Expanding to new markets requires thorough research on target market, localisation, and partnerships

Launching a product to a new market is a strategic process where many aspects from the product’s growth stage to suitable partners need to be considered. Success in the new market is ensured by following a coherent plan.

September 5, 2022

What you need to consider when expanding to new markets

Expanding to new markets can be both exciting and scary. We at Bell Rock want to help you through the process one step at a time. In comparison to traditional products, digital products are easier to deliver but launching them to a new market relies more on systematic planning and hands-on preparation. Therefore, having a strategic approach and the right learning mindset is important.

Usually, there are two starting points when considering expansion to new markets. Either the company has saturated its market position in the existing market or is yet to find the right product to fit in the current market.

To successfully launch your product in a new location, the most important aspects to think about are the target market holistically - which includes but is not limited to, localisation of the product, local nuances and having feet on the ground and partners in the new market.  Additionally, understanding the competitive landscape and making sure the supply and demand meet in the new market, is a necessary step.

Choosing and analysing the target market is the first step to expansion

Understanding the target market is one of the most significant things in expanding your business. Whether you already have a target market in mind, or you are searching for it, comparison between the markets will give you essential insights. The closer your home market is to the new one, not only geographically but within other aspects too, the easier it will be to adapt the product.

Analysing the target market includes also doing competitor analysis about the existing players on the field. Knowing your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses, will help in building competitive advantage.

Think more local than locals.

Localisation is needed in adapting the product to a new market

In the very early stages of product development, it is possible to test a one-size-fits-all version of the product in the new location if the market is similar enough to the home market. While this may give the first test product to get feedback on, the product has to be thoroughly reviewed wearing the localisation lens.

Localisation means adapting the product to the new market and acknowledging the differences between the customers in each location. It includes aspects such as translating the products and pages, offering customer service in the local language, taking cultural differences into consideration, and including prices in the right currency.

One part of the localisation process is hiring local employees. Having your home market employees work on the new market, you will miss key nuances and local understanding. Prioritising in hiring new employees depends on the product growth stage. In the early stages of product growth, a country head is not necessarily needed, but when the steam picks up, it is important to have someone lead the way locally.

Local partners are a benefit in product development

Partners in the new location are beneficial on every stage of the expansion process. In the early stages, they can help by being the eyes and ears of your company. Local partners are familiar with the regulations and culture, and they have a better understanding of the supply and demand. Partners can also help with testing out the product by doing a limited pilot.

From the economic perspective, having good partners will also save you money and time. For example, in one case we saw the long tail of localisation work being cut from 12 months down to 3 months with the right local partners.

Existing partners are beneficial in the launch phase. However, expanding your network after initial launch is equally important. Ideal partners work in the same field but are not direct competitors. They understand your line of business but target customers at a different level of the customer journey.

Bell Rock can help you succeed in launching your product to a new market

Bell Rock’s experience and expertise in expanding to new markets with digital products will ensure an effortless step by step journey to expanding your business. Let us help you in taking your product to the next level!

To learn more about expanding your product to new markets, read our Go-To-Market playbook. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post, where we will go in depth about how to choose the right market to expand to, and which frameworks to utilize in the process.

About the author

Sushma Padmanabhan
Head of Product Management
+358 40 182 1580

Experienced in

– leading digital B2B and B2C products

– product launches in Europe, Asia, and US markets

– expansions into new markets

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