Picture this: You are in a supermarket in Costa Rica. Your favourite fibre cereal topping is All Bran. There are two different boxes available on the shelf. One costs $5, the other costs $7.
Aside from being bloody expensive when you do the exchange calculation, you look closer to see what difference is.
- From Kellogg’s
- The same size
- Original, normal All Bran
- Containing exactly the same ingredients
- Best before a similar date (neither is e.g. a line-end)
The only difference: $7 All Bran is made in the USA. $5 All Bran is made in Mexico.
I asked the store manager whether stocking both SKU’s was just a mistake. Apparently not. Some Americans and Canadians prefer to spend 40% more on something made in Michigan vs exactly the same product made in Mexico.
Is this nationalist? Not really. If it’s from Kellogg’s anyway, people know they’re supporting an American business somewhere down the line. I’m not one to call the racist card, but…
It’s racist. The only reason someone would trust the American All-Bran more (and be willing to pay more) is they either don’t trust the Mexican factory where it’s made or they think a secondary factory means it’s second rate cereal.
Of course I could go on a diatribe about how racism is wrong. Racism is wrong. But this blog is not about political, moral and race issues. It’s about branding.
My message today to brands is: make money off the racists! They’re willing to pay for their stupidity. Emphasise your point of origin in markets where consumers are uneasy with your competitors’ origins. When where you’re from is not useful, keep it quiet.