Country of origin marketing

A slice of English heritage?

It’s common in business to business for companies to play up their heritage. As any German engineering company will tell you, the label “made in Germany” is an instant door opener to many export markets.

It can also work in non-BtB markets, as long as you understand the audience. On a recent trip to Slovenia, my eye was caught by this clear attempt to tap into country of origin (COO) benefits – with a sandwich!

Well, how about that. A man in a bowler hat, plus umbrella, eating a sandwich in front of Big Ben. Not what I’d immediately associate with a sandwich, but if it works in Slovenia, then why not…?

Now – having eaten the tuna sandwich that was contained in this packaging, and being totally disappointed by it, this highlights one of the downsides to country-of-origin positioning: the expectations may be so high, your product could disappoint the customer in an instant.

So if you use COO marketing make sure your product meets the exact (and potentially exacting) quality expectations of the target customer (which with this sandwich, was probably not me).

Alex Woodruff

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