Wednesday, December 15, 2004

American Brand Blues

A topic that's gained some, but not much, traction in the traditional media is the chance for backlash against American consumer brands and what it could mean for the economy.

It's probably because most economy wonks don't see the numbers that prove it's happening yet. Maybe it isn't.

In November -- I know, I know a lifetime ago in internet time -- Thomas Mucha in Business 2.0 had a balanced take on the issue. My feeling is that the numbers may not have caught up with consumer realities. At some point, demand for distinctly American brands like Budweiser and Coke is going to run into the now pervasive anti-American sentiment. I can remember when the arrival of Budweiser in a new market meant big initial sales for A-B -- I just can't see non-Americans getting as excited about it these days.

I thought the Democrats needed to figure out how to make this at least some kind of issue in the election. But they were too busy with their Us vs. Them, Let's Take on Corporate America, Bob Shrum-generated populist rheotoric.

Maybe Bush World Tour 2005 -- the one that's supposed to mend fences in Europe -- will help keep this a non-issue. Considering our place in the global economy, I sure hope so.

-- Dean Gemmell


Post a Comment

<< Home