AmeriChannels llc. Turns Challenges Into Successes

Led by a team of executives with manufacturing, technology and software backgrounds who have worked with Fortune 100 and start-up companies, AmeriChannels provides you a number of flexible options to capitalize on your product strengths in virtually any market around the world.

Case Study 1

Software Company with success in US expands to Europe and beyond

A software company in the South Eastern part of the US. has had some success selling products in the US through specialty and CE retailers.

Problem: one of their strategic goals for 2010 was to begin to expand outside of the US, and while they had ideas of where they wanted to launch their products, they wanted help on the how and who.

AmeriChannels focus:  strong distribution network; primary tool: Channel & Marketing Mix Optimization ModelTM

The first step was to translate (localize) their products. They had the software, packaging and website translated into French, German, Spanish and Japanese as they were the markets targeted for expansion. The French language translation was also need for the Canadian market as many of the large Canadian retailers don’t sell products that can’t be sold in Quebec also.

Next was to find a partner in each country. We spoke with people in our network to get the names of quality distribution partners in each country. We reviewed the list, and then interviewed a short list of candidates to find the best fit, using criteria like similar product success, and good match with our client’s profile. Once we determined the partner we negotiated and entered into an agreement.

Our client’s products will be in place in all of the target countries this fall to take advantage of the prime fall selling season. This wouldn’t be possible without distribution partners that know the major retailers, Internet retailer, influencers, etc. in each of their markets. Our client could get in quickly and know exactly what the market demanded -what local tax rules applied and to modify packaging and promotional materials to perform the best in the local areas.

Case Study 2

A mid-market medical device company needed to figure out the right domestic and international strategy for several “step-sister” product lines that came with a recent acquisition.

Sometimes our clients need us to supplement internal talent and resources. From Strategy to Implementation, we provide the most relevant services to maximize your return.

Problem:  the company had recently made a large, strategic acquisition which consumed internal domestic and international resources. The company had no time to work on a strategy for what do to with several, related but smaller product categories that came with the main acquisition.

AmeriChannels focus:  segmentation and targeting; primary tool: Market/Product Decision MatrixTM

First we reviewed and analyzed the overall company mission, strategic objectives and business model.  Next we analyzed existing market and industry research both from the company and from our own sources.  We tailored our approach to map the “fit” of each product line and market segment to the Company, documenting the opportunities, implications of investing in, maintaining, or spinning off the product categories, and creating a Strategic Intent recommendation for each of four unique markets.

Case  Study 3

A mid-size, U.S. Software Company enjoyed receiving international revenues, but when they tried to expand found a tangled web of challenges.

When a company is so focused on being successful in their own market, they often take the easy path to expansion in other parts of the world because it takes little effort and adds revenue and profit to the bottom line.

Problem:  a software company client did exactly that. As the company quickly grew throughout the 90’s they would get inquiries from other parts of the world from companies that wanted to sell the product in their local region. They entered into licensing arrangements where the US Company didn’t have to do much except collect the quarterly royalty payments. The foreign company handled everything – marketing and promotional costs, manufacturing and distribution costs, etc. The US Company incurred no expense and did little to monitor or check out these partners. It was “easy money”.

As the US Company became more successful and the international business became about 15% of their annual revenues and much more profit they knew they needed to take more control of their international business.  The result of their lack of oversight in the early years cost them dearly. It took many years to correct the problems that resulted:

  • No branding standard meant that the product had a different look and feel in each market. In some areas even the US company logo was replaced by the local partner.
  • In a couple of countries the US Company did not own the rights to the translated version of the product.
  • Customer names and information were not controlled or owned by the US Company, so they had no right to market additional products or services to existing customers.
  • One partner in particular, in one of the largest European markets, was retired and doing this on the side. So when the US Company wanted to be more aggressive in the country the partner didn’t want to spend additional money to get more sales. He was happy with the six figure income the business was generating and had little motivation to do more. The only way the US Company could do what they wanted in that market was to buy out his agreement. This was very costly