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Export FAQs

CHAPTER: Market Analysis & Planning
7. What are my market adaptation options; what can I do to be more accepted in culturally different markets?
  ANSWER: Many potential markets have different languages, cultural values, tastes, business practices, income levels, environmental conditions, product standards, legal requirements, etc. These all have important adaptation implications. To be relevant in "different" markets, you'll need to "localize" your approach. In particular, you may have to alter your product, your packaging or your sales material. For example, your product won't sell "as is" if it's incompatible with local health, electrical and technical standards. Low-income countries may want less costly versions of your products (no frills, second generation, etc.). Some countries may require added protections against abnormal temperatures, humidity, pest infestations, pollutants, etc. You may need to downsize your products to fit the smaller people, homes, streets, etc. in some countries. You might have to translate your sales literature if your foreign customers can't read or understand your language. Certain colors, shapes, words and symbols are offensive or appear foolish in some countries. See Exporting Basics for more information on how and where to consider adaptations.

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