Turning ideas into products—designing and manufacturing those products and devising all the steps in between—can appear daunting even under the best of circumstances. When you throw into the mix different markets and cultures in multiple countries and regions around the world, product design can take on an entirely new meaning. Embracing a global perspective in industrial product engineering and new product development requires patience, knowledge, and research.

Here are some best-practice tips to navigate global expansion and product design:

Research your market/s.

Your brand and product design should complement the needs of customers in the country or countries you’re targeting for your product. Who are your customers? What’s most important to these individuals or groups?

From a product-design perspective, although a single product design or prototype may appear to be applicable across countries or regions, that may not be the case. Now isn’t the time for guesswork. Often the solution lies in modifying product-design characteristics to address the needs of specific customers in carefully defined countries and regions. Jump into research as part of your due diligence before you decide where and when to offer your product, and let design services lead the way.

Understand and appreciate the locals.

Don’t hesitate to rely on feedback from your contacts in target markets. These are the individuals you could be serving (or already are). You may be doing business “globally,” but everything is local. Learn about residents’ product-design preferences and business customs. Communicate with local businesses and potential employees as you develop audience-centered product-engineering plans and craft product expansion efforts. Remember that effective product design is an integral part of the product development process.

Combine patience and tenacity for success.

Entering new markets or expanding services into existing markets with a new or redesigned product should be a long-term strategy. Frankly, it’s not for the faint of heart. It can be time-consuming, frustrating, and a drain on resources. In manufacturing, an organization is often expected to have “boots on the ground” — a physical presence — in the country in which it’s manufacturing. But the rewards of expansion, financial and otherwise, can be significant.

Pivot offers a wide range of business expertise and solutions to support your global and product design efforts. Contact us today for more information, or to discuss your needs.