Transnational marketing is part of a daily routine for entrepreneurs operating in the UK and in Central & Eastern European Countries. This also includes circumstances, where goods are produced in a Central & Eastern European Country to distribute in the UK as well as when entrepreneurs intend to move or expand their business to the UK. During more than 10 years of experience introducing Polish and Lithuanian companies to the British market by DM2 Agency, the same issues, questions are often repeated. And more importantly: behaviours, which if not properly directed, will cost the business tens of thousands of pounds, frustration and disappointment. For this, I share my experience, because I support entrepreneurs and it is a pity where even well-functioning business on the frontier between EU-UK for reasons, mentioned below, simply… ‘go bust’!
Transnational Marketing ‘boils down’ to marketing beyond the border of any given nation. There are marketing tools or services, which originate from any places and consider cultural and linguistic differences, as well as take numerous points of views and utilise synergy found between many territories and cultures. McDonald’s is a good and common example of transnational marketing. The menu is decided by each country, which they operate, based on national culture, tastes, local preference, and it impacts on the most common local ingredients, e.g. Ebi Filet-O Shrimp Burger in Japan, Wieśmak in Poland, McCurry Pan in India. However, the overall feeling and appearance of each McDonald’s point look the same.
According to the power of NeuroMarketing and effective communication based on which I create strategies for my clients – we better internalise information “which mistakes not to commit”, hence we are focusing on communication of “pain” and ways to avoid it. For all these entrepreneurs, who do not want to lose their hard-earned money, their precious time, long built reputation and those who do not want to be disappointed by defeat at a new market – I have prepared warning list.
How to well prepare for effective entry on the British market?
1. EUROPEAN REGULATIONS IS NOT ALL!
Even if your product or service has EU certificate, you still must check British regulations in your categories. This may sound unbelievable, but this is my daily routine. Ignorance to internal UK rules may in no less than 24h completely freeze eCommerce sales, e.g. on Amazon!
Entering a promotion, we must be certain whether e.g. we advertise dietary supplements or herbal products… the decision is made by internal regulations in the UK, regardless of your registration in your home country.
2. YOUR POSITION IN YOUR COUNTRY DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME IN THE UK
Companies with several years of experience or even if operating with success for more than 10 years on the market other than the British one, with an impressive portfolio – must think about your company as… a start-up. This often is emotional and sometimes hurts the pride, but… in such circumstances I always remind that it is about achieving the results and not feeding ‘ego’. Beyond this, I prepare an integrated strategy for a company, using worked up potential, building the reliability of the brand. Suitable Joined Up Strategy for the market in the UK is worth since it is a gateway to American and Asian markets. And those markets will first check performance in the UK.
3. ENSURING TRADEMARK REGISTERED IN YOUR COUNTRY IS SECURE, IT MUST BE CHECKED IN ENGLISH COUNCIL!
You checked the market, planned marketing budget and made an action plan. And what if competition on the UK market has trademarked very similar naming or looking logo??? Again: patented symbols for a whole of Europe through council in your country does not guarantee safe operating of business. ‘Devil is in the details’ and this best summed up in details in which categories you operate, which words are used in the name, how similar existing products exist, etc. etc.
4. DOCUMENTS MUST BE SUITABLE TO THE UK REGIME AND NOT SIMPLY TRANSLATED!
Not discussing legal aspects such as contracts regarding packaging or production leaflets. Taking an example from the food industry: allergies are commonly known, but in the UK there are specifically 8 which are sensitive and demand further labelling. Have you listed them while selling in the UK?
5. YOUR COUNTRY CURRENCY OR BRITISH POUNDS – YOU MUST TREAT CUSTOMERS FAIRLY
The British market is uniquely grateful for business and absolutely encourages to conquer it! If your product/service is the same in a manner you direct your business in your country – remember to have comparable prices in your country currency and in British pounds. Even when you have higher costs to operate your sale in the UK – beware of shortcuts to make fortune via releasing on the market products/services which are at the higher price than in your country currency. Of course, I know checked and legal methods to be both competitive on the market and excellent in business’ prosperity. However, we warn against ‘suicide squad price policy’.
6. EACH CLIENT IS UNIQUE
Even if targeting at EU minorities in the UK (e.g. at the beginning of your operation) – remember to make an analysis of the target group. Look at my example based on Polish minorities in the UK. For example, your product defined through ‘Polishness’ (in production and standards) may have a huge impact on the UK customer if it is associated with quality; whereas clients in Poland look for completely different aspects other than ‘Polishness’ to motivate their purchase behaviour. They have different social media platforms, have a different standard of customer service. A behavioural analysis, which I with my agency take, allows companies to precisely define all changes and needs to build and manage an effective promotion.
7. ENGLISH WAY OF RUNNING A BUSINESS
I absolutely do not evaluate or what way is better, more appropriate. Good is one which gets measurable effects 😊 However… ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ – and this applies in business contacts in the UK, including networking, using social media, public speaking, managing teams. Note the fact of cultural differences, different national temperaments, the difference in using, also known as, abilities to use soft skills taught already at elementary stages in England. It is also important to face myths, which may unnecessarily cloud the development of your business in the United Kingdom.
To summarise, leaders predict, weaklings react! For this reason, it is important to take care of your business, your product/service as to successfully operate on the British market. Regardless if you just started or already operate – assess your business and reflect on these 7 points and erase weak aspects which are not useful to you. I guarantee that you will find that your position will strengthen in relation to competition, partners and most importantly your potential clients.
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers”
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