It’s tempting for Brand Britain to give itself a jolly good pat on the back. After all, given the relatively modest size of our population, we provide a disproportionate number of ‘world brands’.
We have blue-chip companies such as Vodafone, HSBC, BAE Systems and Shell, leading fashion houses such as Burberry, Hackett and ASOS, education institutions including Eton, Oxford and Cambridge, as well as cultural centrepieces, notably the Millennium Stadium, the Edinburgh Festival and the Olympic Park. Not to mention the world’s richest football team, the Royal Family, and of course a body of (arguably) world-beating luxury brands including Mulberry, Dunhill and Bentley. And so on.
But hold off on the back-slapping, because the reality is that although we can boast of pedigree, heritage, culture, craft and sophistication, it seems that our competitors (especially in Europe) in the luxury market are way ahead of us, and we need to carefully assess the true strengths of ‘Britlux’ before we can accurately categorise ourselves as outstanding players in the international luxury market.