Deciding that you want to market your product overseas is sometimes just the easy part. With a wealth of complicated countries, markets, and potential customers out there, deciding where to market overseas is much harder.
That’s why we’re going to be looking at some of the big world economies and giving you some of the best reasons to invest in each one. Up first: Germany.
A look at Germany’s economy
Anyone who knows anything about overseas economies will know that Germany dominates. In fact, it’s the fourth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP, sitting just behind the US, China and Japan, making it the richest individual state in the European Union (EU).
It’s also the most populous single country in the EU. In short, there are a lot of people in Germany and they’ve comparatively got a lot of money. We discovered this when we looked at Amazon’s biggest overseas markets, with Germany coming 2nd after America.
Germany has one of the most competitive manufacturing industries in the developed world with internationally renowned names like BMW and Volkswagen.
The Mittelstände effect
The German economy is built on what it refers to as Mittelstände. In simple terms, they can be considered the German equivalent of British small and medium sized enterprises, or SMEs. In reality, the situation is more nuanced.
Classic Mittelstände, those with revenues of less than €50 million, make up over 99 per cent of German companies. It’s these companies that contribute to Germany’s internationally-famed high productivity rates. These companies are often international leaders in a very specific type of manufacturing, and are often family owned.
While Germany is certainly a good place to do business, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best place for your specific company. If one of these German Mittelstände already has your USP covered, you might want to think about taking your product elsewhere as you’ll be up against a serious challenger that tends to have a lot of backing from the local customer base.
The German political backdrop
Germany is known around Europe for having a collegiate system of government, which lends itself to compromise and coalition. For three of the last four parliamentary cycles, for instance, the two major parties have governed together in coalition – a settlement that would be much more contentious here in the UK.
This leads to a very friendly backdrop for business. Changes to laws are often incremental and political turmoil is rare, making it easy for companies to plan for the future. Even during the recent five-month period of effective government standstill, the country and its markets remained remarkably resilient.
That being said, Germany is an infamously bureaucratic country. If you’re looking to market your product in Germany, expect to have to adhere to more regulation and perhaps even pay higher taxes than would ordinarily be the case in the UK.
The social and technological landscape
While we like to think that the world-leading German economy is at the cutting edge of modern developments, the reality is not always the case. Germans remain sceptical of technological developments, with card payments and self-checkouts being noticeable examples of trends which haven’t quite yet taken over in the Bundesrepublik.
It’s important to remember cultural differences like this. If you’re marketing your product as cutting edge technology in the UK – then the message might need to be adjusted for the German market – or you might even wish to consider alternative markets altogether.
The Germans are certainly a wealthy people and saving money and sensible budgeting are an important part of the German psyche. It’s no coincidence that the German words for ‘guilt’ and ‘debt’ are the same (Schuld).
What this means is that you’ll likely have to work a bit harder to convince a German customer that your product or service is worth their money. We’re making a broad generalisation here, but they’re not typically frivolous with their spending or aspirational in the way British customers can be.
Translating the nuance
Whether you’re looking to market your product to Germany or elsewhere in the world, you’ll need to make sure you’re making the best of your international marketing campaign once you get around to selling. And that means speaking to people in words they can understand, whilst taking into account the cultural distinctions that set these customers apart from their British counterparts.
With expert, native level language translation services, Bubbles can help. Find out more today.