market dynamics
Market positioning, product positioning for their own foreign trade products
Release date:2019.05.30


What is the market positioning of foreign trade products?

In my opinion, it is the positioning analysis and strategy based on the position of competitors' existing products in the market combined with their own advantages, hoping to leave a deep or unique impression on customers, and finally increase the probability of customers.

What's the use of market positioning?

Many foreign traders and even enterprises may ignore this problem, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. However, I think market positioning is crucial. Just as we choose a university, what kind of industry job we choose is important. If done the correct market positioning, it will achieve twice the result with half the effort, on the contrary, the development of the market has little effect, and may be too busy.

For example, an enterprise makes bronze products, they are the oldest in the industry, and the quality and price are very advantageous. So where is the biggest demand market for bronze casting products? Obviously is North America, but they only choose to Europe, and put away the largest market, after 15 years, they remembered that to develop the market, but also in hesitate, because the market has long been a lot of the late development of enterprises, and many big customers have the mature and stable suppliers, want to development to develop, is obviously difficult.

There are many such examples around me. Especially at present, corporate profits are very low, product homogeneity is very high, timely adjustment of product structure, make market positioning, is very necessary.

Our salesman should also vigorously develop the main market based on the company's positioning. If the company's positioning is vague or your Suggestions are not adopted, you should not give up. You should make your own judgment to achieve the best effect.

What does market positioning involve?

Product positioning: focus on product entity positioning quality/cost/features/performance/reliability/practicality/style /...

Corporate positioning: corporate image/brand building/staff ability/knowledge/expression/credibility

Competitive positioning: determine the position of the enterprise relative to competitors in the market

Market and customer positioning: determine the target market and customer base of the enterprise

How to locate accurately?

The key to market positioning is for enterprises and our business people to try to find out the features of their products that have a competitive advantage over their competitors.

There are two basic types of competitive advantage:

One is price competitive advantage, that is, lower price than competitors under the same conditions, which requires enterprises to take every effort to reduce unit cost.

The second is the preference for competitive advantage, that is, to provide certain features to meet the specific preferences of customers, which requires enterprises to take all efforts to work on product features.

What are the typical customer types?

Generally speaking, among the customers we meet, there are mainly the following customer groups:

1. Self-use, end Consumer

That is what we often call the end customer. The customer that has a consumption commonly, also have the repeat customer that consumes for many times. The number of such customers is very small, the purchase time is urgent, and they can accept a higher price. They are customers of retailers.

B. Shop

Customers feel that your products have a promising future in their market, so they will try to import, and if the sales are good, they will continue to place long-term orders. However, according to the size of each customer's warehouse, inventory risk tolerance, the amount of each purchase is not the same, they are also customers of the retailer.

C. retailers.

Retailers operate a wide range of products, the general order is small, but the order frequency is fast, urgent. Focus on price, delivery time, and of course quality, they will buy your products as samples to show to customers. They generally do not pay attention to the strength of the seller, the company's research and development capabilities, think you are also professional, smooth communication, reliable can.

At present, this kind of customers are mostly on B2B platforms such as ali, and retailers are divided into small retailers and big retailers. Mid-sized retailers typically do the same amount of walking as EBAY stores. Large retail discussions on the larger, often a large number of styles of bulk goods. Retailers are generally customers of wholesalers.

For example, department stores and supermarkets are all aimed at consumers and belong to retailers.

Here's the distinction between retailers and stores:

The retailer is generally larger than the store, with its own large warehouse and its own professional deliverers. The order quantity of the retailer is very considerable.

D. wholesale

A wholesaler is a business unit that purchases products from manufacturers and resells them to retailers, but does not directly serve individual consumers.

Wholesalers are primarily concerned with the intermediate price difference, not the actual price. Wholesalers are relative to retailers. Wholesalers buy a lot of products, while retailers usually buy 1-2 products. A wholesaler is like a distributor who buys out a manufacturer's products and services. Wholesalers and brand manufacturers are simply trading relations, as long as the money, anyone can wholesale.

According to the size can be divided into small wholesalers and big wholesalers, wholesalers generally more stable sales channels, small wholesalers generally have a stable order every month. A big wholesaler usually has a big purchasing plan in a year, and a special purchasing specialist is responsible for purchasing.

