Guess that brand’s country of origin.

Today’s quiz is much easier than the New York Times crossword puzzle.  I’ll name a brand  and you guess the country where the company is headquartered.  

Philips

Dove

ING

IKEA

Grolsch

Heineken

G-Star

Shell

And the answer for all of the above  is The Netherlands. Yes, even IKEA has been headquartered in The Netherlands for more than 25 years. Dove?Part of Unilever which an Anglo-Dutch company.  

In fact, Holland seems to be a country that is particularly conducive global brands.  This came up at dinner on Thursday night when several friends were commenting on how country of origin plays a role in the favorability of brands around the world.  American brands came in for a lot of heat over the past 8 years.  Japanese brands have a disadvantage in China and Korea because of the Japanese occupations in those countries.  And the same for German brands.  Spanish brands are strong in Latin America and weak in Europe, outside of Spain.  And Chinese brands?  Not even the best known, such as Lenovo, are particularly strong.  And I say that with a heavy heart because I was on the team that created the Lenovo brand so that the company, formerly known as Legend Computing, was able to go global.

The answer probably lies in some combination of the liberal Dutch culture and the long history as a global trading center.  Even the colonial role of The Netherlands is not as controversial as the Spanish, Japanese or French.  Come to think of it, I’m writing this in a city founded as New Amsterdam but today is known as New York City.

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