Play the “France” brand

companies underestimate the power of the “France” brand in the rest of the world.

JNK:  France is a brand in the rest of the world, and we too often underestimate it. A brand is a name that has the power of attraction. It’s a manifestation of our soft power, and we should take advantage of it. Why has De Dietrich succeeded in selling heating and sanitary equipment in Iran? Because it sells the image of French comfort and high quality to affluent Iranian consumers.  After having downplayed its national origin for years (like Boss), Lacoste is now positioning itself as French casual elegance throughout the world and claims this quality as an essential part of its identity. The DS will sell in China to those who appreciate the French touch, but not by imitating the German touch. French companies should be more courageous. In B-to-B we are surprised by the number of Italian SMEs and even small companies we meet in professional trade shows in Asia, unabashedly selling the “Italy” brand. Why not France? The Rafale, the TGV and the EPR are big public contracts, but they are not part of the “France” brand in the mind of the non-French public. If we let only luxury goods speak for France, we will enclose the “France” brand in a niche – draped in silk, to be sure – but too restrictive.

 

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Apax Talks is a digital magazine aimed at company managers. It presents growth levers for SMEs, with a focus on TMT, consumer, healthcare and services sectors.