Choosing the right market entry strategy for Singapore often involves a trade-off between convenience and control. For some, opting to sell to a consolidator in your home market who has established links with the two major supermarkets in Singapore is convenient. It's low risk, there’s no paperwork to complete and no expectation that you will need to fund any market entry costs (listing fees and Advertising & Promotion fees).

However, this path of least resistance has its pitfalls. As the brand owner you have very little control over how your brand is managed in Singapore and your retail prices may end up being far too high as the consolidator and the Indent Manager at the supermarket play a game of margin grab. Sales can suffer as a result.

If you decide to step in and take control of your brand in Singapore a common approach is to partner with a capable distributor. The desired outcome being increased share of shelf, better pricing and improved market penetration.

The challenge is that it can be an uphill battle to wrestle your brand away from the Indent Manager who wields a lot of power and is reluctant to let go of substantial profit margins for brands under their control. It can take months of negotiation to change the listing over.

The best approach is to begin with the end in mind and choose a market entry strategy that allows you better control over your brand.