EVERY Thursday at 1pm Made in Britain hosts #madeinbritainhour on Twitter. During that hour Made in Britain asks questions of its 19,500 followers and the results are fascinating. Previously this information was enjoyed by the audience at the time and then left to drift away in the Twittersphere, rarely read again. So, we have decided to capture some of the best comments and re-present them for a new audience and easy reference. Some of the responses have been edited.
Question one: What can we learn from how other countries support and promote their manufacturers/products both at home and overseas?
Response: We have attended a “meet the buyer” evening at the Indian Consulate, which was quite informative.
Response: I have attended these events in the past in previous jobs. They are informative but I think the key driver for most is cost. UK Manufacturing is perceived to be too expensive.
Response: Isn't that something that the UK Government should be learning from? It might help a UK company discover different views on marketing language, activities & methods. It might also indicate what Language etc would work best in our Marketing to them
Response: I am a fan of Adam Smith's 'invisible hand', but also of localism & sustainability. E.g. 63% of transaction amts spent on the high street tend to be recirculated locally vs less than 1/2 that for big online marketplaces
Response: I don't know enough about international trading to add to this! However, I'd say that some countries are very persistent when trying to gain new business. It works sometimes. Whilst still being polite, we should be more persistent.
Made in Britain: Is persistence (or lack of it) a cultural issue do you think?
Response: I think culture plays a part in it for sure - both in persistence and also in the level of pride felt/displayed. Sometimes the British reluctance to blow your own trumpet can count against you.
Question two: In overseas markets do consumers want to buy ‘British Brands’ rather than ‘British Made Products’ or vice versa?
Response: Do we think that overseas market customers want to buy British? Internally are we holding on to a belief that was true a couple of decades ago ... it might be why it's perceived that we're not working hard enough to win export business? It might be true for a few sectors still ... or even just some companies ... but is it true as a 'blanket statement'?
Response: Certainly true in our case Phil. It does seem that when it comes to engineering and manufacturing we are still held in high regard. Maybe a stereotype but it does have substance too - bit like when German engineering is mentioned, most people think “efficiency”
Response: I agree Gary. It's true for some, but I don't think the world thinks of GB as it did 20 years ago. Your example of Germany I think holds good as a general belief by consumers about German goods.
Response: Largely yes, in my experience, Middle-East, Africa, Australasia etc. tend to be looking at British or German for quality rather than Indian, Malaysian or Chinese made. price is a factor, but quality and reliability is king.
Response: My opinion is that they would probably look for 'British Brands' rather than 'British Made'. We are well known for our design capabilities. This may tie with the perception that British manufacturers are more expensive.
Response: This varies by country, but in some countries I have visited the perception of quality or exclusivity seems to follow this ranking: 1 - British brand made in UK; 2 - foreign brand made in UK; 3 - British brand made locally.
Response: British made goods were purchased abroad for partly historical/ political reasons. But also because they were the best. We have many good UK brands, but also a lot of c**p too. People W/wide seem to be fed up with poor quality goods, now is a good opportunity for UK...
Response: Brand and Made in Britain do go hand in hand in some markets. In China for instance, JLR UK manufactured product always had more kudos than the ones made in the Chinese plant - even though they commanded a higher import tax.
Made in Britain: Did the products look very different so it was easy to identify?
Response: No difference at all. But where image is all important, as a consumer you would boast about your British made Range Rover. It was a status symbol. (Not all LandRovers are manufactured in China - only a couple of models)
Response: We both make in the UK and import from overseas, and from our experience there is definitely a positive perception of British quality.
Made in Britain: What about perception in price?
Response: There may be a perception that it is a little more expensive, but know you are paying for quality
Made in Britain: And is it therefore a case of having "confidence" in your quality and not just a case of winning business by being as cheap as others?
Response: Absolutely! We pride ourselves on having over 45 years of knowledge in the pump industry, and our very proud to provide the quality in our pumps.
Response: It’s key that quality permeates through an organisation from design to invoicing
Response: The focus on 'brands' is evident in today's culture. Social media has demonstrated that people are interested in buying into ideas and the appearance of something over considering its actual qualities/background
Made in Britain: Do you think it is possible to move people away from this. Perhaps using the influencers/celebs to move a brand to another level by creating a halo effect of quality and provenance?
Response: Influencer marketing/culture is a major factor but only for younger audiences. If you think about the brands that you associate most with influencers, it's the companies like LUSH who target a younger demographic.
Made in Britain: You could then look at the selling of sports equipment, e.g. golf. The use of global "superstars" almost precludes local selling?
Response: Oh definitely, we don't associate brands like Nike with any physical location and they are able to use a range of sporting figures from different backgrounds, countries etc to market in certain regions
Question three: Do Scottish and Welsh manufacturers focus more on promoting based on their individual country rather than being British?
Response: Kilts, Whisky made in Britain? There are certain products for which it would be a nonsense to promote their origin as being from anywhere other than their home nation surely? I mean no offence but I think that's an unnecessarily divisive question
Response: It would appear that promoting Welsh or Scottish is like a 'step-up' from GB made. i.e. "British Beef Steak" vs "Aberdeen Angus Steak". I wonder which would catch most people's eyes, even though the Angus is still British.
Made in Britain: Do you not think this is only limited to some certain sectors or industries, though? Yes, the food industry is a good example but I don't think it is not necessarily as pertinent in other fields...
Response: Seeing that food and drink is the UK's largest manufacturing sector (based on turnover), it's very important that you've highlighted that. Leading Welsh and Scottish manufacturers likely stick to their roots, and promote it strongly.
Response: We manufacture our alcohol free sanitisers here in Wales, using materials only sourced from UK suppliers, so for us it #madeinbritain all day long!
Response: Food can be different. For example, a Scotch Whisky brand will focus on the fact they are Scottish not just 'British' because that's very important to their brand and perception.
Question four: How relevant to consumers or procurement is the region (e.g. British county) that a product was manufactured in?
Response: Unless it specifically defines the product, it probably isn't. Certain cheeses, whiskies etc. Many large & growing British brands are buying product made 100% in China without issue. The consumer is still more savvy, aware & global than you might think
Response: A Glenfiddich distilled in e.g. London would enjoy a discount because the heart of the Q control is perceived to be at the prime location. If London-manufactured Glenfiddich had a higher Q, perceptions would shift over time to prefer the London product.
Response: Certainly with #BREXIT and #Covid19 it is possible that there will be more UK supply chains established for raw materials in many industry segments
Response: This is slightly tangential, but consumers seem to be more wary about buying items exclusively 'made in China' due to wider socio-economic issues. As 'Shop Local' becomes more prevalent, people are looking for products with a recognisable (and local) name.
Made in Britain: That's an interesting point as the other week we had a comment saying about creating brands that "look British"
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