A company who wants to enter successfully a new market has to communicate clearly its unique selling points in order to get the attention of potential partners. This cannot be done based on vague estimations, but in relation to the existing competition in the target market. The most important tool is an in-depth benchmarking against the already established competitors. So the first step is the research and identification of relevant players in the target market.
The second step is to define all relevant factors, which are important for the potential customers, starting from basic issues like the quality of presentation and then proceeding to more important issues like the product range, the offered services etc.
The third step is probably the most difficult one: a realistic self-evaluation on each factor in comparison to the competitors. If you don’t know the strengths of your competitors, you cannot communicate effectively your own strengths!
The benchmarking can help a company in two ways:
1. To recognize own weaknesses and to evaluate which of them can be improved even before starting the market approach.
2. To identify the points, where the company has competitive advantages and to focus on them in the communication with the potential partners in the markets.
The benchmarking is a quite simple tool, but can significantly increase the performance of the export efforts. Surprisingly many companies don’t use it.