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13 May 2024 • 1 min read

Key Insights from Windsor Hardware's Journey to Australia

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When it comes to business growth and expansion, the international market often beckons with its allure of untapped potential. But making a mark in a foreign land isn't always a walk in the park. I sat down with Breidi McStay, the Australasian marketing manager for Windsor Hardware, to discuss the nuances, challenges, and lessons learned from their expansion to Australia. Here's what we unearthed.

Embracing New Horizons Amidst Challenges

Windsor Hardware's signature lies in its hand-finished, solid brass products, which resonate with quality and craftsmanship. But introducing this to a digital platform, especially during the initial days of the pandemic, was akin to painting a picture with words. The true essence of their product emerges in its tactile experience, something that digital platforms couldn't fully capture. This realisation underscored the timeless value of face-to-face interactions in business, even in our tech-driven age. Yet, every cloud has a silver lining. The pandemic-driven digital shift propelled them to innovate. Zoom presentations, digital trade shows, and online collateral became their tools of trade.

"We've learned the benefits of frequent engagement and ensuring we're adding value to our customers on a frequent basis and giving them, I guess, education and inspiration on a regular basis when it comes to door hardware."
Listen to the full interview

The Power of On-Ground Representation and Partnerships

When the world began to open up, the importance of local representation became evident. Having team members on the ground, especially those familiar with Australia's architect and design space, acted as a catalyst for Windsor's growth. But the journey wasn't without its set of challenges. While resources like NZTE provided foundational support, it was the collaboration with Archipro, a digital specification platform, that fine-tuned their approach to the Australian market. This partnership illuminated the unfamiliar terrains of the Australian media landscape, helping Windsor strike the right chords in advertising.

Tailoring Approaches for Distinctive Landscapes

Another insight that came from their sales team was the unique personalities and lifestyles across Australian states. These nuances, often overlooked in broad market research, played a pivotal role in shaping Windsor's tailored approach. Breidi's parting wisdom was a blend of introspection and adaptability. For businesses eyeing international horizons, she emphasised the need to be clear about the market they intend to serve and the products they wish to offer. A one-size-fits-all approach seldom works, and what's successful at home might need a fresh spin overseas.

"One of the main learnings, so far, is the importance of research to begin with as to what aspect of the market you want to get into."

Windsor Hardware's journey to Australia is an excellent example for businesses aspiring for international expansion. It's a testament to the idea that while challenges are part and parcel of growth, with resilience, innovation, and the right strategies, success is just around the corner.

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