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Step 8: Preparing your export plan

You are here:Step 8: Preparing your export plan > Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm > The export product >Product quality and redesign



Product quality and redesign



In preparing an export product strategy, you will making an important decision as to whether to keep your product largely as is, or whether you will be adapting the product any way to address the needs of the foreign customer. This decision will depend on the nature of the product, the needs of the marketplace and the products of your competitors. For the most part, however, some degree of product modification is normally necessary, even if it only has to do with the product packing or labelling. When considering how to introduce product modifications, you may want to consider the redesign of your product, as well as improving its quality.

The role of product redesign

Innovative design is an important way of differentiating a product from its competitors. Take Apple computers, for example. Apple have managed to set themselves apart from the competition through innovative design. Their latest offering - the iPod - has become a firm favourite amongst the world's consumers simply because of its sleek and sexy design. As a result of the design of their iPod products, Apple have been able to charge a price premium for these products.

Not only should you be looking at design as a way of setting your product(s) apart from the competition, but you should also be considering ways in which design can help to reduce the cost of the product (through cheaper and fewer components), improving its reliability and enhancing quality. Design innovation can also be manifested in the packaging and labelling of a product (consider how products such as Valpre mineral water sets itself apart from competitors through innovative bottle design and classy labelling). Indeed, packaging and labelling are two relatively easy (and cheap) ways of enhancing the perceived design of a product. After all, it is likely that you will in any case have to introduce new and special packaging and labelling designs for your export product. For this reason, you might as well ensure that they are well designed.

The role of product quality

Quality is a significant measure of product differentiation, particularly in highly competitive markets abroad. Importers are likely to choose higher quality if all other factors are the same and they are also likely to pay a premium for higher quality. It is therefore essential that you give consideration to improving your product quality. You can improve quality in several ways:

  • Improve the design of the product so that it is less complex, requires fewer components and can be produced at higher tolerances
  • Adapt your production process to facility quality manufacture and reduce defects
  • Introduce more quality inspections into your product process
  • Adopt quality processes and standards such as ISO9000 and TQM
  • Train your staff to be more quality conscious



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Step 8: more information

Step 8: Preparing your export plan
      Synopsis of research already done
      Revisiting an export SWOT analysis of the firm
      Setting the export objectives of the firm
      Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm
                  The export product
                        .Product modification - adaptation vs standardisation
                        .New product development
                        .Eliminating obsolete products
                        .Improving the production process
                        .Packaging for exports
                        .Labelling for exports
                        .Product brands and trademarks
                        .Product servicing
                  The export price
                  Export promotion
                  Export distribution
      Preparing an export budget for your firm
      Outlining an implementation schedule for your export activities
      Preparing and presenting your export plan
      Obtaining approval for your export plan


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More information on Step 8
Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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