Use design to improve your export potential

Use design to reach overseas markets


Good design can bring real business benefits and new opportunities. It can help you increase sales by making products more desirable. It can also help you cut costs by making production more efficient or by saving on raw materials.

If you are thinking about selling in other countries, design can help you:

  • create new or adapt existing products to match needs and preferences in your target market
  • add value to your products - customers may be happy to pay more for a well-designed product
  • set yourself apart from your competitors
  • comply with specific technical standards in the country you want to export to
  • ensure people recognise your business and your products - and so make customers more likely to buy from you again

See also how can I use design in my business.

Product strategies for export markets

Some businesses try to export their domestic products as they are, without changing them to suit the specific needs of the target markets. This may be possible if, for example, the origin of your products is a selling point overseas.

Other businesses strive to develop standardised products that are acceptable in all markets. This can be very hard to achieve and different markets and customers typically have very diverse needs and expectations.

To successfully sell in international markets, most products require some level of adaptation or localisation. At the very least, this modification will apply to the product packing or labelling. See how to adapt your design for overseas markets.

It is very important to carry out comprehensive research to determine the right strategy. Market research will also help you to understand your overseas customers.