For new (firms) and potential exporters Caribbean Export can help provide you and your team with the tools and techniques to achieve success in international markets.
Take a look at the following short guides on:
- Ways to Enter A New Market
- Making the Most of Sales Meetings and Negotiating the Deal
- Getting your Website Ready for Export Sales
- Getting your first Reference Customer
- Hiring a Sales Person Overseas
- Export Marketing
Caribbean Export also provides support through its Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS). The DAGS is reimbursement grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered firms/individuals/Business Support Organisations (BSOs) with the potential to export their products and services. DAGS is a reimbursement facility which means that no monies are advanced to beneficiaries and they will have to incur the full cost of their projects and be reimbursed on completion of their projects. Under the DAGS programme firms can apply for grant support to undertake the following activities:
- Equipment modernization
- Food safety standards/certification/regulations
- Research, Development and Innovation
- Advisory services
- Product and service development
- Marketing services and activities (e.g. trade fairs participation, trade mission and in-market activities)
- Quality and environmental systems
- Promotional material (e.g. brochures, catalogues, CDs and videos)
- Training programmes
- Implementation of IT solutions (e.g. website, e-commerce and multimedia)
- Market research and testing
- Packaging, design
- Intellectual Property activities (e.g. brand registration and patents)
What is a brand?
Many people confuse logos with brands, but a successful brand is much more than a logo.
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.” Your brand is what distinguishes you from the others and makes your market see your product or service as the solution to their needs. Branding creates a personality for your product or service, which can help you to stand out in a competitive market. You can reflect your brand’s personality through the language you use, the design and the service you provide.
A good brand will deliver a clear and consistent message, motivate your target customer to buy, show that you are credible, appeal to your target customers’ emotions and cement their loyalty. Market research is a key aspect of successful branding as it helps you to understand what your customers need and want. Once you know this you can deliver consistent branding messages in every contact with them.
To begin developing your brand strategy, you first have to define your brand, identifying what is good about your company and what you believe in (your brand values). Questions to ask are:
- What products and services do you offer?
- What are their main qualities and values?
- What are your company’s values, mission and specialisations?
- Who are you targeting?
- Do you have a tagline? What message does it send about your company, products and services?
The answers to these questions will help you to create a profile of your brand.
You also need to think about the objectives for your brand. What do you want your brand to achieve for you? What do you want your customers to say about you? Perhaps you want to gain a certain amount of new business in the next six months, or maybe you want to gain market leadership in your sector within the next year.
Your logo is an important part of your branding strategy. It needs to reflect your values and goals and to be consistent as this is how your customers will recognise your products and services. But a brand is more than just a logo; it is the associations and values that your customers link to your company. Design, advertising and marketing are all part of building a successful brand.
Branding can make your product appear unique. The good thing is that when you have a successful brand, new products in that brand will benefit from the associations with your existing products. Customers buy products based on emotional as well as practical needs and branding can appeal to those emotions. Branding is not just about putting your logo on a product; it is about creating difference, adding value and connecting with people.
Intellectual property (to be completed)
Download our latest issue of TradeWatch – Caribbean Export online newsletter with updates on the activities from Caribbean Export including our Calendar of Events for information on upcoming workshops, meetings, trade promotion events, Direct Assistance Grant Scheme Call for Proposals etc.
Read our TIPS on Develop an Export Plan and start preparing your export plan (word format) . These useful tools will assist you through a series of headings and questions driving you on your export journey and prompting you around the key issues that need to be addressed.