Just because a product is successful in your domestic market doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be met with success abroad. Consumer needs, preferences, and tastes are contingent on a variety of different sociocultural factors, and these factors are not uniform between markets.
How to Develop a Product for International Markets
Prior to launching in a foreign market, a product that has been successful in your domestic market may need a couple of tweaks, or the product may need to be redeveloped all together. When it comes time to expand into foreign markets, here is what you need to know about product development.
Look at what your competition is doing
If your competitors have already entered a foreign market space, look to see what they are doing and evaluate their strategy. What are they doing well? What are they doing not so well? This kind of critical analysis will help you position yourself in the market and develop an effective strategy.
Consider any legal dilemmas
Before launching in a foreign market, be sure to take into regulatory compliance consideration any kind of legal issues. Remember, US patents aren’t enforceable overseas. That means you will need an international patent for your product, or you will need to individually patent in each country. Filing for patent protection through WIPO can be an excellent option, as it is less expensive than filing a patent in each member country. This type of patent will preserve your property rights for a short period of time. Typically, this period will allow you to determine whether or not sales in any given country are strong enough to warrant filing for longer-term protection in each country.
Bring in an expert
You should always have local, in-country business development expert support when launching in a foreign market. You need someone who knows the language, the customs, and the culture who can guide you accordingly. After all, it is crucial to avoid any miscommunication or cultural blunders.
Don’t forget about test marketing
Before you launch your product overseas, you need to do some test marketing to ensure that your product has the features consumers want and need, and that they will purchase the product at the price at which you are selling it. Depending on your budget, it can be advantageous to distribute free samples of the product and conduct a focus group or, alternatively, select a small test group to receive samples and then conduct a quick survey. Either way, before you plunge headfirst into a foreign market, you need consumer feedback, and you need to take that feedback into consideration during the development process.
Pivot International is a product design, development, and manufacturing firm with extensive experience in the medtech industry. If you are interested in engineering a new product or updating an existing product, contact us at 1-877-206-5001 or request your free consultation today.