E. Dealer

Dealers are people who take money and buy in bulk from companies. They don't buy for their own use, they resell. Dealers and suppliers are also business relations, dealers must pad funds to buy the supplier's goods, their own sales, at their own risk. Dealers, compared with suppliers, are sometimes responsible for distributing products to all parts of the country. Compared with retailers, they also have more business and responsibilities of channel sales. Compared with agents, they buy out the products and services of manufacturers, and are not or less restricted by manufacturers.

For professional exporters, one of their main target customers is dealers, who are more concerned about corporate brand, quality and other issues.


An agent is a businessman who handles business on behalf of manufacturers and earns commission from them. They do not own the goods, and their activities are designated and restricted by the manufacturer. Agents are mainly divided into general agents, regional agents, like the first agent, second agent...... And different brand agents.


Importers refer to enterprises and businessmen engaged in import trade. They purchase commodities (including raw materials, semi-finished products, auxiliary materials, parts and components, etc.) from abroad with their own funds and then sell them to industrial and mining enterprises, wholesalers and retailers in their host countries. Or after processing or a little storage, re-export to other countries or regions for sale.

Such customers generally have a fixed product range, relatively large quantity, price sensitive, high quality requirements. They usually have offices in many cities in China, with sufficient suppliers, and are familiar with China.

H. Distributor (Distributor)

Distributors refer to those organizations and personnel who are specialized in transferring goods from producers to consumers. The relationship between distributors and manufacturers is that of sellers and buyers, and distributors are completely independent businessmen. Unlike agents, distributors are not restricted in their business. They can distribute products for many manufacturers. Their business is their own. Compared with manufacturers, distributors are closer to customers and the complex market environment to obtain market information dynamics.

Distribution industry veteran brands of products, local sales network is sound. Broadly speaking, distributors include agents and distributors.

If manufacturers have agents, they will first sell their products to agents, who will then sell them to distributors, who will then sell them to distributors (dealers directly face terminal retail).

Distributors buy products with their own money and assume all the risk of making enough profit from sales. Distributors fall between agents and dealers. The distributor bears the risk of loading goods, which is equivalent to a centralized logistics warehouse and requires a large fund chassis. The price of each distributor's goods from the distributor is generally fixed, and different account periods can be enjoyed according to the situation. Distributors generally only do channels and not terminals, while dealers mainly face terminal customers.

According to the product circulation process:

Manufacturer - distributor - consumer

Manufacturer - agent - dealer - consumer

Manufacturer - agent - distributor - distributor - retailer - consumer

Some friends can't tell the difference between a wholesaler and a distributor. In fact, they all get their goods from manufacturers. It's just different. The specific differences are as follows:

Distributor vs Wholesaler

The difference between 1.

Distributor is a special turnover of the two dealers, generally do not hold goods, such as the need to understand, he only from manufacturers to sell

A wholesaler buys a lot of goods first and then finds someone to sell them to, regardless of whether anyone buys them or not

The difference between 2.

Distributors have plenty of money and can afford to take long-term bets. Like two months after delivery

Wholesaler general funds are not a lot, can not afford to take up funds, is generally cash now section, if he accounted for more funds, wholesaler business is difficult to maintain

The difference between 3.

The distributor is usually appointed by the manufacturer, and the nature is similar to that of the agent.

Wholesalers are anyone's game, as long as they have the money to buy.

F: engineering clients, bidding clients.

The time period can be very long, maybe one order a year, but often enough for half a year's sales.

Identify customer market differences

Market differentiation refers to the differences caused by specific market operation factors such as sales conditions and sales environment of products. Generally including sales price differences, channel differences, service differences.

First, the price difference. Generally speaking, for the international market, the price acceptable to European and American customers is high, while the price acceptable to middle eastern customers is low. Enterprises according to the characteristics of the target market, their own conditions positioning is to take the high price, or low line. For example: hair er appears with high price from beginning to end on freezer market, give a person the feeling that has value with content, and long rainbow color TV hits low price war to also be successful time and again for many times.

