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How to scale your brand from local to global

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Shammi Agarwal
Shammi Agarwalhttps://www.indiaretailing.com
Shammi Agarwal is the director of Pansari Group, a Delhi-based FMCG company that has 450 SKUs and does business in 80 countries.

From understanding the market to crisis management, there are several factors that brands aspiring to transcend national borders must consider before taking the leap

For any company, scaling up from a local player to a global level is a big transition which requires a strong foresight, planning and capability to adapt to the constantly changing market. However, when it comes to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), the entire market has gone through a remarkable transformation. Recent reports suggest that by 2025, the FMCG market is expected to reach nearly $220 billion, with a growth rate of 14.7%. As companies aspire to extend their reach beyond borders it is important that they understand what the expansion entails.

Research

The first and foremost step is comprehensive market research, it is one of the basic requirements that every company must meet. It helps them to identify target demographics, assess competition, and tailor their products and marketing strategies accordingly. For instance, a product that resonates with consumers in one region might require modifications to suit the tastes and preferences of consumers in another.

Supply Chain Optimisation

One of the most vital steps in scaling up a brand from local to global is to have a strong supply chain infrastructure. From the supply of raw materials to consumption by the end customer, a supply chain consists of all the operations and actions that are required in the manufacture and delivery of a product. By optimising inventory management and reducing sourcing, manufacturing, storage and delivery times, a company not only accelerates its business but also reduces logistic costs, which can be substantial.

Managing Unexpected Events

Crisis management is another skill that every company must master when scaling up from local to global. When unexpected events take place like geopolitical shifts, economic fluctuations, and market uncertainties, companies must have a backup plan. For instance, when India banned the export of rice due to skyrocketing food prices in 2023 it impacted the operations in the segment. Diversifying and pushing other products helps to minimise the impact of such unforeseen events. If one product faces export restrictions, having alternative products ready for market entry can help mitigate financial losses.

Regulatory Compliance

Steering through regulatory frameworks, trade policies and compliance requirements is another aspect when scaling up. A brand must follow product safety standards, import/export protocols and labelling regulations to maintain brand reputation and avoid unnecessary risks. Investing in legal counsel and regulatory experts can provide invaluable guidance in navigating complex regulatory landscapes.

E-Commerce and Digitisation

In the era of digitisation, the use of digital platforms can help amplify a brand’s visibility at a global level. According to a CMO Survey, 56% of businesses are modifying their business models to take advantage of digital opportunities. Additionally, forging strategic partnerships with distributors, retailers, and e-commerce platforms facilitates market penetration and enhances brand reach. Collaborating with local influencers and leveraging cultural events can also help resonate with target audiences and build brand affinity.

Training and Development

Lastly, every successful business expansion requires a strong corporate culture and a pool of talent. Investing in talent development programs, cross-cultural training, and leadership development initiatives equips employees with the skills and mindset needed to excel in global markets. Also, leadership development programs can help the team and the company at various levels to take on the required roles and enhance organisational resilience and adaptability.

In short, transitioning from local to global is a challenging proposition for any brand, especially in this dynamic and competitive market. While the journey may be fraught with challenges and uncertainties, it also presents immense opportunities for growth and expansion. By adapting to the changing market and aligning with consumer needs, brands can carve a distinct identity in the global marketplace and cement their position as industry leaders.

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