The Value of made in Britain - Barclays Report


The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) was commissioned by Barclays Corporate Banking to undertake a study on the value of Made in Britain as a brand, compared to Made in England, Scotland and Wales. The aim of the study is to highlight whether, for the sake of exports it is better for businesses to market as Made in Britain or as individual countries.

  • Great Britain is generally perceived as a “quality supplier” and so are products marketed as “Made in Britain” in new and emerging markets. In the European countries and the US they are perceived as equal in quality to unlabelled products.
  •  At odds with the reliance on exports to EU countries seen in the trade data, the label “Made in Britain” triggers a willingness to pay among customers in new and emerging markets that can on average easily be up to 7 per cent more than for products without a declared country of origin.
  •  In new markets these premiums translate to average gains per transaction for British exporters that are highest for food in Qatar (£0.46), for alcoholic beverages in South Africa (£0.35), for fashion in Qatar (£1.26), for precision tools in China (£0.46) and for automotives in South Africa (£1,004).
  • Gains from as little as £22.8 million in Ireland to £742 million in China and £823 million in the USA could be made by branding goods exports as “Made in Britain”. Across the eight countries in this study alone, total gains in the order of £2.1 billion would be possible.

Read full report here (pdf) The Value of made in Britain - Barclays Report


This research has highlighted that the UK is, and has for a while, been struggling to grow its exports. The trade data analysed show an over-reliance on EU-exports. Whilst Scottish and Welsh exporters are less dependent on good exports to the EU than England, these nonetheless account for a large share of their exports. Given this over-reliance on the European markets at a time when the economic outlook for these countries is bleak, there is little hope that a trade-led recovery by sticking to the status quo is possible. Thus to grow their sales, UK businesses and exporters need to look to other markets, especially markets further afield.

The survey based analysis in this research shows that, even though British businesses are currently over- reliant on EU exports, they are actually very well placed to enter new and emerging markets, particularly as the middle classes in these markets grow. Great Britain is generally perceived as a “quality supplier” abroad and so are products marketed as “Made in Britain” in advanced, and new and emerging markets.

Whilst in the European countries and the US British products are perceived as little more attractive than unlabelled products, premiums in new and emerging markets are substantial, ranging up to 7 per cent depending on country and product category. The other labels, “Made in England, Scotland and Wales” consistently obtain considerably lower premiums in percentage terms than when the respective products are marketed as “Made in Britain”.

These findings indicate that new and emerging markets constitute a strong growth opportunity for British exporters. Rather than focusing on seemingly saturated European and US markets, markets further afield present a sizable opportunity. Our research shows that this opportunity can be best seized when marketing together under the “Made in Britain” umbrella rather than as “Made in England, Scotland or Wales”.

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