in stable markets of Europe and North America . These established countries represent 14 % of the world's population, but account for 70 % of all retail sales and 90% of the volume for most supermarket brand producers. Growing sales in our current selling universe of one billion people is exceedingly difficult. It requires true i ...

10 Tips: From Homesick Shelf to Category Captain

Many supermarkets offer sections dedicated to products from foreign countries. The "Homesick" shelf allocates one meter, mini departments, represented by iconic niche brands from the USA,Germany, Italy,UK, Brazil, or Mexico. Despondent expatriates rush to this section hoping to find their favorite candy or "sauce" brand from back home. Often, this represents ...

USA: Bigger than BRIC ?

The state of California ranks as the world's 8th largest economy, larger than India or Russia. USA population expanded by  35 million people since 2000, an increase equivalent to the size of Canada. Americans are spenders by nature, with 85 % of the population able to regularly purchase supermarket brands. All international companies export to the USA , ...

Solving the Export Puzzle

Received a phone call from a Greek brand owner who wanted my help launching his brand in export markets. My first question was " How is your brand selling at retailers in Greece" ? The future exporter replied that he wasn't selling locally because the retailers were too tough ! Maybe I was harsh, but my advice was that if you can't market through retailers i ...

Need a Hand?

  You are busy! There are many projects on your “must do” list, but all your efforts are focused on delivering this months volume objective. Or you have created a great plan to enter________ and you wish you had someone to get a second opinion on the distributor, launch strategy, or contract ? Export Solutions can help ! Export Solutions i ...

Twelve Signs that a Distributor ( Retailer) is in Trouble

Early indicators suggest that 2016 will be another challenging year. Global outlook is not gloomy,but growth appears to be dialing back in emerging markets,causing concern,but not panic. Certain markets, retailers, and distributors are still in the doldrums, suffering a severe hangover from the recession.Listed below are twelve signs that a distributor or re ...

Ten Tips- Changing Distributors the Right Way

Changing distributors is a messy business, filled with hurt feelings, business disruption, and legal implications. The good news is that when you have transitioned to a new distributor, you will benefit from the enthusiasm and commitment of a highly motivated new partner. Recapped below are Export Solutions Ten Tips for managing the process of changing distr ...

Brand Owners: What Every Distributor Wants to Know !

Strong consumer goods distributors are deluged with representation inquiries from around the world. The emails are usually supplemented by a product catalog and promise to mail a price list! In a best case scenario, this type of approach may lead to a request for more information from a good distributor. More likely, the distributor will skip your inquiry an ...

Best in Class Distributor Standards

Is your distributor (or importer) network “Best in Class”? Alignment with a strong partner will deliver superior results for your brand. Export Solutions evaluates and analyzes hundreds of distributors per year. Frequently, our point of view is requested to establish criteria for selecting the best distributor candidate for a brand owner. Recappe ...

A Fresh Look at your Export Map

Two recent business trips sparked a shift in my view of international development opportunities. Normally, I advocate primary export focus on developed countries with disposable income to afford premium brands. The new look urges a heavier investment in time and resources to pioneering "new frontier" markets which serve as our future growth pipeline. Spent ...

Lessons Learned : Business Planning 2017

Tis the season for 2017 planning. Most of us will dust off last year's presentation, update the charts, and supply conservative estimates on why this years  8 % export shipment increase won't be repeated. Impress your executive team with some hot new charts and Lessons Learned analysis  for your business review document . Leadership tends to d ...

Ten Tips – Export Success Stories – Lessons Learned

What works ? Export sales are an important growth driver for many companies. However, there is a clear distinction between those brands which have built vibrant export businesses and brands which have largely failed to gain presence outside their home country. Common advice I give our clients is to think of the requirements for a new brand to enter their hom ...

Rethinking Country Segmentation

                                               Global dynamics has caused seismic shifts in international business development an ...

Is your Brand the Best ? Ten Tips Checklist

Each year, Export Solutions fields hundreds of inquiries from brands looking for help finding international distributors. Our readers will not be surprised to hear that each brand owner declares that his product is the "best". These claims are rarely supported by independent research or focus groups. In reality, shoppers vote at supermarkets every day on the ...

