International Expansion

How to Drive International Expansion Without Escalating Complexity

Customise or standardise? That’s perhaps the most important question a brand at the beginning of its international expansion has to answer.

Depending on who you ask, you will get very different answers. If you ask your brand and marketing management, they will vote for as much standardisation as possible. If you ask your sales force, the answer will be quite the opposite.

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Brand Sales and Distribution 2020: New Ways to Drive International Growth

Overall brand growth remains mostly dynamic in 2019. But as financial reports show, growth rates have decreased for many. Be it in the US or in Europe, especially domestic-bound retailers and brands stumble.

Global expansion in sales and distribution competence has become a lifesaving strategy feature, but allow me a personal question first:

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Freitag: Brand Development Made in Switzerland

In 2019, shoppers love unique products and great brand stories. If on top of that you sell upcycled products and are a niche company from a small country, you have all the ingredients for a memorable brand story.

If someone had told you in 1993 that Freitag would manage to turn truck tarps into it bags in Seoul by 2019, and create a best practice brand development story in the process, you may have questioned their judgement.

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Rapha is not a brand, it’s brand community management at its best

How does a small UK cycling apparel brand become the global benchmark for brand community management? Here’s why brands around the world use Rapha as a best practice case study.

In case a cycling jersey isn’t yet part of your casual wardrobe, read this brand story to learn why bike apparel may well set trends in mainstream clothing by 2025.

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Spain & Portugal on the Brand Horizon

Is it time for brand expansion to Spain and Portugal? The economic outlook for the Iberian peninsula is currently boosting the confidence of international retailers on the lookout for new opportunities.

Spain and Portugal are back in the mindset of expansion managers! Several international brands are currently revisiting their expansion strategies or considering taking up business in Spain and Portugal. There might even be more opportunities for international brands now than there were before the crises.

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Going Benelux? Done right, a growth opportunity for brands and retailers

What are the challenges and opportunities for brand expansion to Benelux? Learn how to best tap the full potential of the Benelux retail markets.

When considering new regions for brand expansion, Benelux countries may raise concern about their small size as well as the many different languages and other cultural particularities. But taken together, the relatively small countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg represent an often underestimated powerhouse.

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Adidas Best Practice Brand Distribution Strategy

Aiming for the world’s most affluent consumers in highly competitive environments: Adidas’ ‘Top City Strategy 2020’ is at halfway, what is best practice and what can you learn for your business?

It’s widely known that consumer markets and brand distribution channels have fundamentally changed over the past 25 years in more ways than anticipated. Fact is, the internet as a brand distribution channel grew from 0 to commonly 8-15% of sales. But far more relevant from a commercial and strategic perspective is that many formerly emerging countries, especially China and countries in the Middle East and Central Europe, grew to 30-40%  of total sales and profits in lifestyle brand distribution.

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India’s Fashion & Retail Sector: An Overview

Private consumption driven economic growth, a population of 1.3 billion with huge linguistic and social diversity… amongst other challenges and opportunities to consider before entering India’s fashion retail market!

A € 575 Billion consumer retail spending, growing to reach €975 Billion by end of 2022 and very favourable demographics make India one of the world’s most promising and exciting retail markets for years to come. With India’s fashion retail segment at about € 52 billion in 2017, and poised to cross €85 billion by end of 2022, India offers great opportunities for European and other international brands.

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Yes, the Italian Market Is on the Rise Again!

Milan’s CityLife Project, dm’s expansion to the Italian retail market and Starbucks’ Reserve Roastery plans indicate a revival of the Italian retail market.

A few months ago, I wrote about an apparent increase in attractiveness of the Italian market for foreign brands and asked, Is the Italian Market on the Rise Again? Meanwhile, Milan has seen a couple of important retail milestones and I would like to give you an update on the Italian retail market.

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Marketplaces Are Now the Biggest Digital Distribution Channel for Brands

Digital distribution via marketplaces is big business. The choice of marketplaces is large. Selecting the right ones and operational execution are key.

Germany’s Bundesverband Onlinehandel (BVOH) teamed up with the agency p.digital to conduct a study about the state of the e-commerce marketplace industry. The study ‘Marketplaces Across the World’ charts 335 marketplaces in Europe alone and lists over 740 globally.

These findings alone make obvious that e-commerce marketplaces in Europe and globally have become an important channel of distribution. But there is more:

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Don’t Trust Your KPI Expectations!

Explore how to keep management and organization committed if your KPIs for international expansion don’t meet the expectations.

This post shows how KPIs in new markets can differ enormously from your home market. When starting international expansion, reporting often needs to be reviewed to make sure that you get the full picture and give a new market its fair chance. This is part 6 of my series on international expansion, catch up with my previous pieces here.

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Is Your Store Format Ready for International Expansion? Part II

Customer Service levels and consumer expectations differ from country to country. This post (Part II of this series) shows how those differences affect your staffing and how you select, train, motivate and pay your store staff when expanding into new markets.

In Part I I talked about the specifics to consider when taking a proven retail format international with regards to store location, adjacencies, assortment, product mix, store size, dimensions, layout and store look and feel.

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Is Your Retail Format Ready for International Expansion? Part I

The days, when brands could establish a successful retail format at home and just roll it out internationally without major adaptations, are long over.

Customer centricity is the new holy grail in the retail business, promising prosperity and success for any retail format. Surprisingly, many brands still start to roll-out a retail format without even trying to understand whether and how consumers and their behaviors differ in a new market. This post illustrates what to explore and adapt to establish a successful retail format when going international.

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Brand Distribution: Why Now Is the Time for Mexico

Reaching a realistic assessment of Mexico’s brand distribution potential

As the second largest retail market in Latin America, Mexico has long been considered an attractive market for international retail brands. With Brazil in recession, Mexico has been able to further improve its position. The country is now on the radar of current and new players seeking to conquer market share. (more…)