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What is a Geographic Indicator? How does it help Indian brands?
These Indian brands have been recognised with a Geographic Indicator (GI) by the Government of India which means that they have to be produced in that particular location to use that name. There are a number of Indian brands accorded geographic tags but many of these, though world famous, are agricultural products like basmati rice or handcrafted like Lucknow chikan. Only a few are manufactured and thus qualify as scaleable brands from a business perspective. This quiz is focused on these kind of brands.
The GI tag helps these Indian brands protect their image by controlling quality and quantity. Customers understand that the authenticity is tied to the location of production, and this acts as a moat preventing others from launching look-alike and fake products. They are not owned by any one company, but by the community that resides in that location.
Country of origin as a brand differentiator
Country of origin is so important that there is an entire chapter dedicated to the topic in Jessie Paul, CEO of Paul Writer’s book (December 2021) “Marketing Without Money”. To quote her, “Leveraging country of origin is an obvious choice when national stereotypes are in favour of an upstart brand.”
For example, an Indian IT company will be viewed positively as there are many world famous Indian brands from this sector. Additionally, in some countries Indian medical care is well respected. As a matter of fact, leather, silk and cottons are world famous Indian brands too.
Conversely, choosing country of origin as a differentiator has a downside too, as you don’t control what happens to the country brand through unknown factors.
How can you benefit from knowing these famous Indian brands?
Knowledge of these brands is of course useful purely from a shopping perspective – you will be a discerning shopper when you acquire these unique and world famous products.
You will also know where to locate your product if you want to benefit from the heritage of these world famous Indian brands. Whether you want to launch a leather start-up or one specialising in fried snacks a knowledge of these ready-to-use brands and attributes will come in handy.
As discussed in an earlier column “Is Akshay Vocal For Local” country of origin is sometimes a complicated answer for world famous brands.
Finally, you may decide to use your business knowledge to help these brands survive and thrive in 2021 – many have deep roots in that location and provide a livelihood to thousands.