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Brands and competition are interdependent.  Competition based on quality arises when targeted demand for the best is possible thanks to association with a brand.

In a demand-oriented market economy, the purchaser decides the success of numerous offers in the market.  Goods and services which fail to convince sustainable quality and price-worthiness disappear from the market.

In order for the consumer or professional buyer to play his role and judge effectivelythe quality of offerings, he must be able to distinguish clearly and unambiguously between the offers competing for his approval on the market.  Only if the buyer can clearly identify the required level of quality the characteristics he expects from a given product or service without undue effort will the best offer prevail in competition.

By signalling the source of a product or service, the brand provides the necessary orientation for workable competition.  It allows consumers and other buyers to make a targeted decision for a particular offer that corresponds to his own needs – at least for the second purchase.  The supplier of this branded offer is convinced that he will win the customer’s approval; for that reason, any offer identified by a brand is not merely an indication of origin, but rather a promise of quality from the supplier to the buyer.  In this way, the brand enables consumers and professional buyers alike to make targeted purchases guaranteeing a reliable level of quality.

The quality product offered under a brand is its own advertisement for further purchases.  This steers the supplier’s targeted investment in quality and constant improvement.  The knowledge that the product is identifiable and traceable is not only an intrinsic spur to ever better quality, but at the same time an assurance that investments can be amortised – thanks to subsequent purchase by loyal customers.

Hence, workable competition based on quality which ensures the sovereignty of consumers in decisions on the best offer is not only optimally guaranteed by competition based on brands but at the same time is of decisive importance for brand-oriented businesses.

This explains why Markenverband is particularly committed to competition on the merits based on quality.  We believe that attacks on the clear and unambiguous identification and traceability function of a brand not only jeopardise investments in brands and the underlying quality of offers, but also the sovereign purchasing decisions of the consumer or professional buyer.

Furthermore, workable competition calls for the consumer or professional buyer to have free access to branded offers.  This access must be as unrestricted as possible and free of aspects which distort purchasing decisions.  To this end, a competition-oriented policy requires not only a stable framework for unimpeded competition on the merits between suppliers but also maintenance of a framework which prevents attempts at other levels of the economy to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions – for instance through manipulative restrictions on access to products and services.  Markenverband works for this outcome, in particular by validating the framework conditions laid down in the German Act against Restraints of Competition (Gesetz gegen Wettbewerbsbeschränkungen - GWB) in the light of competition practice and proposes necessary modifications.

 


Ansprechpartner: Dr. jur. Andreas Gayk, Leiter Vertriebspolitik/Handelsbeziehungen, Compliance Officer

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