Interview: “Made in Romania” vs “Made by Romania”


Horia Oane intreview Wall Street

The evolution of the design market in Romania

Romania is a country that did not have much luck in this field, the past communism managed to erase any capitalist concept of marketing. Branding can only exist in a free and competitive market. Even after 27 years of democracy, branding is in its infancy, it is still at the beginning of the road (but the direction is good), we have sold us no tradition in this discipline, considers the specialist.

“The fate of branding in Romania was decided by the communist period and then supplemented by the countless economic crises that this country is going through. Recently we could see with more precision what is the level of understanding and appreciation of this discipline, perfect occasion offered by the public competition for the Bucharest logo. Unfortunately, the contest “logo for Bucharest” has transformed the whole country into a client but also into a design & branding agency. After this public, we can say that Romanians are a nation is not encyclopedic and quality of specialist does not seem to be in fashion”.

Before we rush to point the finger at the political class, at the multinationals, or at taxes, we must be honest with ourselves and admit that 25 years of capitalism are still very few in the formation of a “pure blood” class of managers. , able to face Goliath in the right fight, looking for opportunities and elements of differentiation, says Horia.

If Romania is a Romanian product, it is definitely imperative to replace the management. Especially in the food area, Romania is the failed guy on the “brand image” exam, most Romanian producers fall on the “shelf consumer seduction” exam. There is a universal stupidity in “product packaging” and “made in Romania” products remain competitive only on the “lowest price”, the only remaining advantage.

More and more consumers are looking for “made in Romania” products.

The “made in Romania” products have become in the collective mind some brands, but they fail to develop this development opportunity, he continues. The mindset of consumers has changed and now what is Romanian is viewed with better eyes. Figures and numerous market studies show that more and more consumers are looking for Romanian brands, especially in the food categories. Despite this positive trend, which appeared accidentally, it seems that this label “made in Romania” does not manage to save our delicate dignity by hard-working and inventive Romanians. There is an urgent need for a change in the positioning of local products from “made in Romania” to “made by Romania”.

More serious than the design and name mistakes is the misunderstanding of marketing, which unfortunately reflects a state of affairs of the Romanian business environment. The sales are tracked at any cost, which is characteristic of any defect management, who understand the importance of brand in the decision to the shelf. Consequently, the investment in the solid construction of the brands is left in the background, which is why we have Romanian products that leave the impression of a false origin that casts doubt on the values ​​and honesty of the product.

To complicate this matter, the “purchase decision” of a product by the consumer consists of a set of focused information, namely a collection of feelings, perceptions and many associations. More and more studies show us that there are many situations in which consumers associate global brands with modernity, development, and progress and because of this, they trust the purchase. This is what is missing in Romania, and implicitly in Romanian products: without trust, without respect, without value, both on the local and international market, despised by partners and close ones.  

In the sweet Romanian style, the local brands have understood to do branding by offering the consumer hundreds of promises that they are not able to keep. Nowhere in the world will you find out about a product that offers the best quality, at the best price (impossible!), With the best services and … early at home.  

This complete misunderstanding of “product branding” by many local employers has no way of convincing. However much one would like to consume with “patriotism”, Romanian cheese and milk will win the shelf and the basket of buyers, provided that “made in Romania” brands have, besides tangible and emotional attributes, and a capital of trust and integrity.

The interview appeared on Wall Street, the most widely read business daily in Romania.