When entrepreneurs first ask about economic growth overseas, the BRIC countries usually work their way into the conversation early and often.
BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — represent huge growth potential throughout the 21st century as their economies come fully online and their populations increasingly engage with Western brands. The recently unveiled Trans-Pacific Partnership also shores up countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Peru and Japan for a U.S. brand overseas.
The BRIC countries, though, regularly experience growth of 8 percent or higher each year. That means a lot on its own in terms of your ability to expand your U.S. brand overseas because:
- That much growth indicates their local economies are booming;
- There’s relatively full economic engagement from those countries’ populations;
- Expendable income is high, and overseas markets want to engage; and
- Barriers to capitalism and advertising have been chiseled away.
The fact that in 2014 the total population of BRIC countries topped 3 billion people is also very persuasive.
4 Tips for Taking Your U.S. Brand Overseas
Freer markets, trade deals and population explosions in developing countries are some great reasons to take your brand overseas.
That said, there are a few preliminary considerations you want to make before taking your brand overseas — these include things like researching the overseas markets most conducive to your products and services and analyzing the growth potential in individual overseas countries.
1. Protect Against a Volatile Domestic Economy
There are actually 450,000 franchises in the United States, and tens of thousands of those franchises are looking for innovative ways to expand globally without sacrificing their branding image or compromising themselves by divvying up secondary statewide markets.
Expanding your brand overseas allows you to escape the potential volatility, restrictions and local competitiveness of the domestic economy and strike out on your own. While you obviously won’t be sacrificing anything by expanding overseas — since you’ll still retain your brand and stores in the U.S. — there’s a huge upside to engaging new markets.
2. Capitalize on Huge Purchasing Power Internationally
The Office of the United States Trade Representative — an official U.S. government body — reported that approximately three-fourths of the world’s purchasing power is coming from nations outside the U.S., and that 95 percent of the world’s entire consumer base comes from outside the United States.
Since franchises and businesses are realizing more and more that an international brand has greater clout than a solely domestic one, companies are hedging their bets and developing an international strategy in addition to a domestic one.
3. Remember to Protect Your Trademarks and Copyrights
After searching out the most receptive markets for your brand, the next thing that you’ll want to do is protect your trademarks overseas.
This lowers the chance of any legal problems over copycats or intellectual copyright legal wrangling, which can be complicated going on incomprehensible for U.S. executives and franchise owners trying to understand laws and court proceedings in foreign countries.
You want to make sure beforehand that overseas businesses don’t already have similar names or product offerings as well.
4. Determine the Receptivity and Maturity of Foreign Markets
The next thing you’ll want to do to ensure that you take your U.S. brand overseas successfully is determine the development of the market that you’re looking at expanding into.
A truly fledgling economy might not offer the same brand opportunities as a full-fledged mature market, which will be more receptive to international brands and likely will have the logistics and infrastructure (e.g., shipping, marketing, supply and service costs) in place to ensure that your brand hits the ground running and experiences true growth overseas.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can expand your Signarama franchise overseas, contact us today.