With more than 300 million consumers, the US market has enormous potential for French exports. However, it is common for those who want to penetrate this large and competitive market to make the mistake of targeting a mass market without recourse to a solid strategy. In reality, a product will only be favorably received by specific segments of the public. The key to your success is to clearly identify these segments and then present the product in a way that will attract the most likely consumers to be interested in using the most effective and measurable means. We give you five tips to help you maximize your opportunities and discusses the pitfalls of this potentially lucrative Marketplace USA.
The American consumer
The perspective of the American consumer is a little different. The American is used to a customer service that allows him to return an item or to be reimbursed for a purchase months or even years later, without presentation of the receipt. In addition, the American consumer is always ready to post on the web his dissatisfaction with a service or a product. Between consumer advocacy groups and all Internet news outlets, negative comments are likely to circulate quickly. Especially with the rapid growth of e-commerce, your online reputation becomes a major issue. The American consumer is used to inquire on the Internet before making a purchase, consulting such sources of information, Consumer Reports, a company that publishes comparisons and assessments of consumer goods and services. The potential exporter must therefore realize that in the United States his product will be scrutinized by a critical public who will not hesitate to make known his opinion. You also need to know how to adopt a great flexibility in the conditions of return or refund of products that do not satisfy the consumer.
Success in the US market is unique to products / services, and a strategy that takes into account market segmentation is required.
The famous “melting pot” makes sense in this market that brings together consumers from many ethnic backgrounds.
The winning strategy is to segment the market, identifying the closest targets to the product / service.
As an example, a geographic segmentation will take into account that the West Coast (California and neighboring states) and the East Coast (New York, Washington …), as well as Chicago, are considered regions where consumers are more open to new products on the market. On the other hand, the Kentucky consumer is often more traditional.
The more detailed the segmentation study, the more profitable the prospecting budget will be. In addition to geographic targeting, demographic segmentation is useful for setting targeted goals, and for better return on investment.
Apart from market research, setting up a focus group to test the product helps to refine the brand image, before launching “on a large scale”.
In the United States it is useful to set up pilot zones before the deployment of the strategy. If a media strategy works in France, it does not guarantee results similar to the US. Testing the market will avoid a lot of strategic mistakes.
The strategic dimension of public relations
Given the inclination of the American consumer to search the net before making a purchase, Public Relations have an extremely influential role on your marketing projects. Releasing a positive evaluation of your product in the media is an effective engine for attracting consumers. It is therefore very important to hire communication specialists with strong US media experience to protect your interests. If a positive article in the media can get you instant success by spreading it to 20 million consumers, an unfavorable opinion read by the same audience may signal the end of your brand.
The power of the Web
The Web is an important driver of American consumption. This represents an opportunity for exporters.
A well-designed website based on an integrated and strategic digital campaign can establish its brand image in the absence of a distribution network.
But for your messages do not drown in the immensity of the Web, you must know how to implement the various media tools, including social media.
To summarize, through strategic efforts, targeted, based on research and research sufficiently deep and provided that your product or service is pleased to a US consumer deemed very difficult to enter the competitive market in the United States is more and more easily conceivable.