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Customer focus is the key to breaking into a new market

Sep 12, 2017

Customer focus is the key to breaking into a new market
by McQueenie Mulholland

If you want to launch your products into a new market you need outstanding customer focus. Take a lesson from KFC. In 1987 they launched the brand in China, with their famous ‘Finger lickin’ good’ tagline. At least, that’s what they wanted to say. But a poor translation turned it into ‘We’ll eat your fingers off’. Not an attractive proposition for their new audience.

You might not need to worry about translating your messages into Chinese, but it’s still important to communicate clearly. When you’re talking to a new audience who nothing about you, or your products, every word you say is important.

A new market can be a new geographic market (which could be a new part of the UK or a new country), or it could be a new sector. Whichever it is, your challenge is the same: You have to grab the attention of your new audience. Remember, they’re not looking for you or your product. You need to give them a reason to listen to you. You need them to give you enough time to explain why they need your product.

The easiest way to do this is to talk about your audience, not your product. Show them that you understand their business. Talk about their challenges and opportunities. Tell them how your product fits into their business. Tell them how it will add value to their business. You need to be customer focused, not focused on yourself.

You also need to pick the right time and place for that conversation. Is that at a trade show? Is it through social media? Is it a brochure through the post? Is it a telephone call? If you’re customer focused you’ll know which one (or which combination) is right.

If you’re considering a move into a new market, it pays to take the time to do some research and develop your customer focus. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.