OP-ED: Why Bangladeshi electronics brands always go for foreign names

BTRC President Md Jahurul Haque browses a newly produced smartphone at the Walton factory in Gazipur on October 5, 2020
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Electronic products bearing the slogan “Made in Bangladesh” hold sentimental value to many Bangladeshis living in the country or abroad

Ever since a popular electronics manufacturer in the country launched its products under the slogan “Made in Bangladesh”, demand for locally made products has proliferated.

Until that time, the slogan was only familiar in the RMG industry for a much longer time. For our relatively new consumer electronics industry, this was a huge step forward.

This created a hype among similar companies to follow the same, resulting in many new names entering the consumer electronics market.

Although a bit late, our electronics manufacturing companies have finally understood the power and brand value of their products with their country of origin.

In addition, the government’s “Digital Bangladesh” initiative had encouraged emerging manufacturers to confidently promote their products under the same slogan.

Electronic products bearing the slogan “Made in Bangladesh” hold sentimental value to many Bangladeshis living in the country or abroad and accustomed to using popular international brands.

It has already gained popularity among them.

While a simple “Made in” makes a big difference, its market value doubles when the products are named in the language of that country.

Naming a product is important because it can shape the preferences and choices of consumers.

To ensure successful product naming, companies spend long hours brainstorming and creativity.

Such names must be easier to pronounce and be able to encapsulate the characteristics of a product.

When it comes to understanding what the product is, what can create more impact than naming it in words familiar to consumers in its country of origin?

A brand’s country of origin can be easily identified by the way its name sounds. That’s why it’s not just a name, but a flag bearer of the country where it was made.

As simple as a product name can arouse patriotic feelings and create a sense of belonging and satisfaction among local consumers.

This creates individuality which in turn leads to an increasing sales rate.

In Bangladesh, for example, we have been so used to seeing English words as brand names our entire lives that we may not be able to relate to a Bengali name for an electronic product.

This is understandable because there were no or few companies that actually manufactured, let alone the brand of their products.

We could not have imagined a time when electronic products would be made in our own country.

Go back

If I looked back fifteen years, most local electronics companies would either act as distributors of already popular foreign brands or ‘assemble’ products made in China.

All they have done is just rebrand the products made in China at cheap prices.

These were popular because their prices were within the budget range of the majority. So, with lower than average quality, electronic products under different brands have superfluously reigned in our markets for a long time.

But over time, this business trend is gradually coming to an end as today’s consumers are more alert and review-oriented.

The Bangladeshi electronics market has seen unprecedented competition.

Of the few Bangladeshi brands that have emerged as manufacturers of consumer electronics, almost all of them have products with international names or no names at all.

Most of the products are named with its generic code which is a combination of English alphabets and numbers which has no appeal.

While it is true that foreign sounding names add glamor to the product and help attract consumers, this strategy is nothing more than using the rest of the British Raj mentality.

People from the subcontinent are always excited about foreign sounding brands as if they are top quality.

They associate a foreign sounding brand with a higher level.

As nationalism slowly fades, local brands are seizing the opportunity to pamper their consumers with what they inherently want.

Companies strongly believe that adding a touch of weirdness to their names would allow them to expand their consumption, both locally and globally.

This strategic trend has intensified in recent times as more and more electronics manufacturers emerge from all corners of the country.

But bragging about a ‘Made in Bangladesh’ slogan and launching products with a foreign name isn’t entirely correct, unless it’s real foreign investment setting up a manufacturing plant. in the country.

This is disadvantageous for the economy, as people who feel comfortable with foreign names for local products would mean that they compromise until they can afford genuine foreign products.

The psychology behind this is that they will switch to foreign brands once they have the opportunity or the funding. It is certainly counterproductive.

Bangladesh is no longer just a manufacturer of clothing in global markets.

With its lightweight engineering, electronics and automotive industry growing in popularity, “Made in Bangladesh” is emerging as a sign of excellence.

As Bangladesh becomes a global hotspot for consumer electronics manufacturing, this is the ultimate opportunity to create our own identity by introducing Deshi names for products.

The author is a lawyer and associate lawyer at Rahman Law Associates and Company

About Anne Wurtsbach

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