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Mercadex-Desjardins model

Developed by Mercadex International, The Mercadex-Desjardins model helps SMEs build internationalization strategies. It helps companies find the answer to the following question: Based on the targeted market, what penetration strategy should be adopted?

The model helps SME managers select an appropriate penetration strategy based on 2 variables:

  • The firm's level of integration. To what level should (could) the SME commit to the host country?
  • The means of penetration. By what means should the firm attempt to penetrate that country's market?

The Mercadex-Desjardins model proposes, first of all, 3 levels of SME integration within the host country: delegation, cooperation and control. It also proposes 3 approaches to the target country: a transactional approach, a contractual approach and a structural approach. The juxtaposition of the 3 levels of integration and 3 penetration approaches gives rise to 9 generic SME internationalization strategies.

The 9 strategies of the Mercadex-Desjardins model

Level of integration Means of penetration
  Transactional Contractual Structural
  • Outside trading house
  • Subcontracting for a domestic exporting contractor
Learn more - Transactional and delegation
  • Transfer of manufacturing license
  • Marketing license
Learn more - Contractual and delegation
  • Minority participation in a foreign company
Learn more - Structural and delegation
  • Distributor in the target country
  • Manufacturing agreement
  • Wholesaler
Learn more - Transactional and cooperation
  • Cross licensing
  • Franchise
  • Consortium
Learn more - Contractural and cooperation
  • Joint venture
  • Reciprocal participation
Learn more - Structural and cooperation
  • Direct sale to a foreign client
  • Sales office in the target country
Learn more - Transactional and control
  • OEM
  • Manufacturing agreement
  • BOT
Learn more - Contractual and control
  • Acquisition
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Greenfield
Learn more - Structural and control

Learn more
Read The Mercadex-Desjardins model: A heuristic approach to planning internationalization strategies for SMEs (PDF, 357 KB)