Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Building Brands In China

The argument here is that Chinese companies are starting to build up their own brands. Yes, that is true that they are behind the US and Europe in terms of building brands, but Chinese companies have been extraordinarily adept at recognizing the value in a brand... whether it is building up a home-grown brand or searching abroad and trying to buy up a known brand.

I think what is more interesting is the use by Western companies of a broad, vaguely defined "Asian" vernacular when trying to communicate their brand (yes, I know Asia is a series of very very diverse people and cultures, I'm talking about an "Asian" vernacular in a very general, ill-defined sense.)

What do I mean? How many times have you seen martial arts, manga, Hindu gods, Asian-looking characters (or even English words written is some form of Asia-looking characters) used to express some sort of cutting-edge or even "exotic" characteristic of the product or service in question.

I think this will only increase as Asian companies become more and more prevalent in the Western market. But what will change is our relationship with this vernacular. I think it will no longer appear "exotic", but become more and more familiar to us to the point that we won't recognize them as being Asian in origin.

Building Brands In China

Here are some further thoughts on brands from Asia and emerging markets.

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