#1: The USA is a market similar to our other markets, just much much bigger
#2: The USA should be segmented based on states (Georgia, Florida, etc) or regions
(North-East, West-coast, etc)
#3: We’ll launch with our existing product portfolio, value proposition and business model
#4: We’ll likely sell something in the first 3 months, worst case 6 months.
#5: We’ll be able to analyze most of what we need to know from here without really engaging customers
#6: We’ll make a quick study asking for interest in our product and this will determine how we go to market
#7: The USA is a very costly affair to enter, we basically have to bet the company if we are to do it….I’m not sure we are able to even try.
#8: We can just send one person to start it off in a small manner and he’ll grow the operation
#9: We will support the US-market like we do other markets
#10: We are a big and successful company here with many large customers so we’re sure it will not be too hard in the USA
#11: We have the best product. It’s expensive but we sell a lot of it at home and we’re sure the quality will make US customers pay the very high price.
#12: The US-market is extremely dangerous from a legal perspective. Companies get sued and go out of business all the time.
The Pocket Guide TI, in partnership with Katapult Group, will provide an overview of the best practices process that has been used to successfully help several hundred firms assess and lay a strong foundation for helping them enter and grow in the US-market.
The challenge to get in and to succeed in US market
According to Luiz Cota, the Aurus’ CEO, from their first US market contact in 2009, when they joined Robert Jansen, from Outsource Brazil, on a Silicon Valley investments, seeking mission to the opening of their branch in Florida at the end of 2014, with the support of Fernando Cariello, from Caribros, they learned how they needed to change their mindset, being capable to address and adapt to the American model of doing business, not changing the product core technology. On these years the company and its product got fielded tested and better prepared for the market challenges and demands. The result was more a change in their attitude towards the customer or partner, doing business differently, respecting their cultural characteristics, and adapting to it.
For them, the biggest mistake committed by companies willing to sell in the US market is to imagine that they can apply the same sales process done in Brazil, or to mimic what foreign companies do in Brazil. The market size and sophistication, generates specific demands that are not addressed on a single answer on product or service quality or price points.
Aurus’ experience on going to US based events demonstrated that to present their offer is not enough to close the deal. For instance, a recurring question on the last six years of events participants is "where are you here in US?". I expected the question would be relate to the distance and time for travelling for meetings, business contacts and technical support. Nevertheless after all these years, we realized that the question was not related to the our presence, but about the customer comfort lever, including business culture aspects, ranging from the caller native language, knowledge of applicable regulations, business structure, and in the end the security on providing the business operation continuity. The clear message was that IT was part of the business fabric and the customer could not afford to use any unreliable system on their moneymaking strategy.
As the number one market in the world, with 42 % of all IT business, we know that there is a client for almost anything you want to sell, but to penetrate the and win over the competition, there must be a fit into what the market expects in technology, culture and business model. It’s not only one of the options, but all of them.
The six years of investments seems to be a very long period. They know now that Aurus could have shortened it with financial investment, but when it started, it was an internal option to go through the entire learning process and develop their own "how-to" model to achieve the outcomes. Within this learning time they decided to invest on long term relationships, establishing their own brand and products on a specific market segment. They also engaged experienced consultants with lots of market knowledge. As a result, they could say that today there is an Aurus know how on the right way of investing to get results in the US operation.
There is no silver bullet to get into the US market. Each company has its time to mature, but it is necessary absorb the market knowledge and learn from the experience, to achieve a faster financial return on investment, or to go home quicker without overwhelming expenditures. In the end you need to know to learn and respect the markets, understand its characteristics, and how and with whom you can count on.
To learn more about Lean & Smart Internationalization, don't miss the next edition of the Pocket Guide TI , an e-book dedicated to the subject that will soon be available on our website.