Spring into the Middle East

The Arab Spring commanded the world's attention. Populist uprisings  forced regime changes and fundamental shifts in political and economic policy. The future looks bright for this region of almost 300 million people.  These markets are attractive targets for our industry due to large and growing populations, strong gdp per capita in many countries ...

Distributor Database: Frequently Asked Questions

Who created the distributor lists ? Our proprietary lists were compiled by consumer/food products professionals with 29 years working with distributors, importers, and brokers in Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Asia and the USA/Canada. The carefully researched lists contain distributors, importers, and brokers who are the leading local companies at suppl ...

Distributor of the Year

Every supplier should organize a contest to recognize their Distributor or Sales Team of the Year. This strategy has proven to be one of the most efficient and effective business building ideas. Sales People Love to Compete-Let’s face it. Sales people are competitive and if they are not………you may be aligned with the wrong sales te ...

Ten Tips: Achieve Preferred Supplier Status

A natural goal is to achieve "Preferred Supplier Status" with retailers and your distributors. Satisfied trading partners generate superior results. It is highly desirable to achieve formal or informal recognition as a "Preferred Supplier". Listed below are 15 tips to be viewed as a "Preferred Supplier" with your distributors and retail customers. 1. Invest ...

Pros & Cons: Route to Market Models

Few companies achieve sufficient sales volume to operate offices in every country. Even Procter & Gamble, Nestle, & Unilever regularly use third party distributors for certain countries or brands.  Distributors, Importers,Brokers, and Agents form an essential part of our industry. Each model provides local expertise in a variable cost model. Thi ...

Ten Tips: USA Market: Cracking the Code

The USA represents the world's largest market. A small market share in the USA can represent a bigger business than owning a 50 % market share in a smaller country. Many international brands fail to reach their potential in the USA as they treat it as just another export market. Listed below are Export Solutions 10 Tips for improving your results in the USA, ...

Ten Tips – Maximizing Trade Show Productivity

Everyone loves a trade show. Where else can you rent a booth and witness lines of customers and distributors waiting to see you to talk about your brands ? Trade shows represent sizable investments and valuable booth time can be wasted with non-productive meetings.  Read our Ten Tips to maximize your trade show productivity. 1. Create Sign : Distribut ...

USA versus Europe – Differences in Industry Fundamentals

Export Solutions believes that our industry shares many common operating procedures across borders. Clearly each country maintains a unique set of habits and practices. On the other hand, I find that brand owners everywhere dedicated against the fundamental challenge of getting their brands listed with good shelf space while buyers are perpetually requesting ...

Ten Tips – Selling to the United States

The USA ranks as the worlds largest consumer market. The USA is receptive to new product entry, with more than 100,000 new products introduced every year. The USA’s large stores stock an average of 40,000 unique items. A small market share in the USA can represent more business to your company than a dominant market share in a smaller country. Read our ...

USA Market Entry Alternatives: Broker versus Importer versus Direct?

Outsourcing of sales functions to channel specialists is a common organizational strategy in the USA. Third party service providers include Food Brokers (now formally known as Sales & Marketing Companies), Distributors, Importers, and Merchandising Service Organizations (MSO's). Most retail channels require a unique approach. This can present challenges ...

Ten Tips: A Professional Approach to Store Checks

Many brands source 80 percent of sales or more from the shelf. However, most export manager market visits include only a quick trip to a store by the airport or distributors office. Formal retail checks  may be highly orchestrated, with some sales teams pre-selecting and beautifying stores in advance . This creates a favorable, but unrealistic view of a ...

Country Segmentation: One Size Does Not Fit All

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 ...

Build Relationships to Build Business

Many of the most successful business deals are clinched long after 900 pm. Barriers come down once your buyer or distributor escapes the handcuffs of an office environment. High impact schedules filled with meetings, emails, and deadlines leave us too little time to cultivate relationships. Technology, travel , and industry globalization have created seismic ...

