Many 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. Having a successful business elsewhere does not automatically make you thrive in the U.S. The same assumption applies to your products. Culture and tastes are tremendously different worldwide. While some products may succeed, others may fail. Therefore, you might want to know and do the following.
Do I know the psychological behavior of my future consumers?
Consumers worldwide can have a different approach to 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. For example, what Europeans consider to be an upscale product, may not be the same in the U.S. To better understand how different markets can be, see the “Upscale McDonald’s brings European style to NYC”. You’ll be astonished about how concepts are transforming around the world.
Case Study: Salad Box Europe vs. Salad Box US
Salad Box is a very popular concept. It has over 70 locations in Europe, therefore, we didn’t doubt for a second about how strong this brand is. However, after we started the U.S. expansion, we could see that something was missing, our sales were not big enough. Because we failed to do our homework before bringing this concept to the U.S. market, we had to think smart and fast. What was missing from this concept? After analyzing the market, the customers’ behavior and the competition around the city, we came up with a sad conclusion. By offering only salads we were limiting the brand penetration. Fast action needed to be taken. In less than one month, we added two more products to our menu: Warm Box (something similar to a bowl – you can substitute the greens for the grains) and the Crepe Box (the salad comes in a spinach homemade crepe). Both of the products are now a success. We are selling 60% of the original Salad Boxes and 40% of the new products. This experiment tuned out well in the end. But with what costs for the business?
Do your homework
So before relocating from any market 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? 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.