Mikhail Sadchenkov: “It’s time to look at the 'Made in Russia' brand from a different angle”
Mikhail Sadchenkov, the head of the Made in Russia project, told about the benefits of the approval of a single national brand-integrator, the development of its own portal, as well as about the personal attitude to the Made in Russia brand to the correspondent of the Russian Foreign Economic Activities Portal.
Mikhail, what is a national brand?
Like any brand, it is, first of all, an idea and emotion. In the image of "Made in Russia" brand, we tried to combine traditions and rich culture of Russia with the specifics of industry and trade. The birch (the symbol of the project - note) is the only and most successful association, often used in literature, painting and songs dedicated to our country. The Nevsky Prospect began with it, the last Fabergé egg was made of it, and it was not presented by Nikolay II to his mother - there are dozens of examples. From a practical point of view, we see "Made in Russia" as a single brand-integrator and mass communication tool for domestic exporters of goods and services, for the promotion of Russian science and culture.
Did you use in your work foreign experience, which brands are promoted abroad?
Practically all countries actively developing export have their national "Made in" brands. In terms of concept, we are closest to the new program "Made in Britain", the logo of which has recently been updated. We have carefully studied the experience of Great Britain and other programmes, and this knowledge has formed the basis of the "Made in Russia" concept. The most important difference of our idea is that we have turned the national brand logo into an effective media tool, instead of using it as a means to assess the level of localization. If Western brands are limited in use and can be placed on a certain list of products, we can communicate practically in any formats and on any media.
What are the meanings of "Made in Russia" brand?
A national brand should be a reflection of our achievements, both past and present, and should cause reasonable optimism about the future. The promotion of a positive agenda through existing production facilities, companies, brands and those who created them is, in our opinion, the most correct meaning.
And what do exporters need it for?
The need for centralized export promotion under a single brand capable of communicating with both professional and mass audience is long overdue. Under a national brand, Russia would be able to promote exports in a broad sense - from industry to culture. Today it is spoken about by representatives of practically all branch organizations and associations, as well as by producers themselves. We invite them to cooperate and participate in our project, everything is ready and successful for that.
And what is the practical benefit for them?
For small and medium exporters it is, first of all, an opportunity to establish or improve their communication on foreign markets. By communication we mean all possible meanings of this word - from exhibition activities to professional industry translations, partner and consumer search. Supporting a national brand for large companies is a social responsibility and assistance in promoting the culture and image of Russia.
What role does a national brand play in this?
Brand-integrator is one of the most important tools that we offer to use to promote exports. Today is a good time to look at its concept and meaning from a different perspective. Most similar logos in Western countries are issued based on the level of localization of components of the products. In our opinion, this system is no longer relevant in view of globalization, new media, and the habits of future generations of consumers and partners. And we should be guided by this future generation, because the formation of the brand and its reputation will take years; global markets, even taking into account the sanctions, will not go anywhere, and the new industrial revolution is already on the verge. Based on these facts, we propose to make a national brand a tool that can reach out to the masses all over the world and generate traffic that we could use to talk about our exports, culture and achievements, addressing directly to the target audience.
But you can't just start giving it away to everyone, right?
No, companies are selected based on criteria and approved by an expert council.
Can you tell us more about these criteria and how companies can get a logo to use on their products?
All companies that are registered, pay taxes and create jobs in Russia can apply for the logo. It is issued on a non-refundable basis: if a company wants to place information about itself in catalogues and on the website in addition, it will have to make an annual contribution covering the cost of creating pages and translations into foreign languages. The "Made in Russia" logo can be used by both manufacturers and service providers. We provide the "Made in Russia" logo and corporate identity to industry associations, organizations, state authorities absolutely free of charge, including its finalization for use during business missions, conferences, exhibitions and other events. Thus, today all people interested in promotion of "Made in Russia" brand can address us. They will receive a ready-made design for their projects and events absolutely free of charge.
Have you already had experience of such cooperation, do exporters use the logo?
Yes, last year was very rich in events. The corporate identity and logo were used to hold Made in Russia Day in the Russian pavilion at Milan Expo 2015 for joint business missions of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia and the Export Insurance Agency of Russia (EXIAR). We were partners in the export conference organized by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Russian Export Centre (REC), Exporter of the Year award organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia and EXIAR. In addition, certificates for participation in the project "Made in Russia" were awarded to the winners of the national award "Business Success", held by the "Support of Russia" all last year. The logo is already used by dozens of companies, both exporters and companies operating in the domestic market. In 2016, we would like to see their number begin to be measured in hundreds.
And how do you feel about regional brands, for example "Made in Tatarstan" or "Made in Siberia", etc.?
Exceptionally positive: as an instrument of competition in the domestic market. As for the external market, of course, all Russian manufacturers should enter it under the brand name "Made in Russia". For this purpose, we propose to create regional catalogues of exporters, cultural and tourist brands on a non-repayable basis.
If you have a development plan for the coming years? Hundreds of companies are good, but without a strategy and understanding of the ultimate goal, it will be difficult to implement such grand plans.
In the coming years, our key task is to create the most visited site on Russian export, business and culture in 15 languages, as well as industry catalogues and tools to promote the goods and services of Russian companies.
1. Your first association with the word "Russia"?
Hometown, you remember it every time you come back from trips abroad.
2. Your favorite Russian dish?
Pretty much everything that Mom cooks.
3. Favorite city in Russia?
4. Three main Russian goods?
Intellect, beauty and culture. We have a huge potential for development in these areas, it only takes effort and time to learn how to properly pack and sell all this.
5. How is Russia different from other countries?
A combination of rich history, culture, resources and human potential. Russia is a unique country with great opportunities for development, if you understand how to use them.
6. Favorite Russian writer?
Mikhail Sholokhov, not only his creativity but also the history of his life is of great respect and interest.
7. 7. What would you like to wish Russia?
Throughout history our country has overcome incredible challenges and difficulties, I do not see the need to wish it anything, I believe in its strength and luck, as well as people. I contribute to its development through daily hard work.