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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 > Labelling for exports



Labelling for exports


The following factors may impact labelling:

  • Labelling laws vary from country to country and do not seem to follow any set pattern. For example, every country has its own local labelling regulations which specify the type of information that must appear on particular products, e.g. the name of the manufacturer, the country of origin, the product's weight or volume, a description of the contents, the product's ingredients or special information regarding additives, and chemical or fat content. In certain countries prices are required to be printed on the labels while in other countries, it is illegal to give any indication of the retail price on the packaging. A country using the metric system will probably require that all weights and measurements appearing on packaging also conform to the metric system.
  • Some countries, such as Belgium, Canada and Switzerland, which are multilingual, require that labels be printed in more than one language. Other countries, however, forbid the use of foreign languages on label.
  • Government regulations aside, a manufacturer requires that the label on its product communicate information to its customer and facilitate the correct use of the product. This should encourage initial and repeat purchases and promote consumer satisfaction. It is therefore essential that the information on the label be conveyed in the language of the market. An exception might be the marketing of, say. French perfumes or cosmetics, where the use of certain French words or phrases helps to give the product a sophisticated image.
  • Where a great deal of information must be conveyed to the customer, e.g. in the case of technical products or certain drugs, the label may contain a brief description in one language, but this should be supplemented by a detailed multilingual leaflet inserted accompanying the package.
  • Occasionally, a company may use multilingual labels for several countries (e.g. the EU) in order to reduce costs. This is acceptable if a multinational image is likely to impress a customer. In general it is more beneficial to incur the additional labelling costs that will ensure a unique national image.
  • Special attention should always be given to the correct translation of brand names. Coca-Cola's experience in China demonstrates the negative effects of errors made in this regard. When the company first set up manufacturing facilities in mainland China, translators chose characters that sounded like Coca-Cola but which to the Chinese actually read "Bite the wax tadpole"?
  • Cultural differences influence design aspects and should be taken into consideration when instructions in the form of pictures or symbols are provided on product labels. Symbols can often be misinterpreted in the market place. A six-pointed star used in one company's trademark, for example, created product resistance in the Middle East where the star was seen to symbolise pro-Israeli sentiments. In another case, yellow flowers used in a trademark resulted in rejection of the product in Mexico, where a yellow flower means death or disrespect.


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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
                        .Product quality and design
                        .Improving the production process
                        .Packaging 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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