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21 Nov 2023 • 2 min read

What They Don’t Tell You About Expanding Your Business Internationally

Danny Parker

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Expanding your business overseas? The road ahead is challenging but full of opportunity. We sat down with Cole Armstrong, the Managing Director of Neurospot, to get his advice on going global. In this blog, we’ll cover his three main insights that could save you time, money, and a lot of headaches.

Cole is quick to point out that "humans are humans," meaning basic behaviors are relatively universal across borders. However, when you cross into a new market, you're essentially starting from scratch. You might be a big fish in your local pond, but internationally, you're back to being a minnow. The mental and physical availability you built up at home? Forget it; you’re back to zero.

So, how do you get around this? According to Cole, understanding the different levels of brand awareness in your target market is crucial. There, you’re competing against local brands that are already on the top of consumers' minds. If you’re not careful, you’ll sink into oblivion before you even get started. Cole calls it "bridging the gap," transitioning from minimal brand awareness to building up a recognizable brand and a robust customer base.

Don’t assume your domestic successes will automatically translate into international victories.

Sure, there are tons of smart people in New Zealand, says Cole, but local expertise can only take you so far. When you move into a foreign market, there are subtleties and peculiarities that only someone on the ground can fully grasp. Understanding the "path to purchase" in these markets becomes vital to your success. Whether it's cultural norms, local holidays, or even popular social media platforms, these details can be deal-breakers.

Cole suggests tapping into local knowledge. Those unique insights will help you build effective touchpoints and marketing strategies. From there, you can start to expand based on the preferences and behaviours of your new target audience.

When going international, local know-how isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.

Be "ruthless and targeted." Understand the market you’re entering and the specific consumer groups you’re targeting. Cole warns that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to international markets. If you identify a niche, even a tiny segment, you could still have a massive market at your fingertips.

He underscores the importance of understanding how your target consumers make their purchases. Once you know what triggers their buying decisions, you can build your brand around those insights.

You can dominate a niche market internationally that you wouldn’t even touch the surface of locally.

Expanding your business internationally is as exciting as it is daunting. The key is to be prepared, to research, and most importantly, to adapt. Thanks to Cole Armstrong for shedding light on these vital topics. We hope you find this information as invaluable as we did!

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