New Markets, New Brands: Tailoring Success for Different Places

New Markets, New Brands: Tailoring Success for Different Places

Nissan Joseph, CEO, Metro Brands Limited, 0

Nissan brings a wealth of international leadership experience across five countries. His tenure in the US, followed by roles in Singapore, the Philippines, and now India, has underscored a core belief: universal principles govern human fulfillment. He advocates three pillars crucial for a thriving life: prioritizing health as the foundation for all endeavors, finding meaningful and inspiring work, and nurturing relationships - be it with family, friends, or partners.

In an interaction with Bimlesh, Correspondent at CEO Insights magazine, Joseph contends that creating conducive environments for employees to excel in these three aspects defines effective leadership. Irrespective of cultural or geographic differences, people universally crave these fundamentals. Acknowledging this and fostering an atmosphere that values respect while catering to these needs has been pivotal in building robust company cultures across diverse settings. Below are the key excerpts from the following interaction:

Adapting to Changes for Better Business Prospects
Expanding into new geographical areas for businesses poses both challenges and opportunities. Each region, even in a country as diverse as India, exhibits unique characteristics and preferences. For instance, the clientele on Mumbai's Linking Road differs significantly from the corporate ones. Hence, understanding these catchment differences is pivotal for any brand or company seeking expansion. Moreover, venturing into towns like Gaya in Bihar or Sambalpur reveals distinct market dynamics, where the color preferences, consumer behaviors, and even the influence of regional festivals vary. Adapting to these permutations and combinations becomes essential for success. Also, many companies adopt a clustering strategy, mirroring successful stores in similar catchment areas. While others employ a backflow strategy by opening additional outlets in thriving locations, building on their success. Furthermore, as India witnesses the rise of new cities, taking calculated risks to enter these tier two and tier three towns becomes imperative. These emerging markets hold immense growth potential and contribute to the country's vibrant business landscape.

Today, consumer behavior has fundamentally changed the way new brands are launched, especially when it comes to entering diverse markets. The shift is driven by digital platforms shaping preferences and product exploration. It's now about global accessibility over local availability, shifting focus from "What are you offering?" to "What do I want?"

Traditionally, shoppers visited stores to browse options like pants. Now, they start online, exploring a vast array of global choices before deciding what to pursue physically. With this understanding, brands must grasp that most consumers begin their buying journey digitally, making it vital to forge a strong initial connection. Equally crucial is acknowledging global trends. Also, brands can't sustain regional fashion trends without considering global influences. Today, technology's interconnectedness has shrunk timeframes, allowing trends like music to impact diverse regions simultaneously. Therefore, brands must stay hyper-aware of these trends, feeling the pressure to monitor fashion shifts worldwide and understand their varied effects on diverse markets.
Discerning Country’s Diversity
Understanding the diverse preferences within India's 26 states is vital for successful brand launches. Each region varies in language, food, colors, and cultural nuances, impacting consumer choices. Recognizing these differences is key for a brand's success. Furthermore, India's diverse landscape poses a challenge for national companies as what works in one region might not resonate in another; tailoring strategies to each region is crucial. Also, positioning within the marketing funnel is essential, wherein, moving from awareness to relevance before driving intent to buy is a crucial trajectory for success.

In addition, brands must invest in building awareness through various channels like social media, endorsements, and advertising. Transitioning this awareness into relevance is vital before pushing for sales. Furthermore, operational excellence is as crucial as marketing. Without smooth operations, such as good service, adequate inventory, and product quality, even substantial marketing efforts can fail. So to say, maintaining operational efficiency is key for success across diverse markets.

Understanding Market’s Potential
When considering new market entries for brand launches, understanding the Total Addressable Market (TAM) is crucial. It's easy to assume market size based on population numbers, especially in a country like India with 1.4 billion people. However, delving deeper is essential. Is there a genuine need for your product in this market? Does it address unmet needs or fill a gap in the market? Realistically evaluating market potential beyond population numbers is vital, especially in industries like apparel, where assumptions based on population can be misleading. Analyzing the actual addressable market for your specific product helps gauge demand accurately. Additionally, evaluating operational capabilities within the intended market is vital. Many global brands faced entry challenges due to misaligned partnerships or flawed strategies. And also to add, assessing your capabilities or those of potential partners/franchisees against market dynamics is crucial for a successful venture.

Understanding local nuances and conducting comprehensive market research are fundamental for successful brand launches in diverse locations.

Keeping Parallel With the Changes and Local Nuances
Staying abreast of local nuances and conducting comprehensive market research are fundamental for successful brand launches in diverse locations. It's not just about data collection but interpreting it to derive actionable insights. Consider the iPod—market research might have shown an interest in music, but not explicitly for a device with extensive song storage. This example illustrates that market data alone doesn't reveal innovative solutions for unmet needs. Similarly, focus groups might not vocalize specific desires. The success of the Chrysler mini-van came from interpreting research beyond literal statements, understanding unmet needs, and creating locally relevant products, even if not explicitly requested. Hence, local nuances are crucial. A mini-van tailored for India would differ significantly due to climate and road conditions. Brands must adapt to such differences. Even in something as simple as selling shoes, understanding regional foot size variations is critical for success. Monitoring these nuances actively, especially through e-commerce insights, offers valuable information on local preferences. Adapting offerings and strategies based on these patterns is likely to enable a more successful brand launch.