5 experiences: How do you create export success?

Hoyer can call itself Danish Exporter of the Year 2016, and the company's CEO highlights five specific building blocks that can help build a foundation for growth in export markets.

In 1997, Hoyer took its first steps across the Danish border and made Norway its first export market. Then came Sweden and Germany, and that’s how things continued until today, when Hoyer is now active in 20 countries in Europe and Asia.

The long-term progress as an export company was recognised in February 2017 with the title of Danish Exporter of the Year, a prize awarded by the Danish Export Association every year to one of its 570 members.

“Impressive growth is not the only thing Hoyer has experienced in recent years. They have also shown how customer understanding and a strategic approach to collaboration bears fruit,” says Ulrik Dahl, CEO of the Export Association, and adds:

” We have recently seen how quickly and efficiently they penetrated the Japanese market, something that usually requires years of trust-building. Hoyer has a collective devil-may-care attitude, where the entire organisation simply focuses on the things they start.

The director’s five reflections:

Thomas Klausen, Hoyer’s CEO, highlights five experiences that help build success in export.

Decide what you want to be good at

 It’s essential you know what you want to be good at – and that you continue to be good at it.

When you want a customer on board, you must be able to tell them how your product adds value. Of course, everyone looks at the price tag, but their focus shifts when you contribute in other areas.

At Hoyer, we decided that we wanted to be known for documentation, high product performance and the best service in the industry. This is essential, regardless of the market we are trying to penetrate.

Acknowledge cultural differences

 You need deep cultural understanding to build success in a foreign country. In Asia, an accidental hand movement can offend people. And then you won’t get a sale.

We decided to employ local people, who naturally speak the language, but also know the right customs when meeting customers and when negotiating. It’s the best way to ensure good understanding of the customer’s situation.

Make sure you create awareness

Regardless of how strong a product you got, growth doesn’t happen by itself. You need to create awareness of your presence in the industry that you want to sell your product to. You can do this by attending trade fairs and employing local salespeople, who will target potential companies.

In my experience, entering a new country requires a degree of acceptance. Once a customer decides to go with us, we often see interest accelerate significantly in the relevant market.

Avoid countries with export barriers

Some countries can be tough to get going. You don’t need to target them at first. For example, we are hesitant with USA, because we don’t know what future terms will apply to foreign companies who want to sell their products there.

We have decided to focus on markets that don’t have limitations on Danish exports. And there are still plenty of those left before we have to look at countries that present bigger challenges.

Believe in your success

It might sound trite, but it’s essential you have the will to succeed. You must believe in your product and the things you have decided to be good at. That you can succeed in the markets you have decided to penetrate.

We have an excellent organisation dedicated to its work and which wants to succeed. And it’s clear that with a great product, an excellent strategy and passionate employees, you have a foundation for further growth in exports.


Since 2010, the company’s export sales have grown from 50% of turnover to 75% in 2016.

In the same period, the company as a whole has grown 300 per cent.

Hoyer recently set up a sales office in Japan and Dubai as part of their export strategy.