Tools & Templates

Identify your market

If you want to succeed in your export market, first you must identify the market that is most profitable for your products or services in particular. Without guidance or help this can be a very time-consuming and expensive process – especially for smaller companies.

Market analysis in 3 steps

1. Step: Identify potential markets

  • Find out what countries are importing products similar to yours.

  • Thoroughly examine any accessible market analyses in order to map the market’s accessibility, taxes and charges, channels of distribution etc.

  • Identify 5-10 large companies where sale of your products is growing. Analyze the last three to five years to observe growing and shrinking markets.

  • Identify some small but growing markets, where there are fewer competition.

  • Select three to five of the most promising markets for further assessment.

2. Step: Assessment of the selected markets

  • Examine consumption and manufacturing of competing products as well as general demographic and economic trends in the selected country.

  • Determine who your competition is and how your products are used in the market. Consider who the final users are, how products are distributed, cultural quirks and business methods.

  • Find out if there are any trade barriers.

  • Find out if your product is able to compete on price including costs of packing, shipment, marketing, commissions, taxes, tariffs etc.

3. Step: Conclude

  • If it's the first time your company is exporting, it is reasonable to only select 1-3 markets. When you have found you optimal market, you can begin to prepare your product for export.


  • Thorough market analysis is key to success. An understanding of your export markets gives you important information about where to invest your resources.

  • Do not choose too many markets. For smaller companies three markets are more than enough. It may be a good idea to test one market first and then add more as you become more experienced.

  • It makes good economic sense to focus on clusters of countries or areas that share language and culture.