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The importance of selling a story

A surprisingly common misbelief among food manufacturers and suppliers is that they can rely on their brand when entering a new market. Unfortunately being a well-known brand in Sweden does not mean you are known in France, Germany or the Netherlands. Most likely, your brand is as unknown as Hovis, the biggest UK brand in the bread category, is to Swedish consumers. Being unknown to both buyers and consumers means you need to understand your unique selling points and subsequently tell a convincing story to succeed.

Understanding who you are and what you want to tell - authenticity

The most important thing about your brand is to understand who you are and what story you want to tell. It may seem like a trivial question, but many brands when asked who they are, unfortunately cannot say much more than: “…we make this product… we were founded by… and our products are unique and of Swedish quality.”

In the crowded Western European grocery markets, this is not a story that will resonate with many buyers or consumers. Your product has to communicate a clear message, whether it is nutritious, green, juicy, tasty, convenient, conscious or traditional. One of the steps in developing a sales strategy for a new market is developing your company’s unique story and making sure you can communicate your message across all channels, from social media to sales pitches to product packaging.

A good example of a company with a strong story is Ben And Jerry's. The company has successfully managed to position itself as the number 1 guilty pleasure ice cream, while also branding itself as a conscious producer supporting local communities. For example, its product descriptions might say “Warning: This cool concoction packs quite the peppermint punch… but what you’ve really gotta watch out for are those gooey, chocolatey, fudgey brownies nestled in the tub. Not only are they the best brownies we’ve ever tasted, but we get them from Greyston Bakery in Yonkers (New York) who help the homeless gain work skills & empower them to become self-sufficient. So the brownies you’re burrowing for both do good AND taste good too!”

Know your story and communicate it properly in order to be successful on a new export market. Because as an unknown brand, you need to be able to tell a convincing story and know why both the buyer and the consumer should purchase your product.

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Maria Varnauskas

Senior Project Manager, Food Industry Stockholm Senior Project Manager, Food Industry, Stockholm
+46 70 815 02 63