Did you know that the ‘Made in Germany’ label is over 129 years old and that, despite widespread belief, the ‘Made in Germany’ label is not a German invention. Instead, it was an idea of Great Britain. To be precise, Great Britain introduced the label in 1887 when it passed a law to force foreign companies to make the origins of their products clear. Apparently, several German companies had copied British products and Great Britain wanted to keep German products from gaining popularity in their country by labelling exactly where they come from.
VW Bully. Photo: © Flickr.com, Felix Meyer
However, this clearly backfired as the ‘Made in Germany’ trademark is now probably the most famous and appreciated one all over the world. This came about as German products vastly improved by the end of the 19th century. They grew in popularity due to their meticulous attention to detail and high-quality workmanship. During the First and Second World War, Germany’s economy was obviously devastated and the reputation of German companies and their products sank to an all-time low. But the real triumph of ‘Made in Germany’ did not occur until after Word War II – when people realized that Germany, unlike the United States, aimed to offer not mass-produced items, but focus instead on its ability to provide quality work and a high degree of close customer relations.
The label continues to be well-respected even today, and is a significant reason people choose to buy a product – especially in industries where German products are world leaders: vehicle and machine engineering, electronics and chemicals. Especially in recent decades, companies take advantage of this. For example, Volkswagen shows its roots with the slogan ’Das Auto’ and Audi has ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ in their international advertising campaigns.
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TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF