Showing off your British credentials to overseas buyers
British-made goods and products have a great reputation, which is especially true in overseas markets. Using the Britishness of your brand is an invaluable marketing tool which can really put you in front of the competition.
It's a well-regarded fact that Great Britain is generally perceived as a quality supplier and this was backed up by a recent report by Barclays, which found that new and emerging markets perceived British made products to be 'quality'. In fact, being marked as British could trigger a willingness to pay on average up to seven per cent more, compared to products without a declared country of origin.
Often, overseas purchases enjoy the heritage associated with British brands, for which you only have to think of names like Barbour and Rolls Royce. It's not just the big brands that can do it - making the most of this key selling point is easy and there's plenty of ways to reap the benefits! The following tips will show you how your business can act on this to take full advantage of being British when selling outside of the UK.
Shout about it
If your product is made in Britain, tell people! Shout about it from the rooftops, or at the very least from your website. Adding relevant text, a logo or Union flag image to the site can help. If possible try and include it on every page. Stress the UK-made element in product descriptions and include a page explaining more about the manufacturing process. It's not enough to just say that your business is British, information pages like this can offer more depth and credibility. For examples, see what cosmetic brand BarryM and retailer John Lewis have done on their websites.
Whatever you decide upon, take it all the way and follow through any branding or promotion across your social media. This can be in simple ways like amending the Facebook header picture, promoting the fact through posts or even running competitions and giveaways centred around raising awareness.
Introducing an unmistakeable 'Britishness' into your branding can be a clever and unique way of expressing your origins. One great example of this being done well is Tyrells crisps, a brand which promotes itself as 'Hand Cooked English Crisps' and celebrates English eccentricity.
Another example is Montezuma's. The chocolate company has the tagline 'Innovative British chocolate', which makes its roots instantly clear to consumers. The company also celebrates its Britishness with one of its chocolate ranges, 'Great British Pudding', which draws on the essence of some traditional British desserts like Eton Mess and Apple Crumble.
Made in the .uk
An easy way of drawing attention to the British element of your brand is through the domain. As well as the traditional .co.uk, it is now possible to buy .uk or even .london. More personalised domain extensions are becoming available all the time, making your brand immediately identifiable as British before the customer even lands on your page!
Get it certified
Make it legitimate and take advantage of the extra promotion offered by joining an already established trade group such as 'Made in Britain'. Introduced in 2013, the group has already attracted a huge number of high-profile businesses. According to the website: "The Made in Great Britain marque is accredited to businesses which sell goods that have been manufactured or have undergone a final substantial change in Great Britain before sale."
Although it comes with a yearly cost, joining not only gives members the opportunity to use the recognisable marque across their products, promotional material and website, it offers the credibility that often comes alongside being part of a recognised group. The yearly cost for businesses turning over under £1 million is surprisingly just £100 a year. Made in Britain says: "Consistent use of the marque is important for consumer recognition, but it's also important for brands to take ownership of the marque and celebrate their own 'Britishness' whilst using it."
The same Barclays report found that using the 'Made in Britain' label on export goods could offer gains of £742 million in China and £823 million in the USA. Incredibly, across the eight countries in this study alone, total gains of £2.1 billion would be possible.
Make sure you're clued up on the trends and take advantage of them. Look out for cultural events which can be expanded upon and allow promotional opportunities.
The first ever Buy British Day took place in October this year, designed to support brands and businesses with a strong base in the UK. Further events are planned for next year, with the day being linked to the Best of Britannia show.
Look out for events around popular British film and television exports like Downton Abbey as great promotional opportunities, depending - of course - on your products. Other opportunities include royal births (there's one imminent), jubilees and weddings (come on Harry!).
If you're made in Britain then make the most of it. The old adage of 'if you've got it, flaunt it' has never been truer than when exporting quality British-made goods outside of the UK.