In a recent interview our Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development, Luigi Di Maio, reminded everyone how important it is to fight both the “Italian Sounding” phenomenon as well as the fake “Made in Italy” label which is worth 100 billion Euros worldwide. He mentioned a recent study by Coldiretti (Italy’s leading association representing the Italian agriculture industry) on the falsely labeled and marketed food products in the world which shows that in the last 10 years this trend has grown by 70%.
Italian Sounding is the phenomenon that exploits the Italian brand – through the use of geographical names, images and symbols that evoke Italy – to promote a product that is not Italian. It is frequently used to promote food but is now also used in fashion, design or, in general, for all those products where our Italian roots have contributed to an important tradition.
If on the one hand this phenomenon is to be clearly condemned – there are even associations that carry out battles against the marketing and sale of fake Italian products such as: http://www.trueitaliantaste.com/ or http://www.italian-sounding.de/– on the other hand I must point out how Italian companies do little to combat this on their part.
Often, on websites, on the various social media accounts on which we communicate, in our catalogues, all the way to the carefully chosen names we give our products, we forget to emphasize that we are an Italian company. Some companies in their address, after the zip code and province name, don’t even write ITALY! These companies do not realize how much this aspect should be cherished because it represents an extremely important – added – value compared to our competitors. It would also be desirable for this task to be entrusted to those who are experts in communication, so as to use the right words and not risk sounding ridiculous.
I speak of these aspects also in my book Exporting in 7 Steps as well as in my post Cultural Heritage – Marketing Tool