For international fashion brands, expanding a global footprint into the US market can open a lot of doors. With a hungry consumer base and an unprecedented amount of money put into savings, people in America are ready to shop. But what should you keep in mind as you plan this expansion?
Planning & The American Landscape
In 2020, Americans put an unprecedented $2 billion+ into their savings accounts. With experiences and the world at large shut down, consumers not only stored up money but a hunger to return to shopping. As retail makes a triumphant return, Americans are prime target consumers: they want to shop, and they have, almost more than ever, the means to do so.
So, yes, the US market is a great area for international brands to target. But you should be strategic about entering the space. It’s not all that easy to launch as a foreign brand in America. Ask yourself: How in touch are you with consumer core needs for engagement? How are you building perceived value? How are you building community?
Know that it is tricky to drive traffic to a website and even harder to convert those eyes into sales without appropriate social proof, especially when you’re an outside brand looking in.
Understanding Cultural Trends
America is just like any other country, with its own unique cultural trends and importance. Understanding and appealing to those will be important in attracting the American customer. Make sure you are approaching topics that are relevant to US consumers. Look for potential overlapping demographics. American dialogues are very unique, so make sure you’re talking to them in a similar way. Engage with active conversations, socially and culturally, and remember that your values drive content planning, collaborations, partnerships, etc.
Take time to research the publications and content that US markets consume and find what copy and images resonate. From there, you can create a communication strategy that includes relevant topics to build up your social proof.
Know that a good, strategic launch doesn’t happen overnight. This is not something you want to be rushing into. Plan to give yourself a timeline of at least 6-12 months. This will give you time to begin building a community, creating a website that has the right cultural inflections and more. You want to be sure you are speaking in the nomenclature of the country you are launching into. A bit of an exception can be made if you are positioning yourself as a foreign aspirational brand that Americans want to buy into the culture of. Then you can highlight your global status and market your brand as aspirational.
No matter what, though, you will want to understand the physicality of your brand. Doing pop-ups, trunk shows, trade shows, etc. gives you a boots-on-the-ground presence and ignites brand awareness. You’ll also need to think about the physicality of logistics. Where are you shipping from? Are you accepting returns? What are your customer service hours?
No matter what path you take for a US market launch, go about it strategically and thoughtfully and give yourself the time to do it right.
At Scaling Retail, we specialize in strategizing launches and brand awareness plans to get international brands successfully started in America. Send us an email to [email protected] to start the conversation.