How Well Do You Know The USA ? 100 Industry Terms and Definitions

Channel/Category  Definition               CPG   Consumer Packaged Goods - refers to our industry. Similar meaning  to FMCG   ACV   All Commodity Volume- used to describe brand penetration. i.e. 77 % ACV availability FDM   Food, Drug, & Ma ...

Big Distributors vs. Small Distributors: Your Best Bet

A common industry debate revolves around the size of the distributor (or broker) you choose to represent your brands. Does your company prefer to be positioned as one of many brands in a leading distributor’s portfolio? Or is it your company strategy to be a "big brand" in a smaller companies operation? Read below to understand the "pro’s and con ...

Carrefour at a Crossroads

Carrefour is the world's number two retailer with sales of around $140 billion dollars. The French giant claims market leadership in 15 of the 37 countries where it operates. Impressive footprints in emerging market powerhouses such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey offer important sources for future growth. Sales have flattened in recent years, as Carrefour ...

Ten Tips: Translating Export Inquiries into Incremental Sales

Export managers are overwhelmed with phone calls and emails from companies desiring to sell their brands. Some proposals are worth evaluating, as we all seek incremental sales in new countries. Other requests originate from diverters or  "time wasters" who do not have sufficient capabilities or financing to commercialize your brand. Export Solutions has ...

South America Shines

Winter may be approaching in the northern hemisphere , but the sun is shining in South America. Growth is projected at a robust 4.8 % in 2014, almost five times the anemic results projected across the eurozone. South America's population totals around 400 million people, creating a consumer market larger than the eurozone ( 329 million people) or the USA (&n ...

Good Store vs. Bad Store: Report Card

Good store versus Bad store ? How do you evaluate whether the store you just visited was a “good store” or “bad store” in terms of your brand presence? Clear communication of a brand’s in store objectives is critical to achieving good visibility at store level. Your retail sales team (direct or outsourced) should be aligned with ...

Ten Tips: Sourcing New Sales from Old Markets

Exporters love the thrill  of creating plans to conquer new markets. The reality is that our annual sales quota is dependent on driving new sales from our existing markets and distributors. This appears as a challenge in a low growth country or mature category, particularly if you are not blessed with baskets of money to invest in brand support activiti ...

Beyond BRIC - Selling to MIST Countries

Beyond BRIC - Selling to MIST Who is Jim O'Neill and why may he change your life again in 2016 ? McNeill is the former Goldman Sachs economist credited for coining the term BRIC (Brazil,Russia, India , & China). For 10 years,international  business plans bulged with facts and updates on the slow road to BRIC success. BRIC's 2.7 billion population ...

Distributor Search 2016

Export Solutions recently celebrated the eight year anniversary of the launch of Export Solutions distributor database.Many of my friends from export will recall the story behind the birth of our database. I was faced with the challenge of identifying distributor candidates in Italy for a  large multinational . I attacked the project the "old way" ...

Weak Euro - Positive or Posion ?

The Euro trades at $1.10 to the US Dollar in mid August, down 25 % from $1.43 three years ago. Europe's current financial situation suggests that the Euro will not rebound soon and more likely to suffer continued devaluation versus the dollar. This trend represents good news for European exporters but a tough challenge for those exporting into the euro ...

New Years Resolution - Upgrade Your Distributor Network

Every company includes distributors that appear as chronic under-performers. Year after year, management listens to excuses and we patiently “give them a little bit more time.” 2015 results are in and it’s easy to spot the problems: big country, small shipments. The new year is the right time to implement a process of upgrading your distrib ...

Route to Market: Direct to Customer vs. Distributor

Export Managers frequently evaluate tempting offers from global supermarket chains desiring to purchase “direct”, eliminating the local distributor/importer middleman. While this can be an attractive strategy in a few scenarios, it often sets a dangerous pricing precedent which becomes difficult to “unwind” when you seek to optimize s ...

Ten Tips-Increased Distributor Focus on Your Brands

Quarterly MBO Meeting with Distributor Senior Management-One of the most effective tools for increased focus is to create a regular process for Distributor senior management engagement in your business. The Management By Objective (MBO) system (or similar approaches) allows you to meet quarterly on a pre-planned schedule to review past quarter performance ...

