Can we fully rely on perceptions, survey outcomes and statistical sampling?
Around 43000 people in 52 nations over last December and January were asked on their views of the quality of country based products and manufactures. Statista has released the survey outcomes for 2017 and announced that the highest accolades of respect for the latest Made in Country rankings go to Germany, given a score of 100. Think of sports, automobile and machinery labels.
Most of the countries rated in the top ten are in Europe, with Switzerland narrowly behind Deutschland. The UK scored 91 out of 100, with Sweden taking in at 90 - Italy and France scored in the eighties. Authenticity, sustainability, advanced technology, fair production, security standards and quality were factored in together with other measures like status symbols, value for money, uniqueness and design attractiveness.
The Made in Germany label long ago was perceived to be poor compared to British Empire standards from a previous century. In 2017, China is ranked 49, India at 42 and Argentina at 30. Australia and NZ are respectively listed at 14 and 15.
Japan remains the only non- European origin country in the top ten, tying with France and the USA with a score of 81. Both South Korea and Singapore chalked up 56 points, with neighbours Thailand and Malaysia neck to neck around 49 points. Products made in Israel are rated only 36 points.
There can be a combination of circumstances and challenges affecting perceptions of survey participants - historical reputation, marketing vibes, product availability, customer experience, pricing psychology, standards compliance, long term consistency and reliability, customer service, labour and materials sourcing plus political stability of the source country. Entertainment exposure, celebrity use, persistent improvement profiles and customer engagement also significantly help.
Canada, Japan and Australia are the leading trio with the most positive changes over 12 months in perception for this Made in Country Index. What have these nations made and carried out to deserve this? It also emphasises the continuing efforts by the Japanese in implementing Kaizen.
Not surprisingly, Italy leads in uniqueness and design; China in value for money; Germany for quality and security standards: Canada for sustainability and fair production; plus Switzerland for status symbols and authenticity.
The Industrial Revolution in western societies from another century continue to embed the quality rankings for products made there in the 21st century. The interesting question going forward is whether China, India, Latin America and selected Asian nations can rise up to this challenge. The other critical question is whether positive perceptions convert into actual purchases, increased business and rising revenues.