Finding Denmark's brand assets as a food nation

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Danish Veterinary and Food Administration

Finding Denmark’s brand assets as a food nation

Our image as a food nation is positive but diverse. In order to position Denmark as a relevant trading partner in international markets, we must focus on our distinctive assets.

Denmark might not always be top-of-mind as a food nation. However, the survey indicates that decision makers and buyers in the US, the UK, Germany and China are well aware of Danish food products and solutions, and thinks favourably thereof. While generally positive, the free associations given in the survey were numerous and varied, including everything from ‘Organics’ ‘Safety’, ‘Fresh’, ‘Innovative’, ‘Quality’ to ‘Bacon’, ‘Dairy’, ‘Meat’, ‘Honey’, ‘Pastry’ and ‘Cookies’.

FINDING RELEVANT BRAND ASSETS

However, diversity is not necessarily an issue, according to branding expert, Polymeros Chrysochou, Associate Professor at the Department of Management at Aarhus University:

When branding food products and solutions on being Danish, it is not enough to put a Danish flag on the label of your product. You need to communicate the story of how your product is unique by being Danish. In order to do that, you need to find the distinctive assets that make Danish companies different from other suppliers in that specific market

Which virtues to highlight may differ from market to market. For the Asian customer, food safety is extremely important, while new consumer trends in the US have resulted in an increased demand for organic food. ”What aspect of Denmark’s general food brand is relevant in this particular market? This is a question that any Danish food or agriculture company should ask itself before embarking on a new export adventure. International buyers are always focused on consumer demands in their specific market,” says Polymeros Chrysochou.

A UNIFIED BRAND FOR DENMARK AS A FOOD NATION

Danish food and agriculture companies can highlight brand assets that appeal to target groups in relevant markets. However, the overall Danish food nation brand must be unified and consistent and should correspond to the image of Denmark in general: “Our brand as a food nation needs to be coherent with the reputation of our country in general. Denmark is a country with high standards of living – known for being innovative with regards to technology, design and know-how. These assets should help establish us as a strong food nation,” says Polymeros Chrysochou.

Traditional food nations like Italy are known for their culinary traditions and recipes. Their distinctive assets are bound up with lifestyle and culture. Likewise, Denmark is coloured by culinary trends such as New Nordic gastronomy, but we have other distinctive assets to highlight, says Polymeros Chrysochou. “High standards in food production is a virtue that gives any Danish company the opportunity to stand out. On parameters such as food safety, organic and sustainable production and quality in general, we surpass many international suppliers.”

BRANDING FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND SOLUTIONS IN A B2B-SETTING

When branding Danish food products and solutions in a business to business context, credibility and reliability are very important. International buyers look for credible and reliable suppliers, and in this regard, the general image of the country plays an impor tant role, says Polymeros Chrysochou:

Denmark is generally seen as a well-functioning nation that can be trusted  financially. There is, in other words, a platform for communicating our collaborative strengths as well as our credibility, when it comes to delivering high standards

According to the survey, reliability is seen as the most important criteria when choosing a supplier in the markets of the US, the UK, Germany and China. 80% of decision makers within the food and agricultural industry find reliability decisive.