Then talk about channel differences. There are narrow channels and wide channels. In the same products should be based on their own characteristics and advantages, take the appropriate sales channels, can get twice the result with half the effort. Dell, for example, has switched from selling PCS through retailers to selling directly to customers and organizing production to order. Dell created a whole new channel for making and selling personal computers. The new channels mean that companies are not beholden to retailers or saddled with huge inventory costs. In fact, it achieves the best profit cycle: low cost, high profit, and extraordinary business performance. Business is getting harder and harder to do now. The trend in the future is that many enterprises will go direct selling, and they will skip intermediate channels (dealers, distributors, agents, etc.) and sell directly to customers face to face.

Finally, service differentiation. In short, the service is considerate, fast and professional. In the competition of homogeneous products, distinctive service will win the trust of customers more.

Finally, according to the type of their own company, the characteristics of what types of customers are suitable to do.

It's very simple.

Question 1: if you open a taobao shop or an EBAY shop, then your target customers should be self-use and household consumers. If you are a physical factory, then your target customers should be dealers or foreign trade companies. If you are a professional exporter, your target customers should be foreign importers and distributors.

Question 2: how to conduct product positioning.

A: is the product high-end? In the end? Low end? All the products in the world can be classified as high, medium and low. Usually according to the price, consumption level according to the region can be roughly divided.

Such as:

Europe and the United States, southeast Asian market customers generally high quality requirements, the price can not be too low, otherwise the customer will think your quality is low.

South America, the Middle East market's customer price is generally more sensitive, but the product demand is considerable.

Although the customers in the African market belong to the low-end market, if successfully developed, the profit and sales volume are still ok.

B: what fields are the products suitable for? Where? Which countries? Which markets?

For example, our products are generally applicable to ships, welding places and so on. The main countries used are Brazil, Poland, Russia and so on. Suitable markets are mainly cis, eastern Europe, South America and so on.

C: what are the advantages of the product? Including price competitiveness, quality stability, new product development ability, whether there are relevant certification or certificates, whether there are local agents for after-sales maintenance, and so on.

D: what are the disadvantages of the product? Such as which parts easily damaged; What are the common problems and how to deal with them? Do the products need to be inspected by law? And so on.

Question3: what market mispositioning is common in Chinese factories?

Mistake # 1: what I do, what you sell.

In other words, whatever the factory's product positioning and technology level, the dealers have to sell. Of course, if it is a well-known brand, product trend, this has nothing to say. But the problem is often: the product positioning is flat, the research and development strength is flat, but also bullish, do not listen to dealers on the market feedback, do not follow the market demand positioning.

Error location 2: no goods, no cooperation.

Dealers generally have certain financial strength and sales channel resources. But if manufacturers blindly pursue "take the goods" "take the goods" do not take the goods, no cooperation "will not be flexible with support dealers, dealers are powerless, want to cry without tears.

Mistake # 3: it's your business if the product doesn't sell.

Many short-sighted manufacturers will think so, many of our salesman is also prone to make such a mistake, that the goods to the customer everything is fine, the goods sold out, how to sell, is your business, and we have nothing to do.

In fact, I think these follow-up "service value-added" is very very important, because whether the customer can sell out or not, how much inventory, will directly affect the subsequent orders. Therefore, it is very necessary to assist and cooperate with customers in target marketing. I'll talk about that separately.

Mistake # 4: poor quality and poor service.

As mentioned before, dealers are more concerned about quality and brand. If the product quality is poor, it will not only affect the brand reputation, but also damage the dealer's personal reputation. Of course, if the quality of the manufacturer has problems, but the service is more than worth, actively cooperate with the customer, deal with the problem, the dealer will swallow this tone, consider the follow-up cooperation.

5. Wrong positioning: image design is out of date, promotion plan changes constantly.

In fact, the quality of our products in China is almost the same as that in other countries, and even better. But why do many foreign customers always say that our products in China are of poor quality? A big reason for this is packaging. Whether the packaging is attractive, whether the design is new, whether it is solid directly affects the customer's perception of the overall quality. Imagine if you received a package from a foreign country, but the package was in tatters. What would you expect from the quality inside?

At the same time, some manufacturers in the adjustment period often change the design image, today take the grassroots line, tomorrow take the tall line, which makes many of our customers very headache.

Mistake # 6: grow with dealers, then burn Bridges

In the early stage of development, some manufacturers are very happy to cooperate with dealers and make friends with each other. Once the scale grows, some manufacturers will burn Bridges, either kicking dealers away or dividing channels to damage the interests of dealers.