From Made in Germany to Invented in
The Made in Germany label dates back to an
initiative by the British government in 1887. It
was introduced as a means of distinguishing
German goods so that buyers would be
encouraged to buy British.
At the time, German
exporters were causing problems with in part
unfair strategies. But the scheme actually
achieved the opposite of what was intended.
From 1883 to 1893 German exports to Britain
rose by 30%. The factors that made German
goods so successful – customer focus,
innovation, value for money and quality – still
A label that was intended to stigmatise soon
became a free form of advertising. Germany
also showed incredible resolve in its race to
catch up after having industrialised later than
other countries, and together these factors
culminated in Made in Germany becoming a
byword for high-quality, state-of-the-art goods
that did not cost the earth.