Exporting is a brilliant way to take your business up a gear, but first-time exporters to Asia often fall into the same traps – here are the top ones to watch out for:
- First-time exporters often misunderstand local cultural differences when exporting to Asia and this can cause huge difficulties. Cultural awareness is key to a brand’s success and even something very simple can make the difference. For instance, a company trying to sell a green hat in China is likely to fail as, within local culture, if a man wears a green hat it means his wife is cheating on him!
- Timing is another thing first-time exporters often get wrong. Everything from local festivals to weather patterns must be considered carefully – seasons for clothing and food in particular are very sensitive.
- Location is another element that often trips people up. The tendency is to target the biggest or most famous cities within a country first when launching a new product. However, this isn’t always the best policy. If launching a fashion brand in Asia, for instance, it could flop if the city is particularly politically sensitive but fly in a more commercial city. Even within the same country, mindset can be completely different.
- First time exporters also frequently run into legal problems. Where jurisdictions vary by regions within a country this can be particularly tricky. For example, a brand could enter Hong Kong but find they can’t enter the Chinese mainland due to it being under a different jurisdiction. Never make assumptions.
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