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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

‘The New Emerging Market Multinationals: Four strategies for disrupting markets and building brands’ by Amitava Chattopadhyay and Rajeev Batra

Country of origin
"Many of the home countries of the companies we spoke to still have an image of being under-developed and poor, with low competencies in technology and quality control, although these countries may admittedly have a more positive country-of-origin imagery in some narrow product areas (e.g., India as a source of tea, China for silk or low-cost computer manufacturing). Lenovo's ex-CMO Deepak Advani mentioned to us a survey in 2005 by PR consultants Edelman which showed Chinese products had a poor reputation for quality in many countries. Titan's Bhaskar Bhat explicitly said to us that his company thought its Indian country of origin was a major reason why its seven-year effort in Europe to market a global watch did not succeed (Titan pulled the plug on this in 2002), and China's Chigo said that China's poor image was a major reason why it decided to go the OEM route instead of marketing directly to overseas consumers. (There were, however, some other companies in our sample – Mitac and Midea among them – which did not feel their country of origin worked against them in their brand-building efforts overseas. Taiwan, notably, has had a nation-branding campaign in recent years focused on creating an image of high-quality innovation.)'
"If consumers doubt your quality because of the imagery of the country your company is from, it might help to downplay such country of origin by using either a global or regional brand identity or a local one. With today's wide Internet usage, no company can hope to keep its national origin a secret (as Lenovo's Advani reminded us), but it is still possible to reduce the salience of it through clever marketing. Alternatively, some of our companies target markets where their country-of-origin image is a positive rather than a negative. Evyap's country of origin, Turkey, is an advantage for its soaps in Egypt, as is Natura's country of origin, Brazil, an advantage for its biodiverse Amazon-sourced ingredients in France."
(pp. 190-1, 'The New Emerging Market Multinationals: Four strategies for disrupting markets and building brands' by Amitava Chattopadhyay and Rajeev Batra – TMH)

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