“Your first 50 right steps to enter the Russian food market”.
Step № 2- “Look at you products and website by the eyes of a Russian”
If you are going to enter the Russian food market, look at your products and website by the eyes of a Russian. Even if you have been in business for many years, developed great food products and a great website, you might need to make some changes. In Russia, people have a different mentality and a different language, so what suits the whole world will not necessarily work in Russia.
The key things you need to doublecheck are:
1. the taste of your products,
2. the name of your food product,
3. its packaging,
4. your website.
Taste. Name. Packaging.
From the very beginning you need to decide for yourself if you are going to customize the first three or if you are going to develop your brand in Russia in the same way you do in your own country.
If the Russian market is just one more market to get extra sales and additional profit, then do not change anything. Put all your financial resources into the development and promotion of your existing brand and look for buyers who will appreciate the advantages of your existing product.
However, if you plan to win a pretty good share of the Russian food market and get stable returns on your investments, I recommend that you do the following:
• Analyze your future competitors in Russia.
• Study and compare all products that are similar to your product (both Russian and imported).
• Analyze how the name of your brand and the name of your product are perceived in the Russian language.
• Conduct tastings of your product, preferably among people of different ages and social groups. Get feedback and recommendations.
• Summarize all the collected information and modify your food product for the Russian market.
As a result, when you start developing your sales, your product will be more interesting to potential buyers. You will find reliable partners more quickly than in case of trying to sell a product which no one understands.
If you can avoid adapting your product, it is an absolute must to have a Russian part of your website.
At the moment I have food business contacts in more than 240 countries of the world and I have seen hundreds of websites developed by companies around the world. Some of them were convenient to read and study, but others were a dreadful pain and I had to close them.
For example, websites of Arab countries are very difficult for the perception of Russian people. The same situation is with websites from Korea. I was surprised to realize that African websites seem user-friendly from a Russian person’s point of view.
Beside this usability features, the main and the most important thing your website MUST have is a translation into Russian. In the future I will have a separate article on translation. Moreover, your web site must have a “history” of your product and an explanation why it is better than others.
Let me give you an example from my practice. A company from Vietnam which makes biscuits and cookies requested my services. They supply their products to an airline of their country and export to 30 countries of the world, but these arguments are not enough for a potential buyer in Russia. On their website I could not find any basis information about their products. In what ways are their products better than the others? Why does a buyer have to choose it? And most importantly, why will their products be interesting for a potential buyer in Russia?
I have shared with you the most common and basic principles of customizing your food product and website for Russia. The same rules apply to any CIS country because we are all from the USSR, we have one language, similar habits and customs.
No doubt, each company is different, and each food product is unique, so you will have your own strategy of entering food markets of Russia and the CIS, It will be your own new story. May it be a story of success.
Business Solutions in the Russian Food Industry
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