UK Branding in Asian Markets

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What is the UK brand? Britain has a long heritage of quality and good design in many different fields, but this is not a brand in and of itself. We may not think a lot about the UK brand because we are living in the midst of it, but it has a huge economic impact on any company trying to do business outside the country.

This is an issue encountered by the many UK businesses that are operating locations in Asia. Asia is a developing market that is growing much faster than other areas of the world. But what makes up the UK brand exactly? Here are a few of the traits that people from other areas of the world associate with us.

  • Quality. The UK is known for a variety of bespoke goods, including tailoring, that are created especially for the customer. Many Savile Row tailors are now opening branches in Asia due to this perception. Because this level of quality and service is virtually unknown in most areas of the globe, it is one factor that sets the UK apart.
  • Tradition. Many UK industries are not new fields; instead, they have been perfected and passed down for generations. While there are modern ways to perform most tasks, contemporary people enjoy having an item or service that was created in the old style. Because few companies are offering traditional processes, this is an aspect that certainly sets UK businesses apart.
  • Luxury. UK brands are often seen as the luxury alternative. For instance, consider the Jaguar. While many people in the UK do not live in luxury, it is a perception that is held throughout the globe, especially in developing markets.
  • Superior Materials. A suit is only as good as the fabric from which it is made. This is true not just for suits, but for virtually every product. British people are known for being a bit more selective about their raw materials, which leads to longer lasting goods and generally better quality.
  • Design. Some of the best known designers have been from the UK, whether you are talking about logo design, website design, clothing design, or virtually any type of design. There is a long history of good design in the UK, and it attracts people who want both form and function.
  • Ethics. In many cases, the UK has been the first nation to adopt measures protecting workers, animals and the environment. This is quickly building a brand that more conscientious people all over the world are happy to buy into.
  • “Englishness”. There are many stereotypes that are not entirely negative—the serious Briton with a stiff upper lip, for example. These may not be representative of the whole of the nation, but they are nonetheless a marketing strategy for many UK businesses with foreign locations. Even businesses that originate outside the UK may try to capitalize on the global love of all things British by using English-sounding names, such as India’s Reid & Taylor.