Where Are You From?
Where are you from? It’s a question we all ask when we meet someone new. Increasingly consumers are asking this question of brands and products too. In the West people not only want to buy British or American, they want to buy from Yorkshire or Texas.
For some products where they come from has always been important, if you want to buy leathered goods it has to come from Italy, if you want to buy a cricket bat the willow has to be English, if you want a reliable car it has to be Japanese, if you want something cheap and affordable it will have “Made in China” stamped on it.
However sometimes consumers don’t have a choice as some products have a protected designation of origin, for example Champagne can only come from Champagne in France, Feta cheese can only be made in Greece, Jersey Royal potatoes can only be grown in… you guessed it Jersey.
Consumers, ever more conscious of the environment, also want this information to try and work out the carbon footprint of a certain item so they can make an informed choice.
Marketers even play on sentiments, stereotypes and associations of where their product or company is from or try to create one like this Fox’s biscuits ad:
As a generalisation in Pakistan however the trend seems to be almost opposite. People don’t want to know about Pakistani products and prefer to spend their income on foreign goods. This is down to a number of factors firstly quality. The start to every successful business is meeting customer needs, if the consumer needs a high quality product that’s what you make if there’s a niche to produce low quality products for a low price that’s what you give them. You can’t expect to charge higher prices for an inferior product.
The second major factor is trust. The only way to build trust in any product or company is through communicating with the customer and building a brand identity.
However this doesn’t mean to say that some Pakistani businesses aren’t doing this already. When I’m in Jhelum I don’t want to go to the over priced KFC for mediocre food I want to go to Food Palace (Railway Road), where I get friendly service, food that really is finger lickin’ good and I don’t have to shell out as much.