Tom Doctoroff
Tom Doctoroff

One of the changes advertising guru Tom Doctoroff saw in his twenty years in China is that foreign companies are making fewer mistakes, when they try to get to the Chinese consumers, he writes in the Huffington Post. They are (mostly) better in aligning with Chinese preferences.

Tom Doctoroff:

As a result, market entrants finally do homework before landing here. Corporate (and agency) marketing structures have been internationalized. Fewer foreign companies make egregious errors. Most realize global brands must be brought into alignment with a Chinese — a Confucian — worldview. Back in 2000, eBay crashed and burned because it assumed the “thrill of the auction,” a distinctly American individualistic position, would drive consumers to e-commerce sites. In the process, they neglected the importance of dramatizing product range and on-line security reassurance. In 2006, Best Buy entered the PRC and quickly failed. Its model of high-end in-store service and premium prices was flat wrong for China, perhaps the most price sensitive market in the world, particularly for goods consumed in home. Today, retailers such as Uniqlo, Zara and H&M are all making profits. Quintessentially “Western” brands such as Starbucks, Haagen Dazs and Nike have succeeded by bringing their products into alignment with Chinese cultural imperatives.

There are fewer big misfires to report.

More in the Huffington Post.

Tom Doctoroff is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

China Weekly Hangout

What is behind due diligence firms in China, we asked ourselves as one of the leading voices in the industry, Peter Humphrey was arrested last summer for illegal business practices. The China Weekly Hangout will discuss due diligence of the due diligence firms on September 25. You can read our announcement here, or register for participation at our event page. Joining us from Taiwan is Miguel De Vinci (aka 李洛傑).

Are foreign firms having a harder time, the China Weekly Hangout wondered on August 22. Western journalists focus on Western firms in China, that might be fair, but they ignore China’s real challenges argue Janet Carmosky and Richard Brubaker, moderated by Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau.

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