Bridger Howes – going global

Bridger Howes is a media consultancy company with just two employees. SME caught up with them to find out more about the business…

What countries do you operate in?

We have clients in the UK, Europe and North America, who operate globally. We have also staged events in Singapore and Dubai.

What is the next country to target?

Middle East, Far East, Australasia, and South America.

What is your global plan?

Stick to our values but apply them to local communities. The trick with content-based public relations anyway is tailoring it for an audience.

How much research goes in to setting up overseas expansion? Do you visit the places you are looking to sell to?

I guess this question is more applicable to those shipping product or having a physical presence in a geography. However, we do travel extensively, most frequently to North America. We visit our clients and are present at events we organise, wherever they might be.

What have been the main challenges for exporting?

Euro and dollar exchange rates; bank charges; time differences; language; and culture.

What cultural differences have you encountered, and have they affected the way you do business with certain regions?

I grew up knowing they spell ‘colour’ without the U in America, yet only in serving the market as a trade magazine editor did I realise just how culturally different even western countries who speak the same language can be. A load cell in the UK is a dynamometer in the states and an open-winch hoist is a built-up hoist, for example. There are many stereotypes at play when working internationally, a lot of which are true! What is more important to us is industry trends and the way supply chains work in each market and geography. The biggest cultural differences we detect are the varying speeds at which countries embrace safety systems and other technologies.