It is in both the obvious and overlooked market niches in the US where Australian companies can find profits. Potential exporters should look closely for US markets where they can sell their product.
While it may sound like a joke, the estimated sales of Halloween costumes for pets in 2013 was US$ 330 million and this market is growing rapidly. Gearing up for the Halloween season takes a year long plan but for companies that are already selling dress-up accessories for animals it represents a chance to reach a group of consumers who go beyond spending on the basics to spend on the things they really care about, and that includes their pets. This tells us that there are niches in America where consumers are spending like they did before the recession.
RVs, or recreational vehicles, symbolize America’s romance with the road. The road trip is an enduring American tradition but when the recession hit hard in 2008 sales of RVs dropped by about 70%. That market shock is over and a cross-section of Americans, including older Baby Boomers and young families, are back buying RVs. Like vacation homes, RVs are not “must have" items, and these motorised trailers suck a lot of gas, but consumers who can pay their mortgage have decided that a vacation home on wheels is a worthwhile purchase. The numbers don’t lie.
1. Determine how your product is in line with current US trends.
First conduct internet based research on sales of products similar to yours in the US market and then seek help from your State government export development agency, e.g. NSW Trade and Investment or DMITRE in South Australia. These organizations may have contacts in the US who know your consumer segment well.
2. Highlight your success in Australia and international markets to win over US buyers.
When making first contact with American distributors or retailers it is important to make them feel safe about buying from an overseas supplier. If they don’t feel confident about you then they will stick with their existing suppliers.
3. Speak to Americans in their own language.
Find out the typical words and phrases that are used in the US to describe your product type. English is a common language between the US and Australia but there are a thousand tiny differences so read up on how your competitors use technical language and marketing language to describe the product.
These are just three tips on getting into the US market. If you want to share your own ideas then comment on this blog or send me a message on Twitter (@simonboylen) or via email ( email@example.com ).