Distributor Contracts: Review and Refresh

Suppliers review their Distributor contracts for two reasons: At the start of a new distributor relationship or when the current distributor has resigned or failed. Most exporters simply revise their standard distributor contract with a new name and make a few minor adjustments when entering a new partnership. Export Solutions frequently reviews distributor ...

My Way: Finding and Selecting the Right Distributor

Hiring the right local partner is the third most important step in optimizing your sales. This follows creating a product with a unique consumer value proposition and willingness to invest in brand development activities. Listed below are some practical tips on selecting the right company to represent your brand. Identify a Pool of Preliminary Candidates Cr ...

Rushing to or Retreating from Russia

Are you brave enough to attack the Russian market ? Armies of leading consumer brands have aimed at Russia, one of the few remaining large markets with significant growth potential. However, recent political events suggest that the BRICS may become BICS. Negotiating the Russian landscape is not for export novices, but companies with a long term time horizon ...

Distributor Performance: Recognize the Leaders, Push the Laggards

The start of a new year is an appropriate time to review distributor performance. This process starts with the evaluation of the usual metrics such as shipment results, market share, and success delivering new item placement. Normally, distributor performance ranges across the spectrum from outstanding results delivered by top distributors to under-achievers ...

Straight to the Top

You think you are busy ? Try serving as the owner or managing director of a distributor. The typical distributor represents 10-20 companies. This role is comparable to parenting 10-20 children, each vying for attention and requiring care everyday , not to mention the needs of the distributors own employees. A distributors days are filled with back to back me ...

Web 2.0 Your New Export Sales Partner

Savvy exporters deploy new web based tactics to identify new distributors and connect with global consumers. Most companies maintain a basic web site featuring an “international section”, but few sites are designed to promote export sales. Listed blow are Export Solutions “Ten Tips” to unleash the power of Web 2.0 to drive new busines ...

Strategy 2020

Kraft Foods 5 year plan featured a 10-10-5 strategy. Kraft  focused on 10 countries,10 brands, and 5 product categories. A few years ago, Procter & Gamble unveiled a “Big, Big, Big” strategy. This translated to resource allocation to “Big Brands, Big Countries, and Big Retailers”. Other manufacturers prefer to focus on small- ...

Distributor Types: Different Experts for Different Situations

All distributors are not created equally ! Most exporters recognize obvious differences based upon the size of distributor and breadth of service offering. Export Solutions has identified six common types of distributor business models. Global brands maintain a mix of distributor relationships. Some partnerships are new while others have evolved for thirty y ...

Cost of Entry: New Country Expansion

There is a cost of doing business in each country in the world. Retail shelf space is viewed as valuable real estate and owners want to extract the maximum productivity from each centimeter of space. A frequent question is “What is an appropriate spend level” to enter a new country. Read below our tips at identifying an appropriate spend level fo ...

Export Solutions Distributor Lists : Best Practices

Distributor Specialization: View the “comments” field of each distributor listing for clues on Distributor category specialization and brands represented. Web Site: Visit distributors web sites for more company information. No web site listing indicates a smaller distributor. Export Solutions subscribers enjoy ”one click, live access&rdq ...

Why International ? - Rationale for International Expansion

Food & Consumer Products Business is a "People Game"World population exceeds 7.2 billion people. All people possess the fundamental requirement for food products and most use household cleaning products and personal care brands. Supermarkets are becoming a shopping option for consumers everywhere including emerging markets. China with 1.3 billion people ...

Treat Distributors as your Best Customers

Every export manager and salesman puts on their best smile when meeting with the buyer at a major supermarket chain. We bend over backwards to be flexible to meet their costly demands, all in the questionable spirit of partnership. In return for our loyalty, supermarket buyers focus on total category sales, private label, and maximizing internal profits by p ...

Distributors: What Every Brand Owner Wants to Know

Export managers receive baskets of offers from distributors desiring to represent well known brands. Distributors should structure their company credentials presentation to address key assessment points for the brand owner. Listed below are Export Solutions tips for distributors looking to enhance their position as a viable candidate for an important new bus ...

