Our Co-founder, Chris Magnusson, gave a speech at a food packaging convention in Sweden on May 12. “Packaging as a marketing tool for export” was the theme of the day.
Launching new products in foreign markets can be a daunting task. We asked Chris Magnusson to share some of his views when it comes to entering new markets.
What does a company need to consider when launching products in new markets?
They need to consider many aspects, but one in particular I often mention is trust. Consumers in foreign markets that do not recognize your brand have no reason to trust it. No matter how healthy or tasty your product is, people have a tendency to go for what they are used to and feel safe with. Depending on where in the world you are launching your brand, requirements are different. If we take Asia, for example, in many cases trust in food can be very low, even for locally produced brands. I have suggested many times that foreign food brands wishing to enter the Asian market should capitalize on trust: foreign brands are more likely to be considered of superior quality by local consumers, and this obviously creates an enormous opportunity for brands to export their products to these types of market.
Can you give us examples?
For example in China, food scandals are numerous since many years, and new ones keep on surfacing every year. For instance, some years ago there was a problem with baby formula and this led to an opportunity for foreign brands to increase their market shares in the country. A simple thing such as putting a flag as a “country of origin” indicates to local consumers that this is probably safe as it is imported. So, as you can see, trust can be capitalized on.
Any other aspects apart from trust?
I usually mention several aspects that always need to be taken into consideration when talking about packaging, such as positive stereotypes. Every country has positive stereotypes. For example, Belgium is great at chocolate, Germany is good at beer; Switzerland is good at making watches, France at making wines etc. Every country has something unique it can capitalise on when entering foreign markets. Actually, this is what sets us a part and create an advantage that should be carefully studied when entering a new market, what makes our particular product unique to that market, it may not be the same as in the home country.
Since you were giving your speech in Sweden, do you have any ideas about what this means for Swedish companies wanting to enter foreign markets?
I discussed this case on exporting to China. Trust is again an important element and can be used to our advantage. But also positive stereotypes, such as healthy food, good ingredients, food safety, contribute to this. For example, an easy thing as placing your flag on the packaging can have a great impact on sales in China. Further, choosing the right colors, name, and translation also must go hand in hand with this.
You also discussed innovation. What value is related to having an innovative attitude to packaging?
When packaging is innovative to me, it doesn't even need to be visually pleasing or structurally interesting. In some way, it’s innovative for me when it just makes the actual usage experience better for the consumer. That to me is truly innovative. I spoke, among other inventions we have, about Topflow, this innovation by Swedbrand Group that we will start seeing in the stores from September of this year. Topflow is an innovative technology used for Bag-in-Box wines that places the tap at the top instead of at the bottom of the box as usual. The great interest that we have seen in this innovation from different companies around the world before launch has been least to say phenomenal, so we are excited to see it hit the market in September of this year.
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