Jake Trask, FX research director at international payments company, OFX explains how businesses can capitalise on the upcoming Royal wedding and grow international sales.
No matter how fast your business is growing at home, selling overseas can be a smart bet for speeding up growth. That’s particularly true today, with the Royal wedding creating a global media frenzy and a unique opportunity for UK companies to sell ‘Brand Britain’ internationally.
If you’re planning to trade on your company’s Britishness to boost international sales, here are some key considerations to keep in mind:
Take your British heritage and keep it fresh
The global spotlight is on Britain, and there’s never been a better time to trade on your company’s Britishness. But what does that look like? Harry and Meghan’s wedding represents a new vision of Britain, and it’s this refreshed, modern image that brands are looking to channel to capitalise on their Britishness.
Think about what Britain represents today, and fold this into your brand. Britishness has long been associated with quality, design, reliability and heritage, but in themselves, these elements don’t explain what distinguishes us from other national brands on the international market – after all, the French have heritage in spades, while the Danish are famed for their sense of design. So, what is it that stands out about Brand Britain? The answer is character… and perhaps a dash of eccentricity.
Using this lens will help you to tap into a fresh, relevant sense of Britishness that’s in line with your own brand and its values. Take a look at other high-growth businesses that are successfully trading on their Britishness, and you’ll see how it’s done. Fentimans, for instance, grew its overseas drinks sales by 46 per cent in just two years, while Brompton Bicycles now exports 80 per cent of its bikes. Both companies show that a strong sense of British character can be a huge driver for international success.
Protect your margins and pay attention to currency
If you’re a fast-growing business, international sales can be a rapid way to boost growth – but it’s important not to lose track of your profit margins when expanding to new markets, and currency plays a crucial part in this.
The first error that businesses often make when dealing with currency is to incur unwanted costs by transferring all their overseas revenue through a provider that charges hefty fees for each conversion. So, don’t just stick with your bank when it comes to currency, and take a look at specialist firms instead.
Look for a partner who provides access to the best exchange rates along with specialist currency tools, such as the ability to lock in rates to protect your business from swings in the market for up to a year. Access to a virtual currency account, meanwhile, can make it easier for you to take payments in multiple currencies.
Build your strategy for the long term
Capitalising on the Royal wedding hype can help your company to hit the ground running in different markets around the world. But to make this stick, it’s important to build your strategy for the longer term.
It’s important to move fast to capitalise on current trends, but don’t forget that preparation and research are also key. Because Brand Britain means different things to different people, it’s important to consider your target market and build your product and strategy around its particular tastes. Does heritage sell well, or are shoppers more interested in modern British design? When entering each market, think about how you can tailor everything from your website to your product descriptions to tap into local trends and interests.
Tapping into the current hype can be a great way to enter diverse new markets where there’s a palate for all things British, building a longer-term strategy once you’re there. In the long term, this can help you to diversify your business and avoid seasonality.
Use the long-term lens when thinking about your brand, too. You should only treat your Britishness as one aspect of your offering – that way, once the hype has died down and the world has moved on, you’ll maintain the market share you worked so hard to secure. A solid international strategy involves selling all of your strengths – from quality to customer service.