International Expansion: A Guide for Fashion & Consumer Lifestyle Brands

Growing your brand is on every company's mind. Many North American companies are looking to expand globally for various reasons. If going global is in your sights, you must have a detailed plan and strategy that will set you up for success. 

48% of U.S. companies are planning to grow internationally in 2015-2016 while the global retail market is expected to reach $28.3 trillion by 2018. Many companies are aware of this fact but many do not have a strategy in place that will allow them to be successful overseas. Before taking that big step, there are a few things that your organization should keep in mind: 1.) a clearly defined level of brand investment in each market, 2.) knowing how important the speed of global growth is to your brand, 3.) understanding how much control in each market your brand must maintain. By considering these three factors, you are taking the first steps toward global expansion.

After sorting out the logistics, the next question should be where to expand. Many businesses natural first choice is Asia becuase of the low costs. Roughly 42% of of U.S. companies have expanded to Asia but close behind is Europe with 36% of U.S. companies. There are various up and coming markets that many counties have no yet considered. The number one hot spot to watch is Chile. 

If your company is considering global expansion, having a solid strategy is your best bet. Making sure to align your technology with global markets, ensuring your have the right distribution model and finding the correct target market are all essential steps to success in an overseas market. It is important for your company to weigh all options and make the most informed decision possible. It will be too late once you have entered the market to be thinking about the basics. Perhaps consider making a spreadsheet that will allow you to see all of the moving parts. Whatever your strategy, make sure it is well throught out and thorough and good luck in your new market. 

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