Gardenex head urges British suppliers to pay attention to 'neglected aspects' of overseas business

Gardenex director general Amanda Sizer Barrett has urged British firms to review the ways in which they handle their overseas business in order to gain competitive advantage.

She said, "UK exporters need to reconsider often neglected aspects of doing business overseas. You might not regard cross-cultural awareness and protected intellectual property rights as vital components in the marketing mix, yet applied properly they can give you a significant advantage over competitors."

The Federation is deeply involved in the planning of the British pavilion at international garden and leisure show, spoga+gafa in Cologne.

Two weeks later, the Federation will be organising and manning the International Buyers' Centre at Glee, Birmingham.

Sizer Barrett cites significant details when making new international business contacts, such as the importance of the ritual of presenting and receiving of business cards in East Asian markets, and the significance of the colours used in a company brand as among the key factors in achieving sales in overseas territories.

"Colours can be valuable intellectual property rights and the proper protection of those rights can help you succeed overseas.

"A trade mark, for example, assures the buyer of the quality of your product and gives protection against passing-off and piracy. While intellectual property can be a complex process to protect globally, it is, nevertheless, extremely important that businesses have a clear understanding of what is involved and take a strategic approach to protecting their rights", she stated.

She added: "One of the many benefits of membership of either Gardenex or PetQuip is that companies can use the Federation's own trade mark protection service as well as to access a leading patent and trade market attorney for free advice and obtain a substantial discount on their services."

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