From Brand to Export: Armenian Companies' Journey with EU4Business Initiative


Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade, an EU4Business initiative supports Armenia-based companies develop internationally competitive branding identities.

Packaging is as important as the product itself. A strong brand is a key driver for sales on both the domestic and international markets. Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade, an EU4Business initiative, supports Armenia-based companies develop internationally competitive branding identities. The project is being implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and funded by the European Union under its EU4Business initiative.

The project is co-financing the development of brand identities for a number of companies in the food-processing sector and providing customised solutions to each of them. The brand developed as part of the project highlights the uniqueness and competitive advantages of Armenian products, and enhances export potential. The project mainly supports companies in the production of dried fruits, canned food, herbs and herbal teas. Armenia’s finest herbal teas, born in the highlands and flavoured with the invigorating sun, have already travelled to different countries worldwide, including EU countries, where they have even earned the appreciation of the Chancellor of Germany. However, local producers continue to look for new opportunities to strengthen their positions in the international market—the first step being the creation of a strong brand.

“The key to success for each brand is having a quality product in terms of both contents and packaging,” says Gnel Nazaryan, Founding Director of Edna LLC. “With the support of the International Trade Centre, we are developing an original brand identity for our new line of products, potentially appealing to both the domestic and international markets. Our packaging design was inspired by natural elements. For packaging material, we used biodegradable eco-friendly recycled polyethylene. As recommended by the project experts, we also came up with stackable packs to optimise the logistics costs.”

Gnel believes it is important for businesses to gain recognition on the domestic market before entering international ones. This provides a better understanding of consumer needs and the company’s shortcomings, and helps to find ways to address these shortcomings.

For three years now, the Eastern Partnership: Ready to Trade, an EU4Business initiative, has been assisting Armenian companies in the production of internationally- and particularly EU-compliant products, all the way from branding to transportation.

“Branding is the key to success on international markets,” notes Angela Pryce, an international tea expert who has been providing customised consultations to local tea producers for the last two years under the EU4Business: Ready to Trade initiative. “For businesses that are selling therapeutic products, there is a lot of work to do to make sure that the ingredients on the pack are legally compliant with the EU database."

“Waste reduction, minimal use of plastics and recyclability are important issues for many customers,” Angela adds. “Businesses should be aware of the materials used in their packaging to be able to clearly communicate them to buyers or customers through on-pack recycling labels. Dried products like herbs and teas require a moisture barrier, the most effective being plastic-based. But technology is changing and plant-based plastics are slowly entering the market.”

With its long history, branding in Armenia is gaining importance with every passing year, to enhance the competitiveness of local products and the overall economic position of the country.