After understanding the great benefits of global expansion and creating an effective global expansion strategy, you should now consider improving your company’s chances in the competitive global field. Given how widespread international expansion has become and how fierce the competition in each market has grown in recent years, it is crucial now more than ever to gain a competitive advantage over your business opponents. It is not just a matter of business survival. A competitive advantage can also contribute to creating higher prices, more customers, and brand loyalty. Although establishing such an advantage is a goal that many domestic and global businesses have to ensure that they do not get left behind, the article’s purpose is to point out significant strategic points that could serve as a competitive advantage for your expanding business.
Throughout a company’s growth period, decision-makers face numerous critical questions regarding their future moves in the global arena. Moreover, they are puzzled by many questions that involve a deep understanding of various aspects of the global arena. In this crucial period, it’s not only about comparing your solution and your competitor’s. What is also required is deep scrutiny of everything from consumer behavior to l Localization, regulation, Accounting, marketing, sales, and more. Indeed, the entire globalization process requires focus and attention from your management team.
This article will point out the several key factors that may encourage you to upgrade your existing operations and gain a competitive advantage in the rapidly changing global marketplace. Comprehensive research and pre-planning are a must to build long-lasting assets that will generate revenues for your business. When used correctly and with the proper guidance, these cost-effective methods have been proven to create high yields for your investors and shareholders alike.
For every CEO or board member, decision-making combines limited resources and uncertainty irrespective of the size of the business in question. Under these circumstances, we must strive to gain optimal results. For this reason, we recommend replacing heavy investments with creativity, innovation, and some gust in the global business environment.
Strategic point no. 1: Business Intelligence
The competitive global market consists of different forces that shape the business environment constantly. Therefore, to ensure a successful global market entry, you must have strong business intelligence. Understanding these forces is crucial in ensuring that your business “hits the ground running” from the start, as it allows you to make better decisions, manage risks more effectively, negotiate more competitive prices, strengthen your reputation as an expert in your field, and better service your clients’ needs.
Below is a list of questions regarding some basic information that you should gather when building a business plan:
- How does the quality and price of your product compare to pre-existing market players?
- Which of your competitors have a strong presence in the market?
- What is the respective market share of each of your competitors in this field?
- What is your added value when competing with local brands in key territories around the globe?
- Are there any resources or value adds that your competitors have that you lack?
- Which of your competitors has better resources?
- Is your product innovative enough in the competitive market?
- Is your market suited to the needs and preferences of the market in question?
- Do/ can you negotiate favorable deals with suppliers/ distributors/ developers in the market?
- Are there any economic/ political/ regulatory risks associated with entering the market?
Strategic point no. 2: Strong Branding Infrastructure
Growing companies need to put their name out there to attract new business, particularly amidst increasingly fierce, global competition. In addition, when deciding whether to go ahead with a transaction, consumers are seeking more information about service providers than ever before. It is therefore essential for global, expanding businesses to create a strong branding infrastructure.
In other words, businesses must ensure that customers can find their brand on many different platforms. On the one hand, a brand needs to ensure the proper management of its company-run platforms, including the company website, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. On the other hand, creating brand infrastructure involves ensuring that your brand features on external platforms, such as magazines, price comparison websites, and service review platforms like Trustpilot. Such diverse exposure allows prospective consumers to feel confident that your brand is legitimate, reliable, and accessible.
It is also crucial to ensure that your brand appears unified and approachable, and consistent marketing message. Your logo, color scheme, and design should appear similar across all company-run platforms. Any information, such as your website URL or key personnel’s names and contact details, must also be regularly reviewed and updated. Only then can you begin to build strong global partnerships.
Strategic point no. 3: International Marketing
When expanding your business to foreign markets, there are two different marketing tactics: global marketing and international marketing. The difference between these two lies in their customization approach. Global marketing sees the world as one big market and refers to a single marketing strategy applied everywhere in the world. On the other hand, international marketing refers to a country-tailored product strategy, where every strategic decision is made in light of the local marketing environment.
While both these marketing tactics have their respective benefits and drawbacks, international marketing has the potential to become a more suitable, long-term strategy. With an international marketing approach, you can:
- Expand your business: the use of business units and subsidiaries in various countries makes for a better business expansion.
- Gain better market understanding: only when you truly understand the market can you customize your product to suit its needs better. There is nothing more valuable than recognizing the needs of a market you wish to dominate.
- Obtain customer engagement: customer engagement is relatively high due to the local presence and multiple communication channels arising from international marketing. This sort of engagement is of strategic importance and can help you get ahead of the competition.
- Avoid PR mistakes: what is appropriate in one country can perhaps be offensive in another. Cultural consideration is an essential aspect of international marketing, and if done wrong, it could lead to PR scandals at their worst.
The biggest challenge of global marketing today is trying to please everyone as one large Audience. However, international marketing focuses on fulfilling the target market’s demands in question in light of its culture, laws, and regulations and the specific needs of the target audience. Therefore, implementing an international marketing strategy can be a cost-effective investment solution.
Underpinning this notion is the principles of Mass Audience x Atomic Audience. Which of these two principles is applied depends on what you are selling. If you are selling to a specific position in a company, mass audience marketing can be used as unified marketing. But if you are selling to smaller clients, specific individuals, the marketing message must be as personalized and ‘atomic’ as possible. To determine which of these strategies is more appropriate, you should collect as much data as possible.
