Supply chain · 12 January 2017

How a small business can capitalise on Made in Britain

Made in Britain
A revival of interest in UK-produced products has created extra value for the Made in Britain brand overseas

In his latest article for Business Advice, FedEx Express UK sales director David Poole gives his top tips to small UK manufacturers looking to make the most of the Made in Britain brand.

The heritage appeal of British brands is enjoying widespread demand overseas, and in recent years there has been a significant uplift in UK manufacturing activity as global interest for Made in Britain grows.

The government has a vision for 100,000 more small businesses to join the ranks of exporters, which has the potential to help reduce the UK’s trade deficit.

With many small UK firms in a variety of sectors enjoying fast international growth, there isn’t a better time to reap the potential rewards that a more British identity can offer businesses overseas.

The current resurgence in the demand for British-made goods can be largely attributed to UK retailers bringing their manufacturing back to home turf – in the process reversing a tendency for UK businesses to use off-shoring to reduce costs.

Together with the introduction of the Made in Britain identity and the publicity this generated around the world, opportunities for overseas trade opportunities for brand Britain soon began to present themselves.

To take advantage of international interest, there are a number of things to consider to ensure you’re capitalising on the opportunities available. Navigating through the exporting process can be challenging, so we’ve put together our top tips on how to make the most of your British business credentials.

Research your target market

Whether you’re exporting near or far it’s crucial that you understand where your products will be most revered. You should look for countries that have a high regard for British products, particularly in your own sector. It’s also a good idea to understand the customs regulations and shipping requirements to your destination country.

Consult the Market Access Database and check for any specific prohibitions or licensing restrictions to ensure no unwanted customs surprises. While it is generally much simpler to trade within the EU, external opportunities can be successfully navigated if you do your homework.

Review your packaging

For the owners of some small companies, adding the Union Jack to your packaging could make Britishness a more integral part of your offering and boost your business overseas.

For others, taking a subtler approach can be more fruitful in the long-term. The heritage of your brand can come through in the tone of voice, font and wrapping of your product – all contributing to give overseas customers a more British experience.

Keep up with your sector

Ensuring you’re up to date with the latest trends in your sector will mean you’re able to adapt and update your offering accordingly. The global market is constantly evolving, meaning that changes to consumer trends will affect your offering abroad.

It’s an exciting time for UK manufacturers across all sectors, with the revival of British-made products in particular bringing tradition and heritage back to the forefront of modern production. Adding this historical dimension to the current interest for Made in Britain means businesses can look to explore new markets with confidence and enjoy a truly global marketplace.

Tapping into the demand for British goods and services could be a powerful use of time and resources with the potential to boost your business significantly.

Using a transportation provider with an understanding of the export market and the challenges it brings such as FedEx could set you in good stead for success. Gaining insight from other successful brands can also offer valuable lessons for navigating overseas markets, reaching new areas you may not have previously considered.

David Poole is sales managing director, UK South at FedEx Express

Read on to find out David Poole’s essential tips for exporting your micro business to success.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

David Poole is managing director of sales, UK South at FedEx Express and FedEx UK. FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to every US address, as well as more than 220 countries and territories. 

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