How do you give your American business brand more reach in a global economy?
Daniel Garcia Atienza shared strategies and advice at Boca Chamber’s International Business Alliance at Lynn University. Atienza is head of business development and a senior key account manager for Under Armour in Mexico City.
The Baltimore-based athletic shoes and activewear brand went from doing business in 46 countries in 2014 to 95 today.
Here’s what Atienza had to say generally, not speaking for the brand.
· Create business partnerships in each country based on how business is conducted there. Choose the right partner, for instance, a family owned company with a young CEO in the Middle East.
· Embrace cultural differences. Colors have different meanings and are not used in some places.
· Conduct business the way it is conducted there. Is it face-to-face or not? Does business require personal relationships or not? How long do business meetings take?
· Make sure the product or how merchandise is displayed respects religions. Modesty in the Muslim faith means mannequins may look different. Be careful what a new item is named.
· If there’s no commercial department or sporting goods stores, can you do business by e-commerce? Test it out first.
· Adjust for size of the customers in that country.
· Consider sponsoring or introducing an event with your brand name.
· Lose the U.S. point of view. Act like a local.
· Identify the opportunity. Have a plan. Understand the differences. Execute locally. Think outside the box.
By Marci Shatzman