China & Brazil: Commercial keys to successfully export consumer goods to two “giants”

Pablo Foncillas

Pablo Foncillas is associate professor at IE Business School and has 10 years of experience as lecturer in the Department of Business Administration at IESE Business School. He is also a member of the Globalpraxis Board. This article is based on more than 200 route-to-market projects performed by Globalpraxis in different countries and sectors.

China and Brazil bring huge opportunities, both in demographic and economic terms, to Spanish companies.

This article summarizes several key concepts to help those responsible for commercial strategy take advantage of these opportunities and establish a correct commercial ‘route-to-market’ strategy with which to grow in two such diverse and highly-competitive environments.

When drafting a route-to-market (RTM) strategy in two big markets like China and Brazil, any executive – especially one in sales – will consider one question right from the start: Should I “attack” both countries in the same way, given that they are both BRIC countries (main emerging markets – Brazil, Russia, India, and China) or, on the contrary, face them individually, as they are two different environments and therefore require different entry strategies? The answer is that they have unequal market realities, which means that the formulas required to penetrate them must also be different, even though China and Brazil share two sides of the same coin: opportunity on the one hand, and a management challenge on the other.

RTM and value chain

First of all, what is an RTM? How is it designed and what are the key elements among the links that form it? The process by which a company is set up to deal with a market is known as route-to-market, and it is a practice that is becoming increasingly important in commercial strategy, especially in companies specialized in consumer markets and related sectors (household appliances, computer equipment, small electrical appliances,…). The RTM alludes to the ‘route’ a product takes until it reaches the end consumer. It is, in short, the ‘commercialization channel’, and includes all activities necessary to bring the product to the client.

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