Russia lacking a national brand promotion strategy so far

3 august 2015

The Analytical Center has held an expert discussion titled “Creation and promotion of the Russian national brands”. The scope of the discussion covered the global experience of using the “Made in …” branding, sector-specific national umbrella brands, the product selection criteria for licensed use of the national brand in Russia, the key sectors and types of products to be promoted, as well as the role of the state with regard to implementation of this initiative.

In his opening address the Head of the Department for International Cooperation at the Analytical Center Denis Ershov noted that the task of boosting Russia’s export flows, particularly as far as non-resource export is concerned, is what tops the agenda today. He believes that the number one goal to achieve is to ensure that Russia is viewed as a country that manufactures high quality goods which hold leading positions in the world competitiveness ranking. “The important thing is to achieve a substantial synergistic effect on account of creating national umbrella brands and supported by the government policy aimed at their promotion”, the expert believes.

In view of the above, the participating experts examined the possibility to develop and adopt a Concept for National Umbrella Brand Creation and Promotion in Russia. “What is important today is to evaluate the demand for such a Concept to be implemented, considering that its objective is to demolish myths and to change Russia’s positioning on the global arena,” says Tatyana Lvova, Deputy Director for Strategic Development at the Information and Analysis Center for Foreign Economic Activity under the Ministry for Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. – “Russia is commonly viewed as a country whose economy hinges solely on the mineral extraction sector. What is more, there is a notable lack of recognizable national brands in the sectors the promotion of which is relevant for the country’s development.

Artyom Shadrin, Director of the Department of Innovative Development at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation spoke about the focal points and major lines of brand promotion: export promotion and support, transition of products into a higher niche in terms of market prestige, attracting investments and highly skilled professionals, as well as development of inbound tourism. “The co-ordination between these lines and focal points is extremely important for the success of regional development of the country in general,” the expert believes. – “Moreover, to ensure brand promotion, coordination is required as far as the use of communication channels is concerned”. Mr. Shadrin also noted that the key objective of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade is to provide support for medium enterprise development. Special emphasis is placed on the popularization of innovations. “The Innovation Activities Popularization and Promotion Program are currently under development, our plan being to back it with a government decree at the beginning of the next year,” the expert explained.

“Our companies are unable to enter massively either the domestic or foreign markets, because there they have to vie with supranational global players”, Director of NOOVITA JSC Igor Kalchenko believes. To rectify this situation, both gradual development of a platform for product promotion and building partnership relations are required, and this will ensure success for just any umbrella brand, the expert claims. “It is, however, important to set a realistic, less ambitious bar – beginning first with cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Community member states, then expanding the scope to include all ex-Soviet countries, where Russian presence is still remembered, and only then shall we reach out to the BRICS member states”, Mr. Kalchenko said, adding that embassies and representatives should also play an active role in this work.  

Our companies are unable to enter massively either the domestic or foreign markets, because there they have to vie with supranational global players.

Igor Kalchenko, Director of NOOVITA JSC

Participants in the discussion offered several examples of how sector-specific umbrella brands– Russian biotechnologies, Russian pellets and Russian environmentally sound foodstuffs –are promoted. As far as promotion of the national brand “Made in …” goes, the experts acknowledged all options and models examined in the course of the discussion as effective and agreed that the comprehensive approach to the problem is most appropriate. Russia is the only G8 member lacking a national brand development strategy, and this matter shall be under the control of the government, the experts believe.