Emerging Markets & Global Sales Opportunities for SMBs

Ed Marsh | Sep 13, 2012

Disenchantment with the BRICs

Have you tried exporting your product to the BRICs?  It’s a strategy that’s worked well for a few companies, but has driven many more to retreat from international markets in frustration and resignation.

They can be so tough that there is a whole industry which has evolved promising to provide “middle man” services which will allow you avoid the myriad hassles and complications.

The fact is the barriers are substantial.  Even Jeff Immelt of GE has lamented periodically the often insurmountable challenges of business development in India.

Maybe those barriers and frustrations, combined with our insatiable desire to always simplify tough questions to a form which let’s us feel like we really grasp them, contribute to the crop of market acronyms which are tossed about in discussions of global business opportunities.

CIVETS, N-11 and more

Jim O’Neill, the Goldman Sachs exec who originally coined the term BRICs now argues against using that term.  He contends that the continuum of growth is quite broad – between and within countries and regions.  His position is that the discussion should be of ‘growth markets.’

That’s not as catchy as a handy acronym, but maybe he’s right.  Particularly if there’s validity in the research which increasingly focuses on the rise of metro areas as economic units.

But don’t give up on acronyms yet – here comes another that’s gaining some traction, and might be particularly interesting to American companies.


The MIST Markets (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea & Turkey) really originated as an investment concept.  But referring to our belief that ultimately demographics dictate much of a country’s prospects, then in many cases (not all – for instance countries rich in natural resources have boomed recently due to external demand) what’s good from an investment perspective is also sound from the perspective of future growth in consumer incomes and spending.

These MIST markets are all appropriate for American exporters to consider. 
Certainly Indonesia carries some political risk...

...but is a growing member of the ASEAN block which has great potential.  Turkey is vibrant and occupies a noteworthy location (geographically and geo-politically) in the world, and S. Korea is an amazing story of growth.  But Mexico is our neighbor, and that proximity certainly simplifies some aspects of the cross border trade.

And Mexico is a substantial and attractive market in it’s own right with substantial consumer activity, and a potential gateway to the vibrant Latin American opportunity collectively.  It’s a market American companies should absolutely add to their list of likely candidates for international expansion. But it’s one of many attractive international business development targets

Not to be MIST (or missed) opportunity

Don’t forget about Africa.  We understand if you’ve grown skeptical about the BRICs.  And we understand potential hesitancy to launch into a completely new space. 

At the same time the opportunity to build a base while a market is still actually emerging (v.s once emerged as essentially all others) is very exciting. Consilium recently released our report on the African opportunity which introduces American companies to the landscape and considerations and offers some action steps.

Ready to grow quickly through international sales?  Let’s talk Mexico.  And at the same time want to lay the groundwork for diversified global sales?  Let’s include ASEAN and African markets in the discussion.

Contact Consilium today!

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