Launching your brand into a new market can be a daunting and tricky task – no matter if in Malaysia or anywhere else in the region. With large amounts of capital at stake, many brands think twice about making the step forward. However, when executed successfully, brands can reach new customers and earn new revenue streams at the same time.
We put together a short list of actions you should consider when preparing the entry into a new market.
Understanding the new market
- Do enough research. Assuming to know what the target audience wants is a common mistake. Do your research and get the facts straights – taking a very close look at the market is crucial to determine the most pressing needs, desires and issues of the local target audience. Answering these questions will help you to position your brand more fittingly into the market.
- Where is your audience? With the constantly increasing number of content platforms in Malaysia – both online and offline – it’s critical to know how to reach your audience – whether it’s through newspapers, social media, newsletter subscriptions, or blogs. Your brand needs to concentrate its efforts on the appropriate channels, in order to get the most mileage out of your resources.
- Tailored content. Localisation is key, something might work in Singapore, but not necessarily in Malaysia – or vice versa. Tailoring your brand’s content will help you to shape your messaging in a way that your audience can relate to.
Knowing the competition
- Do a competitive analysis. When entering a new market, you need to identify all the different factors that contribute to the success (and failure) of existing brands in the market. Why is it that other brands don’t seem to find their footing? What is the market leader doing so well that propels them to the top? Study your competitors’ methods, determining what works for them and what doesn’t.
- Why is your brand different? Don’t become a carbon-copy of your competitors, as being different is pivotal. Making your brand stands out offers great marketing power. With immediate competition and an audience that doesn’t know your brand, the move into a new market isn’t to be taken lightly. Creating your own niche will help you to eliminate the number of direct competitors your brand has to manage.
Keep a close eye on the market
- Spot trends fast. Most industries move very fast these days – and the same is true for trends. Being the first to move on a particular trend can be a powerful tool for your brand. Stay up-to-date with the market and all the latest trends in order to fully understand the interests of consumers, as they will be watching the trends too. It’s also an opportunity to capture new and broader audiences.
- Meet the industry network. Don’t get left behind and mingle with smart business leaders, as they are always on the lookout for trends and whatever comes next. Remember that not all trends start online, so get talking to the industry by attending networking sessions.
Find media opportunities
- Owned media. When building a communication strategy for your brand, it’s crucial to ensure your messaging is consistent. An easy way to spread the word about your brand and what you are all about is by using your own media channels, including your company blog, thought-leadership pieces on LinkedIn and other social media channels. In whatever you do, make sure that you are on brand.
- Earned media. Your earned media channels are your brand’s PR and social media efforts, also including media coverage, reviews, blog and social media mentions. As consumers are exposed to countless ads on a daily basis, earned media is an effective way to stand out from the crowd.
Here are three questions on how to determine brand-appropriate earned media opportunities:
- What is unique about your brand that would interest national, local, or trade-related news outlets?
- Do you have any existing customers who could be brand advocates within the new market?
- Would they be willing to tell the world how they have benefited from your brand and offering?
Earned media can be very effective, as customers tend to trust the opinions and experiences of other customers – more than any other sources or even media. The entry into a new market is never easy and can be bumpy at times, but a strategic approach will smoothen your road to success.
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