A Strategy For Global Marketing

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - April 07, 2010
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Kevin Kraft markets products overseas through his company, Tradewinds Global

When the owners of Big Island Bees Natural and Organic Hawaiian Honey wanted to sell their sweet product in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, they relied on the knowledge of Kevin Kraft, who specializes in marketing American products in Asia through his export management firm, Tradewinds Global. He represents many natural and organic companies, products for pets and children, as well as creations from Hawaii.

“Here in Hawaii, if you see a lot of Japanese tourists wearing the ERGOBaby Carrier (from Maui), it is a good chance they purchased that over in Japan,” Kraft says with delight. “You can see how the distribution of products comes full circle when you see them wearing something you set up.”

Tradewinds Global compiles an export strategy for companies that want to sell their products in Asia.

“Every product is a living organism in how it is perceived, how it grows and where you start engaging a product,” says Kraft. “There’s an evolutionary process with a company with its own sales and domestic growth as well as how a brand is ready overseas. A case-by-case evaluation and creativity go into a successful marketing plan, taking into account cultural differences.”


He points to his strong partnerships in markets overseas for the success of his clients’ products. He manages the relationship with suppliers and gets the product ready to export, in addition to finding new promotions with the U.S. Department of Commerce, agricultural trade offices and other agencies. His account managers take care of the details, watch the shipments and communicate in Japanese and Chinese.

Success for his clients’ brands to become established overseas, he notes, needs a commitment of at least three years.

“To help with marketing support,” he says, “we can assist with trade shows and brainstorm marketing ideas.”

Tradewinds Global also works with companies to sell directly to consumers online.

Kraft, who was born and raised in the desert of Apple Valley, Calif., majored in anthropology at University of Colorado. He worked for a year in a hotel in Saipan, and then lived in Japan, among other places.

“I love different cultures and different people,” says Kraft, a Kaneohe resident. “It’s my love of culture and trying to find the solution for business that made me create Tradewinds Global.”

With the help of two staff members, he hopes to add complementary product lines to the natural lifestyle clients he has now.

The Small Business Administration recently selected Kraft for this year’s Small Business Exporter Award for the City and County of Honolulu.

He profusely thanks his staff, clients, colleagues, friends and family, especially wife Yumi and their sons Koah, 5, and Forrest, 3, for the success of the business.

For more information, call 457-1904 or log on to ww.tradewinds-global.com.


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