2 years ago

Brand iQ Inc: How our international journey started

Grace Thompson

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For this month’s feature, our CSO Jamie Booth shares his journey so far with our international growth within the US market. 
Here I am, stood in line for screening for the third time by the civil aviation authority and a lady who could be a grandmother (or ex headmistress… maybe both) she has those glasses on a chain around her neck and she really doesn’t want me to get on the plane to Toronto. I am not sure why, maybe because she doesn’t understand software or just thinks I am a bit scruffy to be setting up a global software company. 
Travelling during a time when the world has just opened after the global pandemic probably wasn’t my best move, however the boarders were opening meaning that I was able to start the venture across to the United States to launch Brand iQ Inc.
But this, this is nuts. 
I just get on top of things or am starting to with the UK market and then I take on one of the largest and hardest markets in the world. It is like the Wild West. 
We don’t have a big backer; we are self-funded and its hard, throw in lots of sleepless nights and lots of questioning, but then what’s the alternative option? To sit there in 20 years’ time wondering what could’ve been next?
It’s the middle of June, the world is coming to the end of the global pandemic, and I am so early on my travels to Canada that the border force at either end have no process to give me access into the country. 
Somehow, and in no small part, it came down to someone called Ryan at the Canadian Embassy who needed me to quote someone in Canada. Ryan basically said to the border force staff let me on the plane (thank you, Ryan!)
At Toronto, I practically got waved through, given an orange sticker to indicate no isolation and off we go – hello Canada! 
My need to get over here to Canada on that trip was to make sure we had a presence in North America. We had a chance to work with Manroland US and the timing was everything.
As the pandemic slowly comes to a close, Manroland have sold more presses than they expected, and I could see we had a window to get on the back of the small renaissance in printing. 
So three more nail biting flights from the UK later, we have Brand iQ Inc set up with an office in Toronto which is able to trade in our own right directly and build a business over here. 
One of the reasons for trading out of Canada, is that it is easy (in the loose sense of the word) to set up a company over here with a UK office, with a lot of the rules, and laws being very similar to the UK - even the language is similar and law firms are a similar rate.
So how are we getting on?
The relationship with Manroland is truly global, and packaging printers is the way into the US market.
Through the pandemic, people shifted their buying habits meaning that online and home delivery became much more mainstream for many households. Like all things when they change one way they never go back. 
We are on the cusp of a huge success I can feel it, everyone we show the software to love it, they say things like this is so simple or it’s so easy to use. 
I will report back in 6 months. 
-        Jamie Booth, CSO at Brand iQ
With Jamie’s venture across the pond, it means that we’ve been able to expand the Brand iQ Partners Programme even further with the expansion of Manroland US joining the programme. 
You can have a read of the full statement via our Partners website here.
For further information about the Partner Programme or any of the Brand iQ Services, get in touch with one of the team: hello@brand-iq.co.uk
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