We recently completed a project for an international consumer goods company, working with them to develop a plan for launching a brand in the UK, a new market for our client.
Our top 7 tips for launching a brand into a new market
1. Never underestimate the knowledge which can be found inside the company.
Talk to those who live and breathe the brand already. Take time to understand the brand history, the founders, the values and ethos of the company, speak to colleagues to hear about the brand and get their thoughts – they often have the answer!
2. Be clear who your consumer is and what makes them tick.
It doesn’t matter which market you’re in, understanding consumers is vital to understanding your brand in a new market. What makes (or could make) the brand stand out to these consumers? What pain points can you help overcome? Think about creating consumer typologies so you can be clear and align on a single consumer target that will drive sales for this brand. You don’t always need a full-scale segmentation study but put together some hypotheses on consumer types and validate them with data.
3. Immerse yourself in the category.
Visit and research anywhere where your consumers buy this type of product (in store and online), look at shelf space, how many brands are on offer, what’s promoted, speak to staff in store, ask friends and family and experts in the category. Understand what’s happening in the category and how the brand would fit into this. Walk in consumers’ shoes!
4. Look at the competition.
It sounds obvious but look at what the competition are doing. What makes you different to them? Are there any similarities? This will allow you to consider how the brand could position itself. It’s particularly pertinent when the category you’re looking to launch into is a crowded one.
5. Use the data.
Any decisions should be insight led, so look at market and consumer trends, customer behaviour and market insight. Mine the data sources you already have but look at what’s out there in the public domain. Source relevant category data to further understand to the category and competition to help confirm any hypotheses you have.
6. Use all the diagnostic work to inform your strategy and execution.
Turn the data into insight and work your strategy hard from there. You should be able to map positioning options for the brand in the new market and what that would look like across the 4Ps. You may need to create two or three possible positionings to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses. Of course, you may come to the conclusion that it isn’t right to launch the brand into this new market!
7. Think about retailers.
Whether it is online or instore, retailers are going to determine whether you fall at the first hurdle in getting on shelf. Think about what those buyers want and need from a new entrant into the category, then work hard to deliver that. Whether it be game-changing innovation or margin additive products, ensure you deliver against their category strategies and be clear why the brand works for them, not just for the brand owner.
Author: Michelle Solomon
Michelle, or Mich as she likes to be known, is a brand and communications strategist with experience working for blue chip companies, government bodies and national charities. With a degree in psychology, Mich likes using her skills to identify what drives and motivates customers and colleagues. Charming, tenacious and persistent, Mich is passionate about customer experience and enjoys facilitating workshops to unearth actionable insight for clients.