Furthermore, you need to know how to adapt your marketing message in accordance with different mediums. For example, the Audience on your company’s LinkedIn page might not be the same as the YouTube audience.
To create a successful marketing strategy, you need to create a personalized message for your business. This way, the target audience feels that the brand or company specifically resonates with them, and as a result, they can feel more comfortable trusting the company. A very simple yet effective example is when someone is trying to call another person, it is more specific and closer to saying “Hey John!” than just “Hey!”. Starting a relationship with the target market works the same way.
Especially in B2B marketing, your VP Marketing should make immense efforts to personalize each message to several positions and key decision-makers within the target market organizations and localize it with minor cultural and behavioral characteristics to the client base demography.
Tip: Visit your LinkedIn Page Dashboard or your website google analytics page, learn who are the majority of clients that show interest
Strategic point no. 4: Innovation
Adopting an innovative mindset will ensure the longevity of your brand and create the competitive advantage you need to stay relevant in today’s ever-changing market. Innovation is the keyword for every successful company, and as such, it is one of the most desirable traits in the modern business world. However, not many companies place innovation as their top priority. Instead, they worry about efficiency and stabilization, which is understandable because innovation can be tricky. It is neither safe nor predictable, but if successful, it produces a great reward.
To introduce innovation into your organization, you should take the test-and-learn approach, which requires taking risks and reflecting on your mistakes. Thinking outside of the box and trying different ideas can occasionally lead to failure or unprofitable results. However, do not let that discourage you! The key to innovation in learning and adapting, and if you follow through, you will eventually create something worthwhile. With that in mind, know that it is okay to put efficiency and cost aside to allow a place for creativity and fresh ideas for long-term growth.
More than anything else, innovation is about creating an improved end-product for your customers. You should want to create a product with an added value, differentiating you from the competition. There is no other way to do so besides genuinely understanding the needs and wants of your customer base. Only then can you work toward what is amiss and create something innovative and successful. This point sheds more light on how international marketing is a crucial strategic choice.
Strategic point no. 5: Strategic Professional Alliances
Trying to establish your roots in a new market is complicated as it is, and so there is no reason why you should be doing it all alone. Forming a strategic partnership with local companies helps to facilitate a smooth integration into the foreign industry. There are three types of alliances that you can consider for your expanding strategy: a joint venture, a strategic equity alliance, and a non-equity strategic alliance. The latter makes up most business alliances, and it is often more loose and informal than the former two options. In the case of gaining competitive advantage only, you might want to consider forming non-equity strategic alliances with a local organization. The main benefits of a professional alliance are:
-Sharing resources and information: when entering a new market in a foreign country, information is the most valuable thing you can receive. Even when you think you have conducted thorough research beforehand, it will never come close to the knowledge a local and experience that a company in the field can share with you. Regulatory issues, business culture, local competition, market demands, and needs are just some things you must understand to gain a competitive advantage.
-Increase brand awareness: partnering with a local company can help bring awareness to your brand. Because your brand is a new face for the local market, not many will know you at the start. A professional partnership is needed to ‘introduce’ your brand to the public and gain their general trust. It is quite a quick and easy way to gain recognition and emerge better with the local market.
-Produces innovation: as aforementioned, innovation is crucial in creating a competitive advantage. There are many cases of how professional alliances have led to innovation and created positive change. When an alliance is right and the exchange of ideas is at the heart of the partnership, there is more creativity and drive for innovation.
Strategic Point 6: Brand Ambassador Incentive Program
Communities and micro-ecosystems are crucial for your brand expansion globally. Even nowadays, in the post-covid-19 era, there is still no substitute for face-to-face meetings. Global brands have realized this and now partner with a variety of community managers in different territories simultaneously. Naturally, you will find such partnerships primarily on consumer products. Still, in recent years we also see many examples in the B2B environment world, with solutions such as cloud computing, AI, or professional services.
Strategic Point 7: Reviews & Client Feedback (Social Proof)
We all know how important it is to convey the reliability and legitimacy of a brand to ensure its success. Yet for anAs an offshore company, building public trust can be challenging. Indeed, this psychological aspect might deter good clients from approaching you. One way to achieve public confidence is social proof, spreading the idea that the company is legitimate via previous client experiences. Therefore, during the rational decision-making process, businesses need to utilize client feedback.
Businesses can acquire clients’ feedback in various ways. These include but are not limited to: emails, polls, surveys, live chat, and even social media channels. Once attained, companies need to engage with client feedback. For example, if a client has left a positive review on your website, you may wish to respond to that to show your appreciation. Conversely, if the feedback was offered in private, you may wish to ask the client if the review can be shared on your social media platforms. Making this information available for public viewing can help convince prospective clients that your company is the right fit for their needs.
Whether big or small, companies strive to get ahead of the competition as they worry about getting left behind. Gaining a competitive advantage above everyone else, particularly amid global expansion, is not easy, but it is very much possible. The six major strategic points listed above are a great starting point as they will help you compete and even win in this competitive global market.
We at Xinergy Global can help you take things further and make sure that your brand always remains at the head of the competition, no matter how fierce. Contact us for more information about our expertise and strategic solutions.