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Export Tips

Export Solutions has published more than 250 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.

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. ...

2018 New Year, New Business Ideas

It's far from business as usual in the export world. Most companies are managing to a decent 2017 finish through a combination of emerging market growth and improved conditions in the home market. 2018 looks tougher, with political and economic turbulence in Saudi Arabia,S Korea, Turkey, and Brasil.Trump,Brexit, currency swings,and the surge in Int ...

New World Order 2018

First Brexit, then Trump. These populist uprisings seized the agenda, threatening the pace of globalization and free trade. Read New World Order 2018 to learn about implications for our industry and action steps to take now ! ...

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. ...

2018 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 ...

From High Class to Mass

Premium international brands maintain a logical route to new market entry. Typically this involves starting at high end supermarkets, gourmet deli's and stores catering to expats. This is followed by  ecommerce and expansion to conventional supermarkets. Ultimately, brands seek availability everywhere, including stores serving the Mass Market. ...

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 ...

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. ...

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. ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 2018

Tis the season for 2018 planning. Most of us will dust off last year's presentation, update the charts, and supply conservative estimates on why this years  5 % 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 ...

Rethinking Country Segmentation

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

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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- ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...