I’m looking to start exporting beds (mattresses and bases), including contract beds for hotels, to China and need help finding buyers – can anyone offer any advice?

Question

We manufacture high quality beds and mattresses, including all natural (wool, silk), pocket spring and memory foam. We are already selling these successfully in Europe and would now like to expand into Asia. We also make superior contract beds for hotels which we have sold successfully to 4 & 5 * hotel groups in the UK.

Answer

We have partners in China who would be able to get you in to China. Please let me know if you are interested.

Otherwise there are some free services offered by the EU and UKTI.

Answer

Michael,
We work closely with clients who have cracked the Far East market. The recurring key themes are 1. Getting the marketing and negotiation strategy right from the outset 2. Going in at the right level – with introductions from individuals who are valued locally 3. Having the right marketing, promotional and sales material tailored to the market and 3. Really making the most of your USP (which as you know, your UK quality brand is a sought after component right now). The UKTI can help here. Don’t forget the City of London Corporation have offices in China too. We are working on initiatives with the City to help SMEs in London. Their expertise has naturally focussed on financial services, their network is extensive. Commissioning a good marketing firm to help you is sensible but the ones with expertise and a track record outside Europe come at a premium but there are some smaller firms are out there with great talent. We help UK firms looking to export to maximise their local impact by developing the language and cultural aspects of their export strategy (check out the staggering stats in our Business Language Monitor report to see the languages that are rapidly growing online). It is surprising how many firms skip over this aspect and miss some quick and easy wins that cost very little. Conversely, it’s great to see several companies striking gold when it comes to multi-lingual sales and marketing. We conducted some research for the Governement that illustrated this well and I’d be happy to share this and other success stories. Similarly, if you need anything from a letter to be translated to staging a major multi-lingual event we can project manage these in a hassle free and cost effective manner for you. I hope this is useful and I wish you every success in the new market – I’m a great fan as the two most important items in life are a good pair of shoes and a splendid bed – if you’re not in one you’re in the other. David

Answer

Michael,

Chinese factories already produce vast quantities of beds and mattresses. They are the main suppliers to hotel groups like Marriot and some Intercontinental hotels. Consequently you will have difficulty competing on price (especially once import duty is added). Our advice is that you promote your product as "luxury" beds and luxury mattresses . Chinese consumers are now the second largest consumers of luxury products in the world, the vast majority of which are foreign "brands". This will allow you to justify the price premium for your product.

We have a large online media operation in China and would be able to assist you if plan to do any online advertising.
Look at www.luxuryonlinemedia.com

regards
Lee

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