A world of difference: What it takes to win in international markets
New study shows preferred path to global success for Canadian companies
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—Sponsored article by HSBC Bank Canada
No two companies, and no two global markets, are the same. But as it turns out, Canadian companies from a wide variety of industries have taken a remarkably similar path toward success in numerous nations around the world.
A new report by HSBC and The Conference Board of Canada found that the key to winning in international markets is to create a Global Competitive Advantage (GCA).
The report examined the findings of research on global company performance from around the world, and then interviewed Canadian companies that had demonstrated success in markets outside of Canada. The report determined that at the centre of international business success is a GCA, as evidenced through the experience of these Canadian companies. The results have been published in a recently released report, Selling to the World: The Keys to International Business Success.
So what is a GCA and how did companies like H2O Innovation, Global Relay, Clearwater Seafoods Inc., Distech Controls, and Nuform Building Technologies develop one?
According to the report, a company builds a GCA by creating more value than global rivals do through differentiation. A GCA is more complex than the traditional idea of having a competitive advantage or “unique selling proposition.” A GCA can’t be sustained solely by competing on price, for example. That’s because a GCA, by definition, is difficult to imitate.
Rather, a GCA requires consistent and long-term differentiation, most commonly by providing unique products aimed at niche markets.
And developing such differentiation, according to the report, requires the nurturing of four distinct keys:
• Skilled Executives: leaders with an entrepreneurial nature and international experience
• Foreign Market Knowledge: a deep understanding of how business is conducted in another nation and where the opportunities lie in a target market
• Innovation Capabilities: a commitment to Research and Development and the ability to create new and unique product and/or processes
• International Networks: As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Success comes to companies that have a network of customers, distributors, partners, and advisors that can help crack a new international market.
HSBC believes that many Canadian companies have what it takes to develop a GCA and find success in international markets, and they can also help.
As a leading international bank, HSBC’s extensive network of international connections and expertise in global trade, international finance, and the nuances of cash flow and foreign exchange are available to customers seeking to grow outside of Canada’s borders. Or, to put it another way, HSBC itself has more than a century of nurturing the four international success keys (skilled executives, market knowledge, innovation, and international networks) identified in the report. And activating those resources for our customers benefit is our GCA.
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Source: Selling to the World: The Keys to International Business Success Report, June 2015
Issued by HSBC Bank Canada
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