Management InSites

Are You Using American Measurements in Your Literature?

As you work to set up your U.S. subsidiary, don’t forget to take a look at your marketing materials and ensure they will engage your potential customers. It can be easy to forget how essential appropriate brochures and other collateral can be for your U.S. market entry success.

If you intend to use information that already exists from the parent company, one very important detail to ask yourself is whether the documents use American units of measurement, or the metric system. If it is the latter, you will want to make some changes.

While it is not an issue to include metric measurements in your literature, they must accompany American measurements. This is mainly for two reasons:

  1. Americans are not adept enough (in general) at using the metric system to have a solid concept of the amount or quantity that you are offering in your brochures.
  2. Having exclusively metric measurements will signal to the customer that your company is foreign. This fact could scare away potential American customers who are wary of doing business with a foreign entity.

Everything about what you present to the world from your U.S. entity must come across as American – including use of proper American English, and measurements. This includes your American website, social media, and all product literature.

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Read more
  • Shipping with HS and HTS Codes

    If your organization intends to ship or receive items to or from overseas, it is important to understand an integral part of the international shipping process: the Harmonized System (HS) and Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), which were developed by the World Customs Organization.

    February 8, 2021
  • The Right Content for Your Content Strategy

    In this post, we explore the type of content to consider posting across platforms for a strong content strategy. Content can come in many forms.

    January 27, 2021
  • The Importance of Depreciation and Asset Management

    In a previous post, we discussed the importance of maintaining good accounting and bookkeeping practices. One aspect of proper bookkeeping includes tracking depreciation and asset management.

    January 7, 2021
  • The Benefits of Employee Training

    Any organization, whether it is established and is thriving, or whether it is new to the U.S. market and still finding its way, should strongly consider the benefits of employee training.
    While training definitely has its costs – both in time and money spent – it is an important investment.

    December 17, 2020
How can we help you?
Contact us or submit a business inquiry online.

Are You Using American Measurements in Your Literature?

In our previous post on the topic, we covered some important things to remember when setting up your company in the U.S. market. Beyond operations, sales, and marketing, a manager would be remiss not to focus on how cultural differences might impact the success of a subsidiary.

The U.S. is not homogenous

Unlike several other countries, the U.S. is vast – and not just in its size. Americans tend to break up the country into its East and West coasts, and the Midwest. But there are even more segments, like the South, Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, Florida, and Texas – all of which differ greatly from each other. There are several big cities, countless medium-sized markets, and even more rural or suburban areas. Interacting with people living in big cities will differ greatly from interacting with people in smaller towns. While it would be unwise to generalize, it is best to understand the culture of the part of the U.S. in which you are doing business before having expectations.

Patience is not always a strength among Americans

When in negotiations or conducting business, Americans tend to want to just get the deal done. While many other cultures take their time, get to know everyone involved, and move along at a comfortable pace, those in the U.S. do not always see a need to drag things out. Get ready for what looks like impatience, when in reality it is just a desire to be efficient and effective.

Don’t plan on in-person meetings 

At least not all the time. The tendency for Europeans and Asians to conduct most business in person is not the same in the U.S. Phone calls, emails, and now even video conference calls are the norm. Businesspeople like to work efficiently, and don’t gather in person unless it is necessary. First meetings, larger negotiations, and important topics are generally discussed in-person. Otherwise, don’t be offended or surprised if many of your interactions are taking place remotely.

Open-minded over traditions

A positive aspect of Americans in general is their ability to have an open mind. Many other cultures rely heavily on traditions, and act in certain ways because history dictates that they should. That is not the case in the U.S. Americans tend to welcome new ideas and concepts perhaps more freely than their foreign counterparts.

That being said, Europeans tend to rely on strongly forged bonds in which trust is paramount. Loyalty is key. Americans tend to be looser and more pragmatic when it comes to doing business. They don’t necessarily need to have known someone for years to begin working with them. At the end of the day, it’s about getting the deal done.