Sea Foam Drives Success Overseas
RAISE Research fueled expansion into new international markets
Sea Foam manufactures fuel additives for cars, trucks, lawn mowers, boats, etc. since the 1930s. They are the creator of Sea Foam Motor Treatment, one of the best-selling fuel additives in North America. Headquartered in Chaska, MN, Sea Foam created a strategic plan to expand around the globe. Execution of that plan included creating Sea Foam International, Inc., headquartered in Bismarck, ND, which taps into the knowledge and expertise of the US team, and adds a team focused on international expansion.
As a participant in the ExporTech program in 2016 (co-sponsored by Enterprise Minnesota and the U.S. Commercial Service), Sea Foam received in-depth market research done by the US Commercial / North Dakota, including a numerous-country ranking and in-depth research into three countries identified by Sea Foam. These reports included very practical information such as lists of potential partners, a tariff / landed cost comparison, and country-specific information on the automotive industry.
The research confirmed that there were strong opportunities in China and Mexico, and Sea Foam used the Initial Market Check and the Gold Key Service (GKS) in China in February 2018. With the GKS, the U.S. Commercial Service overseas office arranges in-person meetings with potential buyers. These meetings provide an opportunity for US sellers to pitch their products directly to potential partners on premises, providing insights into the companies, the industry and the country. Sea Foam also received counseling from the U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico. After Sea Foam’s China and Mexico outreach and follow-up, they secured sales in both China and Mexico, leveraging their own knowledge, contacts and expertise, and also the new insights, contacts and information gathered from research and the in-country U.S. Commercial Service staff.
“Quality data key to making informed decisions on entering foreign markets is hard to obtain and very expensive,” said Sea Foam International CEO Michael Wagner. “It is extremely time-consuming just figuring out what data sources exist, much less subscribing to them for the time needed to analyze a market. The RAISE program takes this process over and makes a tedious process quick and easy. I cannot over-emphasize the value of information-from local knowledge, data, resources and contacts, to name a few- provided by the US Commercial Service. US companies looking to enter foreign markets would be foolish not to tap into this wonderful resource.”
For more information on RAISE research or to request a free consultation, click here. To contact the US Commercial Service / Fargo, email Heather Ranck or click here.