UK trade missions are tumbling over each other in China, and British brands try to sell their Britishