A design-school lesson we'll never forget: Years ago GM exported their Chevrolet Nova to South America, doing virtually no market research and assuming the car would be as big a success on that continent as it was in North America. Unsurprisingly, the car failed to sell in Spanish-speaking countries. Why? Because in Spanish, "no va" means "it won't go."
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has done an interesting study on the opportunities and pitfalls possible with exporting products to emerging markets. One big mistake is Chevy's classic blunder, giving foreign markets the same ol' thing you give them back at home, without even so much as a name change.
The DTT study also shows companies that get it right, like Nokia, a company that cleverly designs models with features specific to that region's needs. For example, Nokia cell phones in emerging markets feature things like:
- built-in flashlight, for countries where electric lighting is not yet common
- dust-resistant keyboards for dirt-track villages
- call-time tracking and multiple address books, for regions where phones are shared among families or villages
Nokia's tactics have been successful--an estimated 40% of Nokia's sales are in the up-and-coming markets in the Middle East, Africa, China, and Latin America.
Read more details of the study here.
via industry week