The US and Australia have a lot in common but the difference in the size of their populations makes the brand development process very different in each country. The smaller Australian market requires a company to offer a range of products if it intends to grow its domestic business, while the vast US market requires a growth focused company to stick with its core products but spread itself across America.
Starbucks has dominated the US coffee-house market by making coffee its focus and opening cafés in all major cities and suburbs. McDonalds has been very cautious about rolling out the McCafe product in the US because it could dilute the profitable burgers-n-fries identity of McDonalds in America. Consequently, Australian companies need to continually remind themselves that focusing on a small number of core products is important for US market entry.
If Australian companies focus on their core products when entering the US market it will be easier for them to teach consumers about their product. Lack of a core product can leave the American consumer confused about your company’s identity. US customers that are looking for a specialized product will get nervous if they hear, “Yeah, we can do it all mate”, even if the Australian company can do it all!
The American admiration for the “can do” spirit does not extend to “our company can do everything”, so successful Australian companies need to constantly promote the one factor that their customer sees as a strength even though the Australians may use their real strength (i.e. Australian ingenuity and adaptability) to deliver the required outcomes.
Australian companies that successfully used this strategy when first entering the US are Boral (bricks), Austal (ships), News Corporation (newspapers), and Westfield (shopping malls). Once you have established your presence in the US you can increase your product range because your customers will be familiar with your brand.