Entering New Geographic Markets
The Challenge: Our client was fully aware of the fast pace economic growth in China as they had been manufacturing there for some time. This global firm saw the rapid growth in construction in China, and wanted to identify whether it could realize success in the China building systems market. Their question was whether China should be their next target of opportunity. While the market environment was new to this firm, their basic questions were relevant to all markets, whether new or old:
- What is the market’s structure and how is it changing?
- Who are the participants and who were likely to be future entrants?
- How might they relate within the complex customer chains operating in the market?
- What are the economics of the market, both in terms of market size and growth and in terms of the economics along the customer chains?
- Who makes the purchase decisions and what factors enter into their choices?
Assessment: The Blue Canyon China team investigated these and other questions, and found some surprises. There were some sharp differences in building systems construction technologies used across China’s regional markets, with a good match to this firm’s offerings in some regions and a disconnect in others. We also found some unique customer chains, with design firms playing roles in China not common in other geographic markets. Interviews with prospective customers in China also revealed some important implications. They suggested that support services and training relating to new technologies, for example, might be brought to them by a supplier.
Strategic Solution: Blue Canyon recommended which Chinese market segments to target, by building sector and region. We also brought insights into how to go to market in terms of products, services, pricing, and partners. Lastly, we built plans for our client on how to get into the China market, with What-Who-When, details on relationships, licensing, marketing programs, and other elements.
Results: This client is now well established in the China market. Sales in China have expanded rapidly for this firm, and now represent a meaningful component of this organization’s business and profits.