Skoda is a student car of Europe. Flourishing on consumer ignorance, Skoda has successfully created an aura of exclusivity in South Asia. Toyota Kijang of Indonesia manufactures Innova, a compact SUV that failed security tests in the US, but is sold in twelve popular variants in other markets. This doesn’t mean consumers in the eastern world are only taken for a ride by con marketers. Many bottled water companies in the US use glorified names such as Alaskan Falls, Yosemite Water, Fiji, etc, but bottle and sell artesian (municipal) water to make profits. For instance, Alaskan Falls has nothing to do with Alsaka; it is bottled in Worthington, OH with tap water. You can reach them at 614-888-5430; the company is actually called Liqui-Box). Coca-Cola and Pepsi saw the huge profit-making potential that they sell coke and pepsi without the carbonated, acidic sugar -syrup as Dasani and Aquafina to the world. Poor consumers are fooled.
The attached video is a fitting evidence how Whole Foods, a 275-grocery store chain in the US, which has created an indelible perception that is almost synonymous for locally grown organic food, sells vegetable imports from China as California Blend Veggies (see video clip attached). This should startle most American men and women who innocently believe what Whole Foods says it stands for, but is now deplorably exposed by ABC News.
Branding is about creating perceptions. It is not about creating false promises, and pulling the wool over consumer’s eyes. As a Brand Strategist, I strongly profess alignment of identity and image. You can’t claim what you are not, for one day soon karma will catchup.