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The value of 'Brand Britain' to British business

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New research independently commissioned by Barclays Corporate Banking shows that products labelled Made in Britain command a considerably higher premium when sold abroad than those with no declared country of origin.

When consumers in eight key export markets see the Union Flag on a product, their inclination to buy increases. This is especially true in new and emerging markets where two thirds of consumers (64%) would be more inclined to purchase a product carrying the Union Flag.

The report’s findings sought to understand the value of 'Brand Britain' for export purposes in comparison to the brand values of Made in England/Wales/Scotland. The research combined ONS export data with a survey of 7,610 individuals in eight key export markets (France, Ireland, Germany, the USA, Brazil, South Africa, China and Qatar) designed to examine the premium they are willing to pay for different goods labelled as Made in Britain/England/Scotland/Wales.

When labelled as Made in England/Scotland/Wales, goods tend to command considerably lower premiums than Made in Britain. The only case where this is not true is for alcoholic beverages where the branding Made in Scotland adds a greater premium than Made in Britain in several countries, particularly in the USA and Ireland. However, this is not replicated in new and emerging markets where alcoholic beverages branded as Made in Britain commanded bigger premiums in China and South Africa.

The research, which examined product categories including food, drink, fashion, precision tools and automotives, found that:

Rather than focusing on seemingly saturated developed markets, exporters should seriously consider looking further afield as there are bigger premiums to be had when products are marketed as Made in Britain.
Rebecca McNeil, Head of Business Lending at Barclays Corporate Banking
  • There is a stronger preference for British branded products in new and emerging markets than in developed markets. Across all product categories, the 'willingness to pay' gap between developed, and new and emerging markets is 4.5 percentage points.
  • 31% of customers in new and emerging markets have knowingly paid a premium for products from Great Britain. The same figure for developed economies is just 14%.
  • The label Made in Britain triggers a willingness to pay up to 7% more among customers in new and emerging markets than for products without a declared country of origin.
  • At least 50% of respondents in all countries perceived the quality of British goods to be "good" or "very good". Scottish, English and Welsh products were also perceived positively, but often not to the same extent.

The report estimates that of the up to £2.1bn premium gain in the eight markets surveyed by labelling goods ‘Made in Britain’, the highest gains, in the order of £0.8 billion, would be obtained for exports to the USA, the market to which the UK exports the most in absolute terms, followed closely by £0.7 billion to China, a country to which UK exports have accelerated rapidly over the last decade.

Across a basket of goods, the additional average gain per transaction for products marketed as ‘Made in Britain’ are highest for food in Qatar (£0.46), for alcoholic beverages in the USA (£0.42), for fashion in Qatar (£1.26), for precision tools the USA (£0.55) and for automotives in South Africa (£1,004).

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