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How to Peel the Export Onion


Peel back each layer of a new market to find the opportunity
Opening a new market is like taking apart an onion.  You cannot reach that fresh, delicate bit in the middle, and keep it in good condition without carefully peeling back the outer layers.

Finding a valuable niche here in New Zealand or in a new international markets requires patience to start on the outside looking into a market and then working your way in layer by layer until you understand how to get to the right place, with the right product, talking to the right people.

What does this mean in reality?

On the outside aspiring exporters have to understand at a high level where the right market is?  Should you be thinking geography, by segment, by channel? Then you need to develop a set of factors to analyse the market options and use a tool such as a market selection matrix to prioritise which markets to look at further.

Moving onto the next layer you will want to validate there is genuine, valuable opportunity for you in the market.  Developing a process to understand the needs of all members of the value chain from importer to end user will validate interest in your product, where interest lies and will begin to guide you to where likely market partners and target end user are.

Peeling back another layer you are in a position to target a series of potential market partners. They may be importers, wholesalers or retailers who can help you reach your customer or consumer.  Understanding your business strategy and capabilities, you will know what in market partners will be able to do for you and can qualify them directly on that basis.

Picking up on an earlier layer, when you pitch to the potential market partners you can bring in all the insights taken from the in market validation phase of your work.  This will enable you to tailor your pitch and demonstrate knowledge that there is demand for your offer in market.  It is therefore valuable for any in market company to partner with you.

In the retail world there generally stands one more layer between you and the consumer.  The retailers.  The work that you have done validating the market and working to identify quality market partners will ensure that retailers will consider your offer seriously.  You can demonstrate demand, service and support and you will have built a market growth plan with your partners to support retail.

Finally we reach the softer, sweeter core.  The consumer. The end user. The operator.  They are going to be ready to engage with your offer because having peeled back the layers with care you know exactly who they are, where to find them, what their needs are and how your offer addresses them.  You know what to say to ignite their interest and get them to seek out your offer.

So when you think about digging into a new market think about the fun to be had in taking apart that onion. Look at the structure and function and detail as you go and identify what that core look like to you and how you want to get to it.

Happy ANZAC Weekend!

The Katabolt Team

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