When Better & Stronger American dream comes true

04 Feb, 2023

1 min

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Kobe Bryant used to say, “If you want to be a better player, you have to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more”. 

To support our client's international growth, we do our best to put our feelers out, unearth countries' best opportunities and help them adapt to local markets. It requires a lot of fieldwork and adaptation.

We have always been an international agency, working from different European countries to help clients thrive worldwide, but this year, it’s different. 

With our new member, Rachael, joining Better&Stronger directly from the US and our new clients coming from America, we intend to expand our activity to the United States more particularly. 


SIMON NÉOUZE, CEO

How does the international spirit stem from Better DNA and your experience?  

“The international spirit is deeply anchored in my DNA. From personal experience to professional objectives, I have always tried to think outside the borders. 

There are two strategic options when a company wants to succeed online: it produces and sells directly to the local market or tries to reach a bigger market. 

When the brand already shows great results, or even when it encounters problems in the local market, it needs to internationalize. For instance, when the borders were closed because of the pandemic, we helped our client Japan Experience successfully expand to other markets. 

So, I would say that there are three mains links between Better & Stronger and the international window

  • a growth strategic logic 
  • a personal interest 
  • a shared vision at Better & Stronger: we welcome talents from around the world to reach clients from every corner of the world"

Since its creation Better has expanded abroad (focusing on Europe first: Switzerland, Sweden…). Now, it has reached a new continent. Why did we choose the United States to export Better & Stronger abroad, not Australia, Japan, Morocco or Brazil?

“Why the USA? It’s part of our global vision. First, we opened a branch in Switzerland and worked with Lorena, directly from Sweden. The USA was the next step. 

In this market, we can reach clients with high-velocity projects. There is a strong business culture, and the market is bigger than in Europe.

We can offer them our rationality and quality of structuration that local American agencies sometimes miss. 

American companies often have difficulties adapting to the European market. They see it as a puzzle. We help them to adapt to the different sub-markets in Europe, get the codes they need to thrive.”

 

As a CEO, how do you apprehend this challenge?

“ To be completely honest, we are still at an early stage of our expansion. Our main effort is on the structure. We need to understand the American business culture and match our expert's qualities with companies' expectations. 

We also need to make a business development effort: searching for companies we want to work with, for whom we want to fight.”



LORENA SASSMAN, Performance expert & responsible for International Growth Program 

Which type of clients makes this ambition come true? 

“We work with American clients with different business models to help them grow internationally, particularly in Europe. 

  • Hairstory is an eCommerce company well-settled in the United States. They were selling tailor-made and sustainable shampoos across America and called us to help them adapt their platform and communication to other countries. As a local partner, we support their internationalisation in adapting their communication strategy to local specificities.
  • Dacast is an American SaaS specialising in business live streaming software. We support their lead generation objective by showing them how to approach local markets.

  • We also help Timberland develop its European communication strategy to help them adapt to cultural specificities.”

What challenges are they facing?

“They know that their products work well in their local market in America, but they have difficulties setting up their activity in Europe (and elsewhere), for they miss local cultural knowledge and codes

We are working hand in hand with local influencers on go-to-market strategies to allow them to deliver their communication the best. 

If we take the example of Hairstory, not every European country has the same expectations regarding shampoo. In the United States, the mention of “non-toxic” is a customer priority; in Spain, it’s “no salt” shampoo, and in Germany, "without sulfate”. 

It is crucial to know all this information to reach a new market”.

How do we support their growth? 

“Thanks to the Google program International Growth, we offer our clients support on three main steps on their establishment: 

  • Market opportunities identification: we identify which local markets have the most potential 
  • Localisation: a website is not enough. We help our clients adopt the cultural codes of the country they advertise in.
  • Auto-market: we set up automated campaigns for their different markets.”



RONAN CARREIN, COO 

Operationally speaking, how did we plan this expansion to the USA?

“Working on the American market is a logical episode for an agency that wants to grow internationally.

Two main reasons pushed us to work in that market: 

  • The companies we are looking for in terms of size, needs and maturity are American. They are small to medium size clients in the American market, but they represent big companies and projects for the European market. We want to reach this pool of companies to help them grow in Europe.

  • At the same time, we had a double opportunity. The startup Haus Analytics we have been working with has recommended us to its clients, opening the door to new perspectives. Rachael Sordo Wiid has joined Better & Stronger as a senior business developer and relationship manager to deal directly with our American clients. 

So I would say that this expansion to the USA is the result of combining our motivation and a great opportunity. Without a senior profile on site, we wouldn’t have been able to develop these projects.”

 

What about Better & Stronger perspective for the US in 2-5 years? 

“Today, we have someone on-site, Rachael, to manage our big American client, Hairstory. She has the seniority and the network to approach new clients and agencies, to create partnerships. 

We also work with Hairstory, which is supported by a big investment fund. We know that we could be able to reach other companies working with this fund if we manage to meet our objectives with HairStory.

There are a lot of opportunities for Better & Stronger in the US. All we need is to secure our client’s projects and to think about the challenges that will go along if we were to recruit new American associates.”


As a COO, what challenges do you face? How do you apprehend reaching your international goals?

“After working for more than 13 years for Google, with big American companies, I must say that I now know the market and the kind of interactions that work well with them. We have two main challenges: 

  • We have 9 hours of time difference which leads to a technical constraint. We need to be very efficient and impactful during the 1h30 slot we have with them daily. 

  • We know we risk extending our team far from our offices. Rachael would need to be backed up by other team members or recruits if we were to reach new projects. It means: updating the English level and velocity of current team members or recruiting senior profiles directly in the US. It represents an interesting challenge we are willing to take up in both cases.

Selecting good projects will also be a challenge. We can’t afford to invest a lot in a client that won’t fit with us. But this is a personal challenge.”

Expanding our activities to America is an amazing opportunity to reach new pools of interesting companies. It presents a  lot of challenges that we are willing to take up.  

By Emma Jeanpierre

13 Sep, 2022