Motorola and the Most Mis-Identified Brands

This may just be an artifact of most Americans failing geography — or that we live in a post-geography world of business — but I was fascinated by a new survey of brands’ countries of origin. College-age respondents in the U.S. were asked for the the home country of some of the best-known brands in the world, and they did poorly — even on some very high-profile companies.

Here is a summary chart showing actual and named country for some of the most mis-identified brands:


Some money quotes from the release:

College students may love to use the latest gadgets and wear the hottest fashions, but they may not know where their favorite brands originate, according to exclusive new research from market research firm  Anderson Analytics. Fifty three percent of students thought Finnish cell phone company Nokia to be Japanese, while 57.8 percent thought Korean electronics company Samsung was Japanese.
And 48.5 percent mistakenly thought Adidas clothing came from the United States, not Germany.

“For the most part, this next generation of educated American consumers either have no clue where the brands they use come from or simply assume everything comes from the United
, Japan or Germany,” said Tom H. C. Anderson, Managing Director, Anderson Analytics.

More here.


  1. God bless globalization … a brand’s “country of origin” is kind of an outdated idea anyway, and I’m glad to see that kids don’t care.

  2. True enough, which is another reason why Chrysler in in trouble. They have made nationality part of the pitch, and most people don’t care.

  3. I always thought that the whole techno-sounding “Hello Moto” ad campaign gave the company a Japanese sound.

  4. While the brands have various countries of origins, the products mostly come from China–the ultimate geo-blurring.

  5. Agreed that country of origin in this globalized age is strikingly unimportant, except maybe in car manufacturing where the products are still largely made in their home countries (although a lot of so-called American cars are made in Canada these days).
    The one thing this survey does show is which countries have a reputation for product design and manufacturing in the USA. Everyone (apparently) knows that Germans make beer and nice cars, and Japan makes cars and nice gadgets.
    Also, I think the LG mistake is excusable since they bought the formerly-American Zenith and took over their business. Nevertheless, I think it’s striking that so many Americans assume so many big companies are American in origin — except the one that actually is American, Motorola.

  6. i bet the motorola misconception was not helped by the ‘hello moto’ campaign.