5 Things a Local Partner Provides When Taking a Brand Global
3. Legality: It's important for a brand to be aware of the local laws and restrictions on business practices and commercial operations, especially with foreign products. To protect a brand, regardless of previous international registration, companies must be registered in the new country of business. If a brand has no subsidiary in the target market, a partner can be the importer of record to remain in compliance with the regulations on imported goods.
4. Fulfillment: A local partner mitigates financial risk for the brand by assuming responsibility for the products ordered in the new market. An infrastructure must be in place to provide a full package of fulfillment solutions, including organizing the importing process and quality inspection report. The brand ships products delivered duty paid to the partner's local distribution center. The partner then helps to send products to retailers and handle receivables.
5. Branding: A strong partner connects brands with retailers that will represent their brand in the best way. It's able to provide brand consultation to ensure the brand has local appeal and is only distributed by the best retailers, in accordance with the brand's identity and targeted consumers, and prevent retailers that don't fit with the brand from ordering. The local company also lends support with industry tradeshows and exhibitions, and makes arrangements for order meetings with retailers.
A strong partner provides expertise and counsel, combined with existing, first-class local infrastructures, for internationalization. It understands the target market and what it takes to succeed. With a full-service partner in a new market, a brand can focus its priorities on the product, production and marketing, and be less concerned about the risks of going global.
Uwe Bald is vice president of international business development for Hermes, an expert provider of internationalization services to Europe, Russia, China and Brazil.