For international CPG manufacturers, success in the U.S. is not guaranteed – part two

June 10, 2015By Behind the Shelf Blog, Brand Marketing

By Angela Pinkstaff

This is part two of a three-part blog series covering the critical steps to take when introducing an international product to the U.S. The previous post was an introduction and focused on market research. This post covers selling strategies and branding.

Boots on the ground: the right help for the right market

The research will undoubtedly reveal that the U.S. model of selling an item into retail outlets is complex, to put it nicely. Category review timeframes vary across retailers, requirements and slotting fees are not uniform, promotions are complicated to execute and analyze, and competition comes from every direction. The most important investment to make in this market is the team that will promote and build the brand in the U.S. It is essential to have a team of OTC retail experts driving the initiatives and aligning with the salesforce who will bring a launch to market. A dedicated stable of industry veterans headquartered on-site is key to not only establishing strong relationships with buyers, brokers and marketing agencies, but also assuring that all the right sales tools are developed to satisfy those decision-makers.

Branding, messaging, differentiatingBranding, messaging, differentiating

With the right research and a team of experts in hand, it’s critical to evaluate if the same branding that made a line successful outside the U.S. will do the same here. Is the messaging right for the core audience? Does the product offer any new benefits to the target consumer? Does it align with the current values and aspirations an American shopper is seeking within that category? Can the most innovative features and benefits of the product be easily identified at shelf? If the answer is no, more work needs to be done both on packaging and on differentiation.

The third and final post in this series will cover marketing strategy and launch timing. See you there.

Angela Pinkstaff

Angela leads the business development team in their efforts to build relationships with manufacturer clients across the health, beauty and wellness categories. In addition, she develops and implements strategic partnerships with clients to create growth and revenue in the retail and wholesale channels.

Leave a Reply