„Foreign Brands“ are brands which make use of particular characteristics of countries or cultures in order to benefit from stereotypes linked to these countries or cultures. For example, the brand names chosen for products are associated with particular countries or cultures, but the products for which the names are used actually come from another country and not the one suggested by the name.
Some examples of the way this kind of brand management and name creation are used are the brands “Häagan-Dazs”, “Jack Wolfskin”, “Desperados” and “Montblanc”“. “Häagan-Dazs” creates an association with Scandinavian origins, but is, in fact, a US American brand. “Jack Wolfskin” does not come from Canada, but is a German brand. It is only the brand name and presentation of the Tequila and beer mix, “Desperados” that has Spanish/Mexican roots, because the drink itself comes from France. And, likewise, in the case of the German manufacturer of expensive writing implements, “Montblanc”, the actual and the suggested countries of origin (France v. Germany) of the products do not match.
“This kind of brand management and naming is not only used by us, but is currently very popular in emerging markets. So, for example, a growing range of “western” sounding products is available in China, although these are actually produced in China,” says trademark expert Peter Ströll. “However, in creating foreign brands particular care and attention must be paid to credibility and authenticity in developing the name. That is why (in addition to the usual strategic and legal requirements) linguistic criteria particularly need to be taken into account in this form of name development. If you make a linguistic faux pas (e.g. if there is a negative connotation to the name in the suggested country of origin), the suggested brand origins can come crashing down like a house of cards and any willingness to buy can be completely lost,” says Ströll.
These risks are also pointed out by Dr. Kristina Klein from the Department of Marketing and Brand Management at the University of Cologne. She won the German Marketing Association Prize with the topic of her dissertation “Essays on the effects of brand names and prices on consumer behavior”.
As part of its series of events, MC-Wissenschaft, the Marketing Club Frankfurt invited Dr. Klein and NAMBOS’ Managing Director, Peter A Ströll, to give specialist presentations on the topic “Foreign Branding”. On 29th October 2013, Dr Klein gave a presentation on her academic results whilst NAMBOS’ Managing Director Peter A. Ströll talked on the practical requirements and his experience in name creation in the “Foreign Brands” sector.
This post is also available in: German