A few years back I was approached by a European-based skincare company about helping them penetrate the US market. At the time, their products were sold in over 20 countries. They contacted me with the specific request to help them find distribution for their products. A quick Skype later and I found that they would be in the US at a big tradeshow in the next month, and we agreed to meet there. I asked why they decided to exhibit at the tradeshow, and they excitedly responded, “We are using this show as the US launch of our brand!” When asked what they expected from exhibiting at this tradeshow they said, “It’s the best way to gain distribution in the US.” According to whom? I wondered…
I met them at the show. They had a beautiful booth with ample inventory and staffed by 6 people they had paid to bring over. They had a technician and a table to perform services. They had a video loop of impressive before and after images. They even had white lab coats with their logo on a patch. As a result of the tradeshow, they were unable to secure any US distribution and had spent the entire annual marketing budget they had allocated for the US launch. They claimed they didn’t have a single, meaningful conversation with a potential distributor at the show. I suggested they back up a few steps and get to know how the US market operates first. While they agreed, it was too late for them. They simply could not afford any more activity necessary to enter the market. That was nearly 5 years ago. This brand is still not available in the US.
Since then, I have been approached by several international companies with the same question: “Can you help us find distribution in the United States?” To which I always respond, “Yes, but first…”
Based on the potential opportunity and the sales it represents, the promise of an established business in the United States is alluring to any company from the outside. From the inside, establishing a business in the US is extremely complex. From regional market differentiation to national tradeshows and publications, navigating the market is fraught with obstacles that challenge even the most seasoned American businesses. Understanding, in great detail, your company and brand’s place in the US market will determine the size of the opportunity and is essential to crafting a successful launch plan and budget. This is not something to enter into hastily or remotely.
Go 2 Market USA has developed a five-step plan for a successful launch in the US market that helps establish realistic and achievable goals, reduces costs of entry and expedites the path to meaningful distribution.
Yes, we can help you get distribution in the US, but first…