How Exporters to Europe are Better Learners

We have often found that Exporters to Europe often develop as a company into a stronger and better learning organisation. This has been recently confirmed by a recent Malaysian study that states “there seems to be a positive correlation between exports and innovation of firms”. While exporting to Europe, exporters are exposed to a more diverse base of competitors than in their domestic market so the learning curve is faster with new product features that may be needed but may not have been considered so far.

Here are four key factors that enable Exporters to be better learners due to the European market:

  • Increased Competitive Edge
  • European compliance Implies Product Excellence
  • Provides an Excellent Risk-Mitigation Platform
  • Exposed Diversity Increases Efficiency

Increased Competitive Edge

With a more diverse base of competitors than in domestic markets such as Australia or Canada, exporters to Europe can quickly discover new product features that are required leading to innovation. A good example is here in Australia which has a low representation of homegrown businesses in areas such as the pharma and the chemical industries. Therefore, expanding to the European market allows Australian companies to target a more diversified range of industries.

According to Malaysian research, “There appears to be a favourable association between corporate exports and innovation.“ Things that you learn from the industry may significantly boost product development and improvement.

Compliance Implies Product Excellence

Developing a product to be compliant with European standards in addition your local market, will drive your team to meet other high-quality standards. It will also provide excellent credentials for your products, which you may utilise in other marketplaces. A lot of countries see European standards as fantastic credentials and will accept your products on that basis.

In the previous blog, I talked about how important it is to comply with European standards for your products. Remember that you are expanding your business into new markets, and adhering to the laws and regulations is the next step towards success in the European market.

If you want to learn more about how to find the right product, read the full blog here.

Provides an Excellent Risk-Mitigation Platform

Another significant benefit of exporting to the European market is that it provides access to a diverse range of markets. This is an excellent risk-mitigation method. After establishing a presence in Europe, I’ve seen with some clients that particular types of products, may be more successful in one market than another.

For example, we had a customer that manufactured an accessory for the Recreational Vehicle industry for a long period of time. Ten years ago, the UK comprised around 80% of the caravan market, while the rest of Europe was buying motorhomes. We knew we wouldn’t start with the UK, but rather with Germany and France. Sometimes, while a specific European market may be difficult to penetrate due to a very strong and well-established local competitor, their European neighbour may be easier to enter!

This is an excellent example of risk mitigation due to the diverse European market.

Exposed Diversity Increases Efficiency

As mentioned earlier, Europe is a very diversified market. The European Union has 24 official languages, which means your organisation will have to adapt to a diverse multilingual environment.

I often say that Europe is a great beachhead for further expansion into the rest of the world. It forces the product management team and marketing team to think more efficiently. With 24 official languages, multilingual labeling, user manuals, brochures and collateral must be taken into account. As translations are quoted on a price per word basis, this diversity forces the relevant teams to think outside the box and often means less words and more pictures are important. This then ensures product descriptions are concise and precise enough to allow for a more efficient and cost-effective translation.

Exporting is both professionally and personally rewarding. You will be exposed to fresh ideas, sales and marketing strategies, and competing styles that will be exciting and may help you improve your goods and services in ways you would not have found otherwise.

These key factors not only help our clients to have a higher chance of success on their exporting journey but also help us understand their needs and how we can improve. It also allows our business to assist our clients, the exporters to become innovative and in turn better learners.

Do you think that exporting to Europe can make your business a better learning organisation and, thus, a more robust business?

Want to know more about how to effectively market your business in the European market? Get your FREE copy of “The 4 Steps to Generate Your First Million Euros in Sales” book here:

You can also create an initial Export Readiness Diagnostic within 20 minutes here: It will show you a report summarising if your business is ready and includes a personalised to-do list for your next step.

Contact me to schedule a 45-minute debriefing session with me once you have your report.

(source : Exports and Innovation in Malaysia: the Role of Heterogeneity; YuanFang Chen, Lim Thye Goh* ;  University of Malaya, Malaysia;