How to Successfully Build Your Brand in a New Country

In this episode…

As sales for your business grow, have you considered expanding your market reach? Maybe to other regions—or even different countries? If this has been on your mind, do you have the right strategies for entering these new markets? 

Shivani Dhamija, the Founder of Shivani's Kitchen, joins Dean Dutro in this episode of Relationship Commerce to share her tips and tricks for successfully entering new markets with e-commerce products. She explains how learning the culture of your new market can help build your brand, the challenges she faced growing her cooking classes business, and how e-commerce has led to more traction for both businesses.

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Shivani DhamijaShivani Dhamija is the Founder of Shivani's Kitchen, a Canadian spice and sauce brand to bring quality Indian products into your home. She creates award-winning spices and sauces manufactured in Nova Scotia and supplied to retail stores across Canada, like Sobeys. Shivani's Kitchen offers a wide variety of authentic spice blends, sauces, cooking classes, Do-It-Yourself kits, and more. 

Shivani moved to Nova Scotia in 2011 to be with her partner and eventually started meal delivery services, cooking classes, and a spice blends business in 2016. Her ready-to-use sauces are salt-free, gluten-free, and preservative-free. Shivani has a passion for entrepreneurship and helping other women immigrants grow their own businesses.

Why You Should Listen to Your e-Commerce Customers

To create and run a successful e-commerce business, you have to listen to your customers. Talk to your consumers, find out what products they need, and then use that insight to come up with quality products that will serve their demand. 

When Shivani found out that young professionals were looking for meal delivery services in her area, she opened a Facebook page and started delivering food to her customers. It was when she started offering cooking classes that she learned about the (great) need for quality spice and sauce blends in the market. She couldn't find good suppliers for her classes, so she decided to create her own blends—and a whole new revenue stream.

But it’s not just about starting the conversation. You should also maintain consistent communication with your customers. Whenever you can, meet your consumers in-person (or virtually!) and talk to them about your new products or improvements to your existing products. Share samples if you have them. And most importantly, ask them if they like your products. If they don't like what you’re offering, this is an incredible opportunity to find out why and make improvements to your products that’ll fit their needs successfully. 

Why You Should Understand Your Community's Culture

Before you start producing any e-commerce product, you need to conduct thorough research and understand your target community's culture. What do they like? What do they hate? How do they spend their time? In Shivani’s case, what do they like to eat? If you intend to produce food products, make sure that the ingredients you plan to use are desired in that community.

While working on her cooking classes, Shivani interacted a lot with her students. In the process, she learned a lot about Canadian culture, like the fact that Canadians don't like having too much salt in their food. She took note of this and made salt-free spices and salt-free sauces part of her product line. This made her products more appealing to her market and gave her business more traction. 

It’s also important that you understand the laws and regulations that govern your industry. Research as much as you can to get a clear picture of what you are allowed to do and what is restricted. Make sure to use the right processes to produce your e-commerce products and adhere to all policies put in place, to avoid any legal issues—and expenses—later. 

How to Leverage e-Commerce to Enter a New Marketplace

Before COVID-19 hit, many new businesses could approach retail stores and pitch their products to have them sold in the storefront. However, the limitation on physical meetings has greatly impacted the growth of new businesses, who now have to find creative ways to sell their products.

One of the best ways for you to enter a market in a foreign region is through e-commerce. E-commerce gives customers from different areas, and even different countries, the opportunity to buy your products from the comfort of their homes. 

Shivani had been selling her products in Canadian stores but when the pandemic struck, she couldn't move around to pitch her products to more stores. This affected her business and forced her to find a solution quickly. She decided to make good use of her online presence and promote her products online, mainly through social media and her brand's website. The result? Not only was she able to stay afloat—she even started selling to customers from regions she hadn’t been able to enter through physical stores.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is sponsored by Worth eCommerce.

Worth eCommerce is a small mighty team of eCommerce email marketers who help businesses of all sizes dramatically grow revenue with lifecycle email marketing. It is made up of copywriters, designers, strategizers, and marketing extraordinaires who specialize in nurturing relationships and guiding sales through the sheer power of email.

Worth eCommerce's sole focus is creating a lasting relationship between eCommerce sellers and their customers through the most personable form of digital connection: email. Businesses that send personable, interesting, and helpful emails earn the trust and continued business from that same customer. 

Worth eCommerce’s mission is to help small medium sized e-commerce businesses generate more than a million dollars a year each in revenue using their own marketing channels.

To learn more about Worth eCommerce, visit

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