From fashion and food to automotive and even beauty products, people are becoming increasingly aware of the global value of British products.
At home, companies are taking advantage of a growing level of patriotism and awareness among consumers, targeting UK buyers with local Made in Britain labels and products. But business experts have urged companies to do more to exploit the label overseas. Some have even argued that certain countries are more likely to view British products as high quality and durable. So what are companies doing to take advantage of this and how can others follow?
The Growth of Brand Britain
All around the world, 2016 has been a challenging year so far for businesses, with economic disasters and price crashes spelling the end for some companies. However, there are still plenty of thriving home-grown businesses in the UK.
Encouraging faith in Brand Britain, the automotive industry has been one of the most successful industries this year. In January, it was revealed that 2015 saw the UK export more vehicles than ever before as the country’s build rate hit a 10-year high. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released in May confirmed that the first quarter remained positive for the industry with particularly strong growth for engine production seen in April. The month saw a total of 231,628 engines produced, up 14.6 per cent on the same period last year.
The industry is thriving thanks to the UK’s growing commitment to world-class innovation and advanced manufacturing; and its reputation is surging with it.
But it isn’t just the automotive industry that’s going from strength to strength. The government has such faith in UK SME growth that it has set a goal to help businesses export £1 trillion worth of goods and services by 2020. The challenge has been launched alongside the Exporting is GREAT campaign, which will encourage the government itself to use foreign relations to promote awareness of British products, while simultaneously reducing red tape for companies looking to exporting.
Made in Britain
Success stories and improved support from the government have helped to elevate the Made in Britain brand to one of the most respected in the world. Research conducted by the Centre of Economics and Business Research now suggests the prestige associated with the British flag could help UK exporters benefit from a premium of up to £2.1 billion, simply by applying the Made in Britain label to their products.
A similar study, conducted by Barclays Corporate Banking, looked at eight different markets and found that consumers were more likely to buy a product if it had a Union Jack flag on its packaging. This proved to be particularly true within new and emerging markets where 64 per cent of consumers would be more inclined to buy British products. In fact, the study revealed that 31 per cent of customers in new or emerging markets around the world were willing to pay a premium of up to seven per cent for products from Britain.
The willingness to spend that bit more could have something to do with the fact that at least 50 per cent of respondents in all countries perceived the quality of British products to be either good or very good, confirming that an association with Brand Britain could have a lot to offer UK SMEs.
The Balancing Act
If you aren’t one of the many UK exporters to have already embraced Brand Britain, it’s time to start exploring your options. Key to any international marketing campaign is a focus on localisation: tweak your approach to your new target audience and make sure you speak their language, both literally and culturally.
With Brand Britain this means a balancing act between demonstrating your British focus, and an understanding of your target market; focus on the value of British-made products, while also highlighting the gap in the market your products will fill.
To many countries, British products mean reliable, high quality items, but this needn’t overshadow the benefits of your product to your target country, a good campaign could have multiple messages, but they will all support each other.
Here at Bubbles, we specialise in balancing brand and culture in our translations to help companies successfully take their business abroad. Our expert translators can help take your marketing campaign and translate it into your target language while maintaining the core brand message, accounting for subtle cultural nuances, and highlighting the values of the Made in Britain label. Get in touch today!