Do you ever wonder what consumers think about a made in UK label? Does it carry enough sway to encourage people to purchase? We look at the research and come to some conclusions…
There have been several reports published over the last few years that have looked into the value of a made in UK label to domestic and international customers.
A notable study was a global survey carried out by Statista in 2017. The survey asked buyers worldwide to rank countries according to the perceived strength of their country of origin. The UK was the 3rd highest ranked individual country for it’s ‘made in UK’ label. Only Germany and Switzerland came higher, whilst the ‘EU’ as a conglomeration of countries came in third. (Which is bizarre considering you don’t often see anything labelled as made in EU!)
Similarly, research commissioned by Barclays and undertaken by Opinium in 2018 was equally positive.
They surveyed 8,060 consumers across eight international markets – France, Germany, Republic of Ireland, USA, China, India, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa – to find out the average price differential they are willing to pay for UK products. The results were very positive.
The Barclays Made in Britain report found that consumers consider provenance an important influence on their decision to purchase products. UK goods in particular are perceived as high-quality, reliable, internationally respected, and good value for money.
“The picture continues to look positive for Britain’s exporters, with international consumers going out of their way to buy British. Our research shows that some of the biggest opportunities lie in emerging markets, where British craftsmanship is most valued. The prize is substantial, and exporters should be looking to highlight the provenance of British products to take best advantage.”Baihas Baghdadi, Global Head of Trade & Working Capital at Barclays
It has been calculated that an additional £3.45 billion could be generated in revenue if companies focused their marketing around the provenance of British products.
Demand for UK-made goods is increasing
Barclays reported that goods manufactured in the UK are so popular that half of international shoppers would hold out for a UK-made product, rather than buy an non-British item. One in nine believe that UK-made goods are the best in the world.
Overall foreign demand for UK-made products is on the up. A third of people in the Barclays global study said they are buying more British products than they were five years ago.
The Union Flag is a big pull for customers, with 39% of international consumers being more inclined to buy a product if it displayed the Union Flag.
The appeal of the Union Flag is not only felt abroad, it’s being demonstrated here. The younger UK market is especially drawn to the Union Flag, with nearly half of 18 to 34 year olds saying the inclusion of a Union flag on a product would encourage them to purchase it.
Perceived quality means a willingness to pay a premium for UK-made goods
Make it British carried out a survey on over 1000 British consumers. We found that over 77% of those questioned believed a product to be of good quality if they knew it was made in the UK. The correlation between UK-made and quality is becoming stronger when compared to the 60% result in a similar survey Make it British carried out in 2013.
According to research from both Make it British and Barclays it would appear that customers at home and abroad are prepared to pay a premium for UK manufactured goods.
Barclays found that international customers perceived UK-made goods to be of such high quality, 42% would be willing to pay more for them. Consumers in China and India especially perceive UK products to be of a superior quality and are willing to pay the highest premiums – up to 22% more for UK-made goods.
At home, 93% of British customers surveyed by Make it British said they would be willing to pay more for a product made in the UK compared to buying a similar product made outside the UK. This is more than double that of the survey findings five years ago when 43% said they would pay more for a UK-made product.
You can’t deny from the research the appeal of a product carrying a made in UK label. But is a Union Jack flag enough?
There’s no doubt that you should use the provenance of your UK-made products as part of your marketing strategy. But beware, anyone can put a Union Jack on a product to try and cash in on value of UK goods.
With so many companies trying to ‘Fake it British‘ by plastering our distinctive flag on their products, UK manufacturers and British-made brands need to find ways to market the authentic provenance of their brand to be able to stand out in the crowded marketplace.
Tell the story of your brand and show behind the scenes to display the provenance of your UK-made product.
The Made in UK label has value at home and overseas for a reason – the perception of quality has been formed over years of producing exceptional goods using fine craftsmanship and materials.