When it comes to establishing an Amazon global brand strategy for your FBA store, there isn’t one simple option. There are just too many variables in place for there to be a one size fits all approach.
However, there are principles you can apply to ensure that your brand strategy gets off to the good start it deserves.
These are our top seven steps for breaking your brand out of the U.S. and into the global marketplace.
1. Do your homework on the market
Information is your most valuable tool at this point. Knowing what you’re getting into will guide almost every decision you make down the line.
No country operates in quite the same way. Customs, taxes, advertising, postal services, banking and payments systems, customer rights and safety, even packaging requirements vary from country to country and sometimes even within countries.
The last thing you want is to hit launch day in the UK and find your prices are off by 20% because you didn’t factor in VAT.
2. Know what tools are available
One of the best ways to fine-tune your Amazon global brand strategy is through the use of analytics tools like Helium 10. is a great way to check what a given product looks like in a given marketplace (and to check the performance of your own products against competitors). But Helium 10 isn’t available everywhere.
Other useful tools include Viral Launch and Jungle Scout. Even with this selection, there may be markets where you have to jump in blind. Consider carefully if you are equipped to take that plunge.
Also, note that Amazon’s dashboard can vary from country to country. So does access to certain Amazon FBA services. Some things, like product images and ratings, are universal. But double and triple-check everything else.
3. Go global by thinking locally
Now that you’ve got a sense of the general factors for your Amazon global brand strategy and a good way to dig into the analytics, it’s time to get specific.
Where your focus lies will depend on what the market wants and where it is underserved. Unpopular inventory in your current market might be a gold mine overseas. The key is making sure you aren’t wasting time and money selling something that doesn’t have a hope of shifting.
Just remember, popular may mean oversaturated. No need to ship your coal to Newcastle.
4. It isn’t just about supply and demand
Now that you’ve got a pile of hard data and a sense of what inventory to focus on, there are a few “soft” factors to bear in mind. These include things like:
- Language: how will you handle Amazon listings and customer communications in the lingua franca.
- Customer expectations: the Brits love a deal, Germans demand clear and accurate descriptions, and the Japanese want high quality products and customer service. Know what makes for a good experience in your target market.
- Culture: you have to set the right tone. Americans like a friendly but deferential tone from business interactions. UK customers find that tone uncomfortable and German customers outright distrust it.
5. Make a clear plan
So far we’ve talked largely about knowledge assets. Once you’ve collected all that information it’s time to turn it into a global brand strategy. That means setting up a clear plan.
The specifics of this plan will depend on your product and where you plan to sell it. But it should be made up of detailed achievable goals. Remember the SMART principles (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) for goal setting that you were taught in school.
Focus on what you can control. It is tempting to set goals like “sell 10,000 units in the first three months.” However, unless you buy those units yourself, there is no way to control your number of sales.
What you can control is things like how you advertise, what product lines are on sale, your SEO strategy, and your customer service. Another tip is to make sure to attend some of the great Amazon seller conferences in your area.
Your goals should reflect this.
6. Focus on your launch
The algorithm treats new things differently. So does the market. A review on launch day is worth more than a review a couple of quarters in. So here’s where you make your impression.
You want to get established fast and take your competitors by surprise.
The best approach to the new market will be highly dependent on where you’re launching. In the price-sensitive UK, discounts and promo codes are good ideas. In other places that money might be better spent on widespread Google or Facebook ads.
However you approach it, do so aggressively. Once you have a good, market-specific listing promote it hard.
7. Learn from your mistakes
There are no guarantees of success. However, when things go wrong, you can make your life a lot easier the next time around if can figure out what it was that went wrong.
Check-in on your goals and analytics regularly. See which actions drove sales and which actions hit the brakes. Update your broad Amazon global brand strategy and your specific goals accordingly.
Remember that information has value. Any information you can squeeze out of a mistake has already been paid for. Get your value from it. Fail forward.
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