The Creator of the innovative Export Master® program

Adapting products and sales material for international business

Chapter # 7 : Adapting products, services and sales material

Q:  Do I need to adapt my products to the foreign market?

A: Yes. Here are just a few things to consider:
Electrical voltage and plug configuration could be different. Climate could influence your product. Local laws can force you to change the products to suit the market or to get them approved in advance. Local measurements and codes must be complied with. 

Q: Do I need to adapt my sales materials?

A: Yes, you have to. The way you sell products/services will vary depending on the country. While a German client wants plenty of technical data, the North American wants a product to show profitability and performance. Paper sizes can be different and product labels from Sweden will not work well in Japan. You have to use the local language. Don’t just translate the text. You need someone local to write it for the local market using the right wording to sell benefits.

Q: Does colour have anything to do with adapting the product?

A: Colour means different things. White in one country can mean cleanness and in another country, death. Green can mean happiness in one location but in another country, it means the complete opposite. You need to consider this both for the product and sales material.
Q: Do I need to adapt the product name?

A: There are several reasons you may be forced to change your product name.
It may already be registered by someone else, so you can’t use it. When your product name is translated, it could mean something negative in a foreign language. Check first. If you want to use a name in a foreign market, register it to protect it.

Leif Holmvall, President
Export Pro Inc.

In our book “Export & Import – Winning in the Global Marketplace”
ISBN 978-0-9681148-1-0 those topics are covered in depth. You can also buy our book for less than $10 as an e-book visit e.g., where you can read part of the book.

Follow us on LinkedIn