Less than a week ago, when I published "2010 Country Brand Index by FutureBrand", I spoke of the importance of brand perception when it comes to countries. Whatever the image you have of a nation, just like a company or a person, it will affect the way you view anything that comes out of it... positively or negatively.
My Venezuelan friend Christian Revilla, one of our favorite correspondants, sent me this great article by Rohit Deshpandé called: "Why you aren't buying Venezuelan Chocolate", included in Harvard Business Review's December issue. I couldn't help but wanting to share with you. I thought it a great example of the impact countries have on its national brands and exports.
The case study explores a concept called the provenance paradox. I quote: "A product’s country of origin establishes its authenticity. Consumers associate certain geographies with the best products: French wine, Italian sports cars, Swiss watches. Competing products from other countries—especially developing markets—are perceived as less authentic. Even when their quality is on par with that of established players, the developing-market firms can’t command a fair price. The lower price, in turn, reinforces the idea that the offering isn’t as good and that the region doesn’t make premium products." (Rohit Deshpandé, HBR, Dec. 2010)
Affecting countries such India, China, Chile and Turkey as well, he claims that our challenge as marketers, especially those who work in emerging markets (myself included), have a new task to fulfil. We must work and strive for global growth in spite of this. But how?
Check out his second article called "Five Strategies for Combating the Provenance Paradox" for the answer.