Any business that has a successful product in one market, should consider testing that success in new markets. For some business owners, that seems like a daunting task. New markets are scary and unknown. Here is an inspirational story for you. We can learn three marketing tips from Kraft Foods about entering new markets or increasing sales in those markets. This will be relevant for any business considering re-niching a product line or entering new countries to increase and grow their revenue. Whether you hire a marketing consultant, or try to implement the strategy yourself, always remember the marketing lessons from this article.

Specifically, Kraft Foods decided they needed to do better in developing markets. Kraft knew they could do a better sales job outside the USA. Even though some of their products had been selling overseas for 22 years, sales were stagnant. The developing markets was a laggard and they were looking to improve their position.

How did Kraft do it?

I feel that we can learn three things from Kraft foods strategy that resulted in a revenue increase from developing markets to 21% of overall revenue in two years. Sales of Tang in developing markets grew 30% in one year.

#1: Focus on a specific task, instead of trying to do everything.

Kraft found their ten best brands, also known as their power brands, which were under-marketed and had the best profit margins. Some of the brands identified were Oreo cookies, Philadelphia cream cheese, and Tang. These ten products would get committed resources in R&D and marketing, while the other brands were not part of the strategy.

#2 Do market research

The second principle we can learn from Kraft Foods is they did market research. I think this is critical. We sometimes just jump into it and we think a product or a service, or even an e-book works no matter what country or new areas. But if you understand your target market, you can understand their needs, and problems. Then, you can create a solution to that problem.

In the case of Kraft, they found through market surveys that in China, mothers believed their children needed about six glasses of water a day. Of course being hydrated is a good universal habit. Moms really wanted their children to drink plenty of water, but the children felt water was boring and bland. Problem identified. Kraft Foods smartly pitched to the parent and to the kids that if they used Tang, it would make water more exciting. It became an appealing way for moms to use Tang to get their kids to drink more water.

Secondly, Kraft looked to expand their flavors to match the culture of the new market. It is still Tang, but they experimented with new fruit flavors, such as mango, tamarind, and maracuja (passion fruit), aimed at local palates in Philippines, Mexico, and Brazil. This reminds me of the worn out cliché -“When in Rome, do as Romans do”.

Finally, Kraft tweaked the packaging. The research showed that the Chinese preferred to make up powder drinks by the glass rather than by the pitcher. Given this behavior, Kraft created single serving packets of Tang. Kraft designed new single serving packaging similar to the powdered sugar pixie sticks found in the US market.

#3 Big product launch – free samples

When Kraft was ready to introduce the new Tang flavors and packages, Kraft distributed 27 million free samples in 2009, which is a big commitment. Consider that Kraft gave away 300,000 samples in 2008, so 27 million samples allowed them to reach an audience over 81 times greater in 2009. This meant that more prospects had an opportunity to try Tang and develop a relationship with the brand and a customer relationship with Kraft. Kraft really delivered value to prospective customers in developing markets. New customers were found.

Bottom line: Tang sales shot up 42% in Latin America, and 25% in Asia Pacific.


Applying these marketing principles can help any business expand into new markets for top line growth. Don’t try to do everything, just focus on a few products that have the best potential and highest profit margins. Do your market research. Commit to a big product launch. With minimal product changes, and a focused localized marketing approach, products can be successfully introduced to new markets.