Mexico – Bigger than BRIC?

“BRIC” nations of Brazil, Russia, India , and China hog most of the spotlight today. This attention is warranted, but many companies forget Mexico, a giant market located just across the border from California and Texas, the two largest USA states. Export Solutions believes that visibility in Mexico represents a more important strategic imperativ ...

Fixing the Problem: Small Shipments to Big Countries - Ten Tips

Selling more to Bermuda and Bahamas versus Brazil ? More business in Hong Kong than China ? Join the club. The long road to BRIC success is filled with dangerous curves and uncertain junctions. "Low hanging fruit" opportunities in these countries have long disappeared replaced by a scrum of category combatants from all corners of the world wrestling for mar ...

Big Shipments to Small Countries

Quiz: 1. Do USA branded Food companies export more product to Brazil or Puerto Rico ?2. Do UK branded Food companies export more to Germany or Ireland ?3. Do USA and UK Food companies export more branded food products to India or Hong Kong ? Answers: 1. Puerto Rico 2. Ireland 3. Hong Kong Senior executives appear absorbed with strategies focused on penetra ...

Best Practice: Form a Distributor Advisory Council

It's a universal battle to secure your fair of your distributor networks time and resources. This is the nature of working with an external sales team where you are effectively renting a "share" of the organization's time. Forming a Distributor ( or Broker) Advisory Council represents a proven tactic at obtaining more distributor senior management focus and ...

Ten Tips: Making a Global Brand Local

International brands find a natural audience overseas with homesick expatriates missing their favorite Oreo cookies, PG Tips tea or Kuchenmeister cakes. "Ethnic" favorites must move beyond their base business as a niche American, Italian, or German product into the mainstream to achieve ambitious growth targets. Adoption as a local brand rewards the manufact ...

Avoid the Trap - Not Another Me Too Product !

Best in class Distributors are overwhelmed with by products looking for access to the valuable shelf space on the retailers' shelves. Worldwide, the art of cooking and "Fashion of Food" has created demand for innovative tastes from international markets. Unfortunately, many good new product ideas lack the marketing budgets to gain awareness with the consumer ...

Ten Barriers to Export Success

International strategy always looks logical in the board room. Many companies demonstrate a strong track record of success penetrating their home market and perhaps adjacent countries. Success stories out number failures, but there are "Lessons Learned" that can help manufacturers avoid costly mistakes. Listed below are our Ten Barriers to Export Success. D ...

Introducing MITS - More in the Store

A great Clorox sales theologian named Tom Palmer introduced MITS "More in the Store" to me . The core philosophy was that if you focused on execution at store level that incremental volume would be pulled through the system. This concept represented a departure from the old adage that a "loaded customer (warehouse inventory) was a happy customer". Retail st ...

Distributor Margin/Broker Commissions: What’s Fair?

Short Answer-Prevailing Rates* 12-15% Distributor/Importer Margin Leading Companies/ Brands with Major Marketing Support 20% Distributor /Importer Margin "Average size" Brands with Some Marketing Support 25-50% Distributor/Importer Margin Niche brand with little or No marketing support 2% USA Broker Commission Leading Companies/Bran ...

Selling Walmart International

A 180 billion dollar Goliath Walmart’s 2015 international sales totaled 180 billion dollars, representing 29% of total revenues. On a stand alone basis, Walmart international is the world’s second largest retailer, outsold only by Walmart’s USA division. The international division employs over 900,000 associates and serves more than 75 mill ...

Ten Tips: International Expansion on a Shoestring Budget

Stretching thin marketing budgets is a job requirement for most Export Managers. Listed below are “Ten Tips” for brand building on a “ Budget”. 1. Tap into Government Export ProgramsMany countries sponsor strong trade organizations that can aid your export development program. Exports translate to jobs and most countries have well es ...

