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October 2006



Laura, your genius and writing skill is simply breathtakingly beautiful. And I like that new photo of you on your blog.

I agree with everything I have ever heard you and your dad say.

I need to come here more often. You are so right about brand as position in mind. To me, "brand" is what is burned into the brain as you use a product to solve a problem or enhance a life.

If you drive a Cadillac and hate it for some reason, no branding advertising is going to change your mind about Cadillac.

Brand must be based on innovation and high usability. Brand cannot be based on price, except in cases like Walmart I suppose.


I'm from Ukraine and I agree with the most statements. Except one: that Tymoshenko is anti-corruption leader. She was fired because of corruption (she tried take-away big plant from one owner to give it other) and on the last parlament elections she have sold more than 50% of places in her party to different oligarches of Kuchma's period.
Tymoshenko and Yanukovich are the same politic problem in our country.

Mack Collier

Laura does Ukraine have an abundance of any particular natural resources that the country could use in their efforts to build global brands?


What about firms that try to build a global brand without much emphasizing its country of origin (COO)? In Taiwan, few of the OEM firms have had success in building their brands on the world stage. I'd say that it is extremely difficult to decouple brands from their COO. BenQ is a case in point. I'd love to know your views on this Laura! You can see a photo and a post of what I'm talking about here:



Thanks for all the well stated comments. I don't know the Ukraine just sounded right to me. No one said anything or corrected us while there. But your point is well taken. And I have changed the post so to be accurate for future readers.

Nancy Friedman

Fascinating post. But it hasn't been "THE Ukraine" for more than 15 years, when it stopped being a Soviet republic; it's simply "Ukraine" now. (Ukrainians are sensitive!)

Joao Plantier

Dear Laura,

Portugal also lacks a strong global brand. We were caught in the cheap trap in several industries, including the shoe industry (italian shoes actually come from Portugal) in the textile industry (Hugo Boss and Lacoste had factories in the North of Portugal) and even in the automobile industry (Volkswagen was once responsible for 11% of Portugal's Exports).
Now that most foreign companies are moving their production to India, China and East Europe our companies are trying to build brands that are strong enough to fight in the market place.
My questions are:
1.once you fall in the cheap trap, how can you build a strong global brand?
2.Was it Italy's image in the world that allowed Prada to become a fashion icon? Or was it Prada and other fashion companies that built Italy's image as a fashion country?
Best regards,

Scott Miller

All good points, Laura. I've been to Ukraine twice, and it's very clear this country has great, friendly, intelligent, caring people, yet they are plagued with problems. Key among them is that smoking and beer consumption are out-of-control, with men walking around the streets even in the afternoon holding beer bottles like sodas. Most people do not have vehicles, and their living conditions would be considered slums anywhere else. A huge part of the problem is the ongoing corruption of government, and anyone making a good living in that country is almost always in some manner doing it illegally.

One last minor point, it's not correct to call it "the Ukraine," just as we do not refer to "the Canada." ;-) (Saying "the United States" is okay because it's plural, but we do not say "the America.")

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