There are products and business models that only work in the country of origin but do not just fit in other countries
In the 1990s, the Spanish company Gullón made the first biscuit with olive oil. Today it would probably be a disaster, but at that moment it did not reap the expected success. It was soon and the market was not prepared to digest such innovation: a cookie, which is something sweet, made with oil. In Portugal there are pizzas of cod, something that in Spain makes us weird, just as the French do not pass them By the head remove the lactose to their cheeses, which are considered almost as national heritage, while in Spanish supermarkets more and more brands have their lactose-free version because the consumer demands. There are businesses, products or formats that succeed here, but Not there, and vice versa: "Everything depends on the market, the type of population and the pattern of consumption. A brand that wants to export to another country has to explore these parameters well to see if its product is going to be successful or not, "says Carlos Peregrina, consumer expert at consultancy KPMG.For Ana Barrio, a specialist at Nielsen, the first We must understand "is that each country is a world, with different flavors and palates. For you to do well outside you have to adapt to the smell and local taste. There are flavors that fascinate in some places, but that are impossible in others. One example is Cherry Coke, the cherry-flavored cola, which "triumphs in the United States and in Spain, however, did not have much acceptance," says Ignacio Ochoa, partner of consultancy Branward. Not to sweetnessThis expert quotes a string of products that, because of their flavor, are not exportable or do not work in our country: sweet jellies or liqueurs like Tia Maria or Bols, which are very consumed in the US. Even Liquor 43, which rains mostly outside Spain. "The taste for the sweet, the pasty, here works less," says Ochoa. For Peregrina, "there is no exact science, you have to explore every market." He puts as an example the case of pizzas, a product that is sold all over the world, but "with very different flavors. Barbecue pizza, for example, likes in Spain, but does not convince in other countries ». Francisco Pérez, consumer expert at KPMG Spain, points out that the first thing to do if you want to sell your product in other markets is to see if there are analogous or similar products, to examine the competition. It is also important to find out if there is a category already created or must be created, because, in this case, you have to explain to the consumer first what that product is going to sell you. Explain the Serrano
Exporting a type of wine to a country where this drink is already consumed is easier than doing it in a place where you do not drink. Perez cites the case of Iberian ham, a very patriotic product, but which in some markets is totally unknown. "In some countries it is necessary to tell where it comes from. As this category of product does not exist, we must explain to the consumer what it is before selling it. "One of the most well-known Spanish brand international adventures is that of Cola Cao in China. This product so popular in our country (it is a love brand, as experts call it the brands most loved and valued by the consumer) did not get caught in the Asian market, where they do not eat milk, but soup. Also tried to sell Nocilla, but the same happened because they hardly eat bread. "Selling a product that dissolves in milk to a country where dairy products are not taken is complicated," explains Ana Barrio. "To succeed outside, you have to meet a local consumer's need," says Antonio Hernando, director of marketing at Ipsos. Carlos Peregrina reminds us that we must be careful with names, because "there are some that sound good in English but their Adaptation in Castilian does not stick and vice versa. Gullón, for example, adapts the name according to the country. In the United States the bio label is marketed under the label because the American market rewards this denomination.Lo patrio According to Francisco Pérez, "not all segments of production have the same difficulties or facilities." Feeding, he says, is one of the most difficult sectors to win away from home, since "products of proximity always have a safety component. You tend to rely more on what has been cultivated or manufactured in your country than on what comes from outside, "he says. Sometimes the product is so closely related to the local that it" represents nationality. " Consuming it is a patriotic exercise and buying the foreigner is considered almost heresy. "Markets that are very potent in making one type of product assimilate the imported one worse," says Peret. It happens to the French with their cars. Most of the national brands are bought: PSA and Renault. The same happens with Nocilla.
The Germans, for example, have an important motor industry and yet they buy more foreign cars than the French, "says Carlos Peregrina. Very national oil and wine are also wine and oil. According to experts, in the case of these two products prejudices determine much success or failure to sell abroad: "In many countries they believe that French wine is better than Spanish wine because for years the former were better sold outside . We exported a lot in bulk and we did not emphasize quality ", they say in KPMG. Now this has changed, but" it is already difficult to convince the consumer of another country that our broths are equal or better than the French ", they indicate in KPMG. The same happens with oil in the United States, "those that are marketed under the Italian brand have more stuck because they have better fame." «Colombian coffee, Scotch whiskey, French champagne, Belgian chocolate or Italian pasta ... We have these clichés in mind because for a long time the brand ambassadors (from companies to institutions) have tried hard to convey us Which are the option that best suits our needs, for quality, price or innovation, "says Antonio Hernando, of Ipsos.Avecrem in Africa Experts consulted explain that sometimes, to succeed beyond your borders, you have to reposition Your product, sell it differently or with another use. Avecrem, for example, sells his pills in Africa, but while here they are a condiment for cooking, in that continent they are the main meal of many homes. With a pill it becomes broth with which the members of the whole family eat. "The same product in different markets can be positioned in different ranges or segments", explain industry sources. Marks & Spencer As with products, there are also business models that only work at home. Experts agree that one type of business that is not exportable is the department store. Marks & Spencer did not win in Spain and had to close. The same happened with the American chain Sears. "The default business models are difficult to export. If the market is mature is complicated ", summarizes Ignacio Ochoa. The thing changes if that concept of business does not exist yet. It happened with the first hypermarkets that opened in Spain. There were no such establishments and the French chain Carrefour knew to see the business, explains Ochoa, partner of Branward. For Rubén González-Román, "the key to success is not so much about expanding a product or service as a brand and a proposal of relevant value." It sets the example of why Ikea did succeed in China, but the Home Depot did not. "The consumer in China needs a guide, be educated when it comes to decorating his house." "Ikea did understand that implication," but not the other competitor. Non-exportable fashion In fashion, export "is more applicable to product than to brands or a very particular business model," says Gosia Pajkowska, an expert in the sector. For example, in Spain "has never triumphed the sale by catalog or the business of second-hand products, until now that Wallapop has hit the nail," matiza.Pajkowska quotes the adventures without too much success of brands such as Avon (beauty counselors Without point of sale) or "the attempts to throw shoes with heels of remove and put, that have been a failure". "Many times brands do not do market research well, they do not think about the user or the design, it is key that a product or concept wins or not," he says. For Hernando, from Ipsos, some foreign products succeed in Spain and others not because the first do not skip the red light, network in English: Relevance, Expensiveness and Differenciation: are the three elements for a concept to succeed in a market » .