Research - 05.05.2014 - 00:00 

The Germany brand

The image of German products is excellent throughout the world. This is revealed by a survey conducted by the Institute of Marketing at the HSG. Germany scores with the criteria of quality, reliability and trustworthiness, as well as open-mindedness.


6 May 2014. For the study entitled Marke Deutschland, the Institute of Marketing at the University of St.Gallen and htp St.Gallen Managementberatung AG interviewed 4,041 people worldwide. They conducted the survey in cooperation with Jung von Matt AG.

German products stand for a high status and are positioned very well, particularly in the BRIC countries. “Made in Germany” is valuable: depending on the industry, a price premium of at least 10-20 per cent can be achieved with the brand.

Worldwide liking for the country
The international perception of Germany is strongly shaped by the clichés of beer, cars, sausages and football. At the same time, Germany as a country, as well as German products and services, enjoy a high degree of appreciation at an international level. Germany’s success creates respect while not necessarily making it popular. Whereas Germany is awarded good marks in terms of respect, occupying second place behind Switzerland, the verdict as regards being liked is less good, being on a par with the US and Japan.

“Made in Germany” similarly popular to “Made in Switzerland”
German products and services are generally given a better rating than Germany itself. They are neck and neck with those from Switzerland. The two countries are the leading contenders, and are a good deal ahead of Japan and the US. These, in turn, are followed by the UK, Austria and France, which again are some way ahead of Italy, Spain, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, India and China. Germany and German products enjoy an excellent positioning in the BRIC countries in particular. They are most critically viewed in the western world, where they have the smallest competitive edge.

Machine-building and plant construction, as well as banking, are German success industries. In machine-building and plant construction, Germany is perceived as the clear No. 1 worldwide. In terms of banking, Germany is runner-up behind Switzerland.

Added financial value through “Made in Germany”

With regard to prices, Germany can be described as a “quality supplier”. German products and services are perceived to be more expensive than those from the US, Japan and China but are also rated to be of correspondingly better quality. The label “Made in Germany” thus triggers off a willingness to pay among customers that can easily be 10-20 per cent more than for products without a declared country of origin. This additional willingness to pay is higher for watches, for example, than for convenience goods or commodities such as vacuum cleaners. Also, it is higher in the BRIC countries and Japan than in most West European countries.

Quality seal “Made in Germany” must not be misleading

Worldwide, expectations placed in the extent of value creation in the respective countries are relatively high when it comes to statements about countries of origin. In particular, products offered with a “Made in…” label must provide the “quality typical of that country” and have been produced in that country, too. With regard to raw materials, customers’ expectations are slightly less high, the survey reveals.

Picture: Photocase / Doubleju

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