• Mark

Foreign market ops - titbits and curios.

Updated: Dec 29, 2018

A few amusing situations and supposed pearls of wisdom. Much enjoyment!

1. When recruiting local team management, don't fall into the trap that those who are the most lucid in your language are the best candidates. Happens way too often.

2. Don't take market manager's professional knowledge for granted when he/she was hired from a similar Western operator. Differences are vast. For example a German foreign market manager is often totally controlled by the home office - and in effect just follows most detailed orders with the usual results.

3. Don't copy-paste cultural undertones from home to 'there'. It was most amusing to watch a British operators' approach to the Christmas period in The Netherlands. They kept gearing up to peak times in the week before 24th December, when the locals swap gifts on St Michael's day (6th December). A leading UK grocer did not stock Dutch 'must have' ginger cakes. To add to the fun no one in Holland knew what Christmas pudding was. Lucky me. My entire team and I gorged on the latter at £1/piece later.

4. In fashion don't replicate your selected season's core colours automatically. We witnessed a 'hip' UK lingerie retailer proudly displaying purple ranges one year in Denmark. If you didn't guess the punchline - it is a colour of mourning over there.

5. In emerging European markets do not assume that a job title results in the same scope and depth of knowledge as it does back home. Most their companies are/have been originally run by the founders, with MD's as glorified PA's.

6. Too many US management teams act as if letters "W" and "T" in SWAT analysis stood for "We are Wonderful" and "Totally Tops".

Funny old business


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