If you find yourself in this situation, pay attention to this article today and save yourself from having a hard time tomorrow. Many European companies are drawn to the U.S. because the market has a lot to offer. However, if you decide to relocate or expand your business in this competitive environment, you should first ask yourself some questions. And do your homework.
Do I have a good understanding of the U.S. market?
Having a successful business in Europe does not automatically make you thrive in the U.S. The same assumption applies to your products. European culture and tastes are tremendously different compared to U.S. consumers. While some products may succeed, others may fail. To get a glimpse into what difficulties you may encounter, think about the Kinder Surprise eggs. Nope, not the ones with 2 crispy wafer bites filled with cocoa cream and a plastic spoon. The original Kinder Surprise, the hollow chocolate eggs containing a plastic capsule with a small surprise inside. Even though this product is very popular in Europe, for safety reasons, Kinder Surprise was banned in the U.S. Hundreds of thousand eggs have been confiscated so far. Luckily, the Italian company Ferrero came up with a different egg version for the U.S. It’s shaped like an egg, but inside there are two separate sealed halves. But what’s the cost of this failure for the manufacturer? You name it.
Do I know the psychological behavior of my future consumers?
Precisely like the Kinder Surprise example, consumers worldwide can have a different approach towards a product. Education, age, gender, race, average wage, and many other factors can play a key role in determining how your consumers would look like. What Europeans consider to be an upscale product, may not be the same in the U.S. By only analyzing McDonald’s, you can acknowledge that the differences between the two continents are astonishing. While in the U.S., the fast-food chain is perceived as a product for the mainly lower class, in Europe, McDonald’s focuses on the middle and upper class, and even considered by many an upper-class restaurant. You can tell by the location’s modern decor, customers’ appearance and average meal value, which competes with even healthy food fast-casual restaurants.
So before relocating from Europe to the U.S., do yourself a favor and include a Marketing Analysis and Strategy in your business plan. Is your product good enough for the market you are trying to penetrate? What are the attributes that make your product stand out in a crowded market? What can you learn from your competitors? Literally, you are competing with everything that’s out there. However, these are questions that can only be answered by performing advanced research. And this is where the Consumer Behavior and Market Analysis studies step in. This is how you determine your consumer’s emotional, mental and behavioral responses to your product and smooth out your entrance in the new market.
Truthfully, you can’t predict the future, but at least you can plan for it.