Whether you’re a Remainer or a Brexiteer (the former is a supporter of remaining in the EU while a Brexiteer is a person in favour of leaving, for those unfamiliar with the terms), #Article50 has now been triggered and it’s time for British marketers to buckle down and take advantage of the opportunities of Brexit. Much has been said about the potential pitfalls of companies and their brands. However, the ingenuity of the British should not be underestimated and, consequently, their qualities can now be propagated on global scale like never before.
A Fresh Slate
Since the 24th of June 2016, promoting British made product’s for both exporting and domestic consumption, has been at the forefront of the minds of UK businesses (both big and small), and while there is undoubtedly a sense of unease about the future, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic in regards to marketing British made products. The UK is a well-renowned nation, and the eyes of the world are now on her. Private enterprise’s that manufacture or supply homemade products, need to strike while the iron is hot (it’s going to be hot for a long old while) and initiate a purposeful marketing strategy aimed at selling their domestically made products to international markets, the domestic market or both.
The opportunity is there
Presently, only 11% of British firms export beyond the UK and British International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, has announced this will need to change. Furthermore, informal trade negotiations have already begun with 12 other nations around the world Liam Fox launches Brexit trade crusade. It is evident the British government is taking the reins in beginning a truly global outlook for the UK economy and brands must take the initiative, thus seriously considering the prospect of promoting and selling their goods and services to nations outside of the EU.
British brands should identify that the global broadcasting of homemade products will be at the forefront of government agenda. If a company takes advantage of this opportunity, then it can almost be viewed as a two pronged approach, and dual promotion between public and private personnel will inevitably augment the marketing of British goods and services: foreign companies will learn a lot about British industries over the next two years, and if their interests are tweaked, a brand can look to direct this attention towards them as a business.
New free-trade agreements will open up new doors for brands and if they choose to step through them, the effective marketing of their brand internationally, coupled with British trade personnel pushing the attractiveness of British products and services, can lead to greater awareness and, subsequently, better business performance.
Great British attributes
Quality will inevitably be the key component of British companies marketing their brands. Both domestic and international buyers will, more often than not, be aware of the high standard of many products produced in the UK. Whether its Cider made in Somerset or Aircraft constructed in Belfast, British minds have an insurmountable amount of collective experience in producing high quality items. Whether B2B or B2C, British marketers will need to emphasize their specific brand qualities, while also convincing both importers and domestic customers why it will benefit their business. For example, a reliable supply-chain, effective communication, strong rule of law, unique intangible assets, and a reputable standing of producing successful companies, are all branding elements – which coincide with the characteristics of made in Britain goods – a company could incorporate into their marketing strategy.
Also think domestic
Brits want to support domestic business but might not always have the opportunity to do so or even know why they should choose a domestic made product over an imported one: it is up to marketers to change this. Promoting British made products does not necessarily mean a bombardment of marketing tactics or branding messages, proclaiming the product is made in Britain. Not only can this put people off, but it doesn’t inform them why they should buy a British made product.
Does the brand portray a distinctive function or quality others do not possess? Can the manufacturing location be localized and are people aware of this? Marketing research should indicate what approach marketers should take when designing their strategy. Whether it’s a nuanced approach or a more direct one, associating the characteristics of a British made product, and specifying which characteristic a customer views as a priority, is essential in increasing sales domestically.
The negotiations begin today and the final agreements with the EU are for the most part, currently unknown. Nonetheless, it is clear UK businesses will need to reach a greater selection of international markets in the future; I believe they can, and will, be more successful than ever. British marketers and manufacturers have belief in their goods and services; moreover, this confidence needs to be translated into their marketing. Opening up to the global market on a new scale requires courage, business acumen and knowledge of the international marketplace. However, a combination of British ingenuity, resilient relationships abroad and a national willingness to be successful, should assure marketers that they have the tools to compete. Their success depends on what tools they choose and how they use them.