Consumers’ opinions of a product are influenced by the country of origin. This is to lessen the risks connected with making a purchase.
The value of a brand in international markets is bolstered by the “Country of Origin” impact. Depending on the context, a “Made In” label might communicate many aspects of a country’s intangible cultural heritage or highlight the region’s traditional commitment to quality and skill. The Country of Origin view of products in France includes comparisons to many artistic mediums. Stylish and practical, Made in Italy products have become a global phenomenon. We tend to associate Japan with quality and Germany with precision.
In the present day, domestic sales, including those from the Country of Origin might tap into consumers’ pride in their country. In India, for instance, a “Made in India” label might be used to appeal to consumers’ feelings of national pride. The Country of Origin here cares less about where a product is made than about whether or not it represents the ideals of the Indian dream.
Findings from the 2016 Nielsen Global Brand-Origin Survey revealed that, on average, 75% of respondents throughout the globe ranked a brand’s nation of origin as equally significant to, or more important than, nine other purchase determinants. Consumers’ preferences for products made by global/multinational vs local firms (those operating exclusively in one market, the respondent’s home country) were investigated.
On average, 33% of respondents from Asia-Pacific and 32% from Africa and the Middle East feel that origin is more significant than the other select categories. Brand provenance is less essential than other selection considerations, according to 35% of Europeans, 32% of North Americans, and 31% of Latin Americans.
Among the most unexpected results of the poll was the discovery that the nation of origin matters as much as, if not more than, other factors like price and quality when making purchases. The brand origin may be a key differentiator in a crowded retail space, but consumer opinion varies widely from one product category to the next and from one nation to the next, so it’s crucial to carefully manage the impact of any brand’s worldwide or regional presence. Success in any market goes to the businesses that best meet the expectations of their target demographic by providing a unique value proposition and making an emotional connection with their target customers.
Only when considering national pride is there a discernible difference between local and global brands, and this is to be expected since no one would buy a global product for reasons of national pride unless it was a global product widely recognised as ‘American,’ like Apple, or ‘German,’ like BMW.
Marketers need to be wary of the Country of Origin-based branding they engage in, since venturing outside of the typical niches might be detrimental to their chances of success. Furthermore, if people associate a brand with a nation and remember that brand in that context, it is difficult to alter their minds.
Connecting a brand with its roots helps it capitalise on the favourable connotations associated with its roots (Barilla is Italian and Italians know pasta). Alternatively, if the brand’s origin doesn’t evoke strong connections, the brand might mould and build its own favourable connotations (Foster’s beer for Australian).
- Look at the history of the brand. Where is it from?
- Is there any connotation linked with this place of origin that might benefit your company’s image?
- Look at your target market and decide what they really care about. Is it possible to explore options to link the country of origin to the expectations?
- What plausible connotations or associations will boost the brand’s image and enhance its value for the target audience?
- Will associations help to enhance the brand’s positioning?