Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Russian brands reach success abroad «against all odds»

How come Russian brands are rarely featured in global rankings? Take Interbrand's list, for example. Of the 100 top global brands even a vodka brand is not from Russia. Well, it used to be in the pre-Soviet times. On the other hand, vast majority of the top 100 brands are prominent in the world's largest country. Why such asymmetry?

Interbrand's other list for top 40 non-monopoly Russian brands shows an explanation. It seems that Russia is best at producing either monopolies or local brands. Just a few ones of those listed may be considered global: Baltika, Lukoil, KAMAZ.

But then there are Russian software companies Kaspersky and ABBYY, good examples of local brands that have gone global. But both are apparently too small to be in either list.

Alexandra Kulikova is the editor at RBCC Bulletin, a monthly magazine produced by the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce, a 95-year-old association with offices in London, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. She said the asymmetry she sees is in the prevailing exports from the UK to Russia.

Kulikova played down poor coverage of Russia in the UK media and said that Britons taking such coverage for granted “are rarely seen coming to Russia”.

Of Russian brands visible in the UK she mentioned Kaspersky, Beeline, Goltsblat BLP, VTB Capital and few others adding that “their success was sport-like – against all odds”.

Now, is that a genuine outside perception of Russian brands? After all, we Russians love seeing stuff done against the odds.

UPD: Here's a good sign. Three Russian PR agencies made it to the Holmes Report Top 250 Global Rankings. CROS and Pro-Vision Group entered the list at #55 and #174, respectively, while AGT Communications ranked #58. Hat tip to

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