Why you should use ‘Made in Britain’ to export successfully
Learn why your British business already has a world-renowned brand on its side – and how to use it
First time exporters often worry about how their brand will be received in foreign climates; will the message and values be understood? Will overseas buyers get it? The truth is, as a UK exporter, you will already have one of the biggest brands in the world on your side: Britain itself.
British products enjoy a reputation across the globe for quality, legitimacy and heritage, as well as sharing cultural ties with a huge amount of countries thanks to the English language and legacy of the Commonwealth.
Brought to you in association with .co.uk, the UK’s number one domain for British business, we look at exactly why British-made products enjoy such a strong reputation around the world and how you should make the most of your business’ UK heritage.
- Britain has a worldwide reputation for quality. British products are world-renowned for their quality: some of the best known exports such as Dyson, Rolls-Royce and construction equipment manufacturer JCB are synonymous with a level of quality and tradition that is impossible to imitate. Added to this, products actually manufactured in Britain enjoy an increasingly strong reputation, both in the UK and elsewhere. You can leverage Britain’s reputation for quality with a prominent ‘Made in Britain’ stamp – an instantly recognisable visual reminder of the UK. The online equivalent, of course, is a .co.uk domain name.
- Shared language and cultural ties with Commonwealth countries and the USA. The UK’s imperial history means we share deep linguistic and cultural similarities with some of the largest and most affluent foreign markets in the world: markets in the USA, Canada, India and Australia (to name just a few) will already be familiar with the language and consumers are more likely to understand the nuances of British culture and Britishness. If you sell online, enable transactions in these countries’ currencies to clearly target buyers and offer an easy point of access – an added benefit of targeting Commonwealth countries and the USA is you don’t necessarily have to learn another language to trade.
- The government is behind you. The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the government body responsible for opening doors for domestic companies abroad, has been allocated additional funding to promote British exports. High profile trade missions to countries such as China, Brazil and India are part of a major marketing push. And in 2012, a further £70m was set aside to recruit more international trade advisers around the country and to expand the Trade Access Programme (TAP) and the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) over a two-year period. The British Chamber of Commerce too has become an increasingly important conduit for local businesses exploring other markets. Its ‘Export Britain’ service is part of the government’s partnership approach to doubling annual exports to £1 trillion of by 2020, with a series of events and trade missions running throughout 2014.
- The trusted British legal system. The robust British legal system provides the blueprint for English-speaking countries around the world. When consumers abroad see a British product or service it is believed they are more likely to see it as legitimate, as a fraudulent export would not have escaped the rigours of the British legal system for long.
- The strength and stability of the British pound. The pound sterling is one of the world’s most traded currencies because of its relative stability – if you sell products and services abroad consumers will know their dealings with you are unlikely to be interrupted by any sudden fluctuation in the UK economy.
- The global regard for British standards. British businesses can further enhance their standing abroad by adopting some world-renowned marks of quality and legitimacy. A .co.uk address for your website is a good starting point as it provides an instant boost to your site’s credibility whilst giving visitors an indication of UK provenance. Membership of the British Standards Institution (BSI),which operates in 150 countries across 90,000 sites, is offers accreditation known around the world; not only will the body ensure excellent practice within your business but it is a signal that your business is held to even more rigorous standards than is necessary. The gold standard for exporting businesses to aim for is the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: given only to businesses that have demonstrated excellence in international trade and valid for just five years, holders enjoy an unparalleled reputation as truly the very best of British business.