Distributor Participation on Global Account Teams

10 companies deserve recognition as “Global Food Retailers”. The list is easy to compile, including the familiar banners of Carrefour ( 38 countries), Metro ( 21 countries), and Walmart (17 countries) plus a few others. Global retailers wield tremendous clout over their suppliers for more than their critical mass. Their uniformity of format, info ...

Route to Market: Distributor vs. Direct

International Brand Export Managers frequently evaluate tempting offers from retailers desiring to purchase “direct”, eliminating the local distributor/importer middleman. While this can be an attractive strategy in a few scenarios, it often sets a dangerous pricing precedent which becomes difficult to “unwind” when you seek to optimi ...

Ten Tips - Time for a Distributor Change

Changing distributors is a last resort but a necessary step in some situations. Consistent under-performers impact your ability to achieve your own assigned objectives and bonus plans. The financial crisis of the last two years has exposed the short comings of lagging distributors. In some cases, shipment objectives are being met, but the brand owner and dis ...

Grading New Products

The consumer judges our brands every day with their purchase decisions. Companies are justifiably proud of the brands they sell. Supermarket buyers are confronted with thousands of options for stocking their shelves. What are the key attributes for a product to excel in to gain buyer attention and acceptance ? Grade your product portfolio and how your produc ...

Retailer Business Review Time

This is a good time of year to conduct your annual business review with key customers. 2015 shipment records and market share data are now available. Annual negotiations have been concluded for most and retailers have launched their own plans to grow sales in a challenging 2016. The annual Business Review represents a unique opportunity to discuss your busin ...

Distributor Contracts: Review and Refresh

Suppliers review their Distributor contracts for two reasons: At the start of a new distributor relationship or when the current distributor has resigned or failed. Most exporters simply revise their standard distributor contract with a new name and make a few minor adjustments when entering a new partnership. Export Solutions frequently reviews distributor ...

Worldview Guide 2015

There are 196 countries in the world.... How many are you selling to ?Our Worldview Guide explores twenty strategic countries to help you determine the best place to focus your export efforts. Read our point of view on expoprt development in China, Vietnam, Middle East, USA, Russia, Europe and many more countries. ...

Walmart Expands Global Branded Imports (GBI) Program

Walmart sales outside the USA now exceed 180 Billion dollars. Many USA based suppliers and global brands seek to extend their relationship with the world’s biggest retailer to new countries. Walmart’s thought provoking Global Branded Imports (GBI) program simplifies the export development process. Credit Walmart for proactive efforts to promote g ...

Breakthrough Results

Think Big! An adjustment in mindset towards “What if” can deliver game changing results for your business. In today’s business environment, execution of the same plans and same promotions as the past will deliver mediocre results, even for leading brands. The consumer goods industry contains many success stories where hungry innovators chal ...

Ten Tips – Preparing for the Recovery

What recovery you are asking if you live in Russia,Brasil or  Greece? On the other hand, Asia and the Middle East are enjoying good growth and it appears that the USA, Germany, and most of Europe are poised for a better 2016. It’s true that while shipment trends have stabilized for many, that a prediction of a global upturn may be premature. Liste ...

People Power: Distributor Brand Managers

Brand owners demonstrate significant due diligence in selecting a new distributor. This includes lengthy negotiations with the distributors owner and development of a marketing plan with their senior management.  Typically, you sign a contract and then they introduce you to "John" ( example), a 30 year old Brand Manager with a marketing degree who will ...

Crisis Management 2016

Ok. I admit it. I am nervous about 2016.Few companies have enough business in high growth countries like China & Indonesia to offset lower shipments to customers in key markets like Italy or France. Not all is doom and gloom ! There are some bright spots beneath the turmoil. We are fortunate to participate in an industry where our consumers sti ...

Buyer for a Day

Veteran sales and marketing executives have spent years of our careers preparing for and participating in sales calls on buyers ( now called category managers). Did you ever wonder what it would be like to switch places with your buyer at a major account for a day? Many of you are probably smiling pleasantly at the prospect of make loud, unrealistic, demands ...

Ten Tips- Distributor Compensation Analysis

Everyone knows their own salary. But have you given much thought to your compensation structure for your distributor partners? Distributor compensation is often a “murky” issue, buried in a calculation created years ago focused on a combination of distributor margin plus other income for services rendered. Brand leaders periodically review their ...

Country Spotlight- Breaking into China

Many manufacturers are salivating over the prospect of sales to China. Middle class Chinese consumers are hungry for branded consumer goods. Middle Class population is estimated at 250 million people, with projections of 400 million by 2020. Wal*Mart, Carrefour, Tesco, & Metro, the four largest global retailers, are expanding at a rapid pace. Listed bel ...

Ten Tips to Derail Export Diverting

1. Conduct Extensive Due Diligence on all new customers/distributors particularly in high risk countries. This includes reference checks from existing manufacturer clients as well as from leading retailers in his home country. Visit each new distributor’s office and warehouse to calibrate the size of his business with other principals. Each new candida ...

Lure of the Caribbean

Fact: The Caribbean Basin represents the largest international business for many exporters. Surprised ? 80 million consumers live on Caribbean Islands plus Central America. In many categories, these small countries lack the local manufacturing to provide the depth of product assortment that their consumers require. Proximity to the Southern USA has created s ...

Ten Tips- Managing a Credit Crisis

2016 challenges signal that some will be content with shipments only slight aheadof 2015 as a preferred alternative versus the negative growth numbers experienced in other sectors. Still, our industry is not immune to the crisis with savvy exporters sorting out problems in Greece,Russia and V enezuela. New issues percolating include potential China slowdown ...

New Distributor Assessment Grid

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Ten Tips for Turbulent Times

Brace yourself for a tough year in 2016. Consumer goods/food producers face a better outlook than our peers in other industries. Tight spending consumers will focus on replenishment of staples and home cooked meals versus premium products and restaurant dining. Listed below are Export Solutions “Ten Tips for Turbulent Times”. 1. Track consumptio ...

Walmart International: Update

#2 ? This is not a mistake ! Walmart is recognized as the world's largest retailer, with anticipated 2015 sales of around 500 billion dollars. Walmart's International ( outside USA) sales should exceed 160 billion dollars this year. This positions Walmart International firmly as the world's number 2 retailer, galloping ahead of Tesco ,Germany's Metro Group a ...

Emerging Markets Fuel International Growth

This year I was invited to speak at the annual distributor event for an important European brand. At their Distributor of the Year awards ceremony, it was inspiring to see distributors from countries such as China and UAE receive recognition for shipment increases of 30 percent, 50 percent or more ! Success strategies in these markets did not require hu ...

Export Solutions Distributor Lists : Best Practices

Distributor Specialization: View the “comments” field of each distributor listing for clues on Distributor category specialization and brands represented. Web Site: Visit distributors web sites for more company information. No web site listing indicates a smaller distributor. Export Solutions subscribers enjoy ”one click, live access&rdq ...

Distributor Database: Frequently Asked Questions

Who created the distributor lists ? Our proprietary lists were compiled by consumer/food products professionals with 28 years working with distributors, importers, and brokers in Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Asia and the USA/Canada. The carefully researched lists contain distributors, importers, and brokers who are the leading local companies at suppl ...

Ten-Tips: New Country Expansion Prioritization

There are 196 countries in the world. How many is your company selling to ? International expansion to new countries is a strategic imperative for most exporters. The challenge is to determine which countries will deliver the greatest financial return for your investment of time and resources. Listed below are “Ten Tips” to facilitate new country ...

Half Time Report: An Exporter at 50

I recently celebrated my 50th birthday with a minimal amount of complaining, backache's or sudden urges to parachute out of an airplane. As my youth disappears in the rear view mirror, I felt compelled to grab a once in fifty year chance to share some personal insights from my 29 year career  in the supermarket aisles. First, what a great business we ...

Mid 2017 Report Card

Congratulations ! You've survived the first half of 2017. Export shipment trends are positive in the Americas,Asia,Middle East, and Africa. Europe enjoys a decent year, as as small waves of optimism cross the continent. Value oriented shoppers are still eating,but demanding more choices and more product information. Export Solutions clients are typically rep ...