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MADE IN RUSSIA: creating a national brand

June 02, 0:12 UTC+3
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KEY CONCLUSIONS:

  • Promoting Russian products in overseas markets is part of the national development strategy. Ensuring their high quality is equally important as creating and nurturing the Made in Russia brand.

“In the face of likely challenges in the oil and gas industry, technology development and car manufacturing ahead, a focus on boosting exports of domestic products is becoming a real challenge for both the Government and business,” said Mikhail Shamolin, President, Chairman of the Management Board, Executive Board Director, Sistema.

“Quality is what matters most now. Our exported products must be of excellent quality, to say the least, and we must leverage all of our resources to achieve this,” said Petr Fradkov, Chief Executive Officer, Russian Export Center.

“As automation and robot-based manufacturing are progressing, product quality issues will be getting relatively less relevant in the next 10–20 years, with emotional branding coming to the fore. Nobody says that Italian cars are good and reliable, but they still sell in huge numbers, because by selling cars the Italians sell emotions. I would like us to learn how to sell our products as emotions,” said Mikhail Sadchenkov, Head of Project “Made in Russia”, The Roscongress Foundation.

CHALLENGES:

  • Lack of popular Russian brands overseas, negative image of the country

“A while back, we were doing some research with our partners on a number of countries, including Russia, asking people to share their vision of different nations based on a compilation of clichés, common beliefs and popular opinions. The world's leading countries were perceived through the variety of their popular commercial brands underpinning the entire country's image, while Russia was associated mostly with everlasting winter, snow, matryoshkas, balalaikas, Kremlin, and AK-47 assault rifle, ” said Aleksey Andreev, Managing Partner, Depot WPF; Co-President, Russian Brand Consultancies Association (ABKR).

  • Poor domestic promotion of Russian goods

“In all fairness, our products are environmentally friendly, but nobody knows that,” said Petr Fradkov.

“Until we ourselves learn to love our own products, they will be very difficult to promote,” added Xenia Frank, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

  • Lack of a comprehensive approach to tackling challenges

“The overall challenge is how to establish communication between all stakeholders, which has been an issue for a long time. While Moscow and St. Petersburg are relatively developed in this respect, smaller regions are lacking in both professional translators and those who would set up the communication component,” said Mikhail Sadchenkov.

“Individually, everyone is involved in promotion while joint effort is still badly missing,” stressed Petr Fradkov.

“Let us collaborate instead of competing as to who will lead this process,” said Vladimir Dmitriev, Vice President, Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

SOLUTIONS:

  • Using historical traditions and available advantages

“We have some clear advantages where the Russian school is a quality seal recognised around the globe. There is no reason to hesitate here; we should be promoting our country in general. Russian clothes designer products sell well around the world, which has earned them a certain quality seal. We should be saying more insistently, ‘Yes, it is made in Russia; yes, we are proud of it; yes, we use it’,” said Svetlana Chupsheva, Chief Executive Officer, New Projects Promotion, Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI).

“Tolstoy, Tula gingerbread, and Belyovskaya Pastila. We have realised they are brands and it works; it had been so long before us,” said Alexey Dumin, Governor of Tula Region.

  • Creating a unified comprehensive brand promotion system and a communication platform

“We must employ all available resources. Talking about high-tech products, that includes everything from subsidies, recovery of expenses, promoting through export sites and exhibitions to individual programmes,” said Denis Manturov, Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade.

“Our overall aim is to set up a platform within two years where we can upload industry-specific presentations of all Russian companies translated into ten languages and draw a monthly audience of at least 15 million,” said Mikhail Sadchenkov.

“No doubt, each and every minor brand cannot become as famous as Kalashnikov and Stolichnaya, but the new international brands of tomorrow will be created by those who are born now, residents of small towns and villages; that is why supporting human capital there is essential,” said Xenia Frank.

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