9 resources to learn more about your German customers

9 super useful resources for learning more about your German customer

When starting to sell internationally, you might think researching your new customers isn’t that important.

Because you did your homework when researching your domestic customers regarding age, income, jobs, family… And you might have even created an ideal customer avatar (ICA). That should apply to your new target group in Germany too, shouldn’t it?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There’s this invisible yet powerful thing inherent to every nation: culture.

Although people from the western world are largely considered to be more or less cut from the same cloth – especially regarding values and lifestyle – a nation’s culture is often the reason why customer habits, behaviours and expectations vary from country to country.

These differences can sometimes seem small and unimportant on the face of it, but they can have a huge impact on your success as a solopreneur business.

That’s why it’s important to learn more about your German customer in addition to your domestic customer.

Try to find out what they like and how they live. And gradually start to get a feeling for what they’re all about. Dive into their culture, get to know it and use it to your advantage when selling to them.

To get you started, I’ve collected 9 useful resources for you, ranging from in print to online, news sites to blog posts, and serious to not so serious.

#1: Doing Business with Germans by Sylvia Schroll-Machl

The title of this book by psychologist and intercultural trainer Sylvia Schroll-Machl says it all.

Though it might be focused on working with employees and CEOs from Germany (rather than selling to consumers), it’s still packed with tons of super useful information about the German way of thinking, living and doing things.

Being born and raised in Germany, I recognized a lot of myself in her laser-sharp and on-point analysis of the German culture.

Topics vary from communication styles and time planning to personal and private lives. Especially handy are the recommendations at the end of each chapter that you can use as little checklists.

She gives you plenty of insight into why the German culture is the way it is by putting it all into a historical context.

#2: Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle (which translates to “German wave”) is “Germany’s international broadcaster and one of the most successful and relevant international media outlets”. It’s available in 30 languages, one of them being English.

So, if you want to stay up to date about what’s going on in Germany, this is the place to be. You can head to the website, watch one of their many TV programmes, listen to the radio or follow their social media channels (all available in English).

To get started, check out the culture section on their website here.

#3: Facts about Germany

The website Tatsachen über Deutschland (Facts about Germany) has been created in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and focuses on providing facts and figures about Germany.

Topics range from culture and art and living and working in Germany to Germany and Europe and global trade.

Head to the website to get a general overview of your new target country and a feeling for its people and culture. See if you can find some information that would be especially useful for your niche and the products you want to sell.

You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to get your daily dose of German insights.

#4: deutschland.de

The next resource to take a deep dive into the world of your new customers is a website with the simple name deutschland.de.

The English version can be found here. They call themselves “Your link to Germany”, and are another project initiated by the German Foreign Office.

Topics of interest include Europe, German history, media, getting to know Germany and more.

Particularly interesting are their “Maps of Germany” which are infographics that summarize interesting and useful facts and figures about any topic you could think of (German dog breeds anyone?).

#5: The German Way

The German Way is an expat blog and a “guide to understanding how people from every corner of the German-speaking world think, do business and act in their daily lives”.

The website is based on a book with the same name and is aimed at travellers, businesspeople, students, and expats alike.

They cover cultural differences between the US and Germany, facts and figures, history, culture and more.

They even have a Facebook group with over 50,000 members that’s open to anybody interested in all things German (which is also a great place to ask any questions you might have).

#6: Expatrio

As the name suggests, the website expatrio.com focuses on helping people who want to leave their home country to live in Germany.

Nevertheless, it’s jam-packed with useful and reliable information for anyone who needs to know more about Germany.

Topics of interest for you as a solopreneur wanting to sell to Germany could be the subsections “Starting a business in Germany” and “German Business Culture” (see Working in Germany in the menu bar).

This blog post alone covers a lot about German culture that could be super useful for getting a feeling for your new buyers and shoppers. A must-read!

#7: How to keep your German customers happy by Christoph Engelhardt

Another good resource with extra useful info for you is this quick 5 minute read on entrepreneur.com.

Its author Christoph Engelhardt (have you ever heard a more German sounding name?) goes into detail about what to keep in mind when selling to Germans and whether it’s worth targeting German customers (spoiler: it is!).

He manages to put hands-on business advice into context with German culture and history.

Don’t get scared by the somewhat horrifying descriptions of German customers as being extremely difficult to handle. If you do your homework (which you are since you’re reading this blog) you’ll be just fine!

#8: How to market to Germany: A Beginner’s Guide by Tanja Törnroos

This article published on medium in 2018 might be a couple of years old, but its advice and information are anything but outdated.

In it, Tanja Törnroos speaks from her experience as a digital marketing strategist for tech-companies and explains the 3 most common pitfalls to look out for when it comes to doing business and marketing in Germany:

  • Not communicating in German
  • Ignoring data protection
  • Not being consistent with first or last name basis

It’s really interesting and completely worth the 4 minutes it’ll take you to read it. Take notes!

#9: Everything I know about Germans by Liv Hambrett

After all this serious business advice (great job if you’ve been through all these resources!), here’s a little something if you’re in the mood to relax your brain muscles for now and read some fun stuff.

In her blog article Liv Hambrett, Australian writer and English language lecturer, created a list of everything she knows about Germans from having lived in Germany for a while.

The article was created in 2010, but she kept adding more and more items to the list, which now stands at 154.

Also, her readers are still commenting pretty actively, with the last comment added in 2021.

I identified a lot with all her observations, especially with number 72, and can confirm that she knows her stuff.

Grab a cup of your favourite hot beverage, make yourself comfy – and try not to laugh when reading this.


Getting to know your German customers is absolutely necessary if you want to successfully sell to them. Cultural differences between you and them can mean that what worked well for your domestic market will fall flat in Germany.

But you don’t have to do it all on your own: with this handy list of resources, you’ll be off to a great start.

If you put the advice given in them into practice, you’ll gradually get a feeling for your German customers and be able to tailor your marketing, products and communication to their needs.

And if you would like to get started selling in Germany, but don’t want to go it alone, check out my 1:1 Marketing Mentoring tailored specifically to English-native businesses who want to unlock the German market.

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