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Marketing Tips from Trading Secrets

Other peoples’ business success can be inspirational if you know the secrets behind them. So I thought I would share with you a distillation of a recent publication put out by the Daily Telegraph in conjunction with HSBC.

Called Trading Secrets it shared the international trading successes of several British Companies who have expanded through export. However the advice is good even if you are only trading locally. Phil Patterson of UKTI gave 4 marketing tips:

• Organise all your press and promotion in advance
• Use new media effectively – this can be very cost effective
• Know your markets for your niche products
• Trade fairs, networking, exploit all potential avenues for sales

Iqbal Ahmed – (sometimes known as King Prawn) is Chairman and Chief Executive of the Seamark Group which started as a family run corner shop in the 70’s and now supplies seafood to restaurants and hotels across Europe, America and Asia. Two of his marketing tips are:

• Always think about ways in which you can innovate
• Don’t simply copy what your rivals are doing

Fashion Legend Paul Smith who left school at 15 without any qualifications now has a diverse brand that includes perfumes, watches, shoes, pens, rugs, furniture and spectacles and trades in 35 countries. His view on the route to success? “Many people forget to make clear what is different about what they do – make sure you get across your key point – don’t assume they know”

The Scottish fizzy drink Irn-Bru is apparently consumed at the rate of 12 cans every second in Scotland! But its irreverent, wacky approach to advertising has taken it into Russia, Spain, the US, Canada and Australia. Small wonder then that it top tip is

• Stay true to your brand and uphold its distinctive identity

Finally, the message seems to be that you should never assume there is not a market for your goods – whether in this country or abroad. Those who don’t give up have achieved some surprising results:

Lancashire based Equestrian Surfaces won a £500,000 contract export sand to the Arabs! In this instance it was Dubai where the local sand was deemed too fine!

Anglesey Firm Sea Kayaking UK sell their durable glass fibre canoes to Eskimo; Dunstable bakers Honeytop Specialty Foods sell packaged Naan breads to India; and Essex based Blavod Black Vodka now sells to 33 countries including Poland!

Are you able to share a successful innovation within your business?

PS If you are interested in other posts on the subject of brand you might be interested in "Expand that Brand" which discusses how established brands have moved into new markets and in the post that talks about those all essential core values