Elgar Intellectual Property and Global Development series
Edited by Irene Calboli and Edward Lee
Chapter 6: Branding the land: creating global meanings for local characteristics
Despite the power of global brands to dominate the market, local brands remain strong competitors, particularly when the goods reflect local tastes and culture. ìBranding the landî strategies that use geographic designators to promote locally produced goods, provide useful tools for expanding their market. In the era of ìlong tailî economics, where such goods have a perceived uniqueness based on qualities or characteristics derived from the local environment (terroir) or from the use of traditional production techniques (handicrafts), ìbranding the landî can help secure a potentially sustainable domestic industry. But achieving success in such efforts requires more than stamping local goods with a ìgeographic designator.î To the contrary, efforts to create successful niche markets may be undermined by the evolving nature of the territorial relationship between ìgeographic designatorsî and the wide range of products sought to be brought under their imprimatur. Assuring that goods maintain the special territorially centered features that assure their uniqueness in the marketplace, while simultaneously conveying meaningful information to consumers about such features requires more than the simple addition of a geographical indication,appellation of origin, certification mark, collective mark, or other trademark that contains a geographic reference to the territorial origin of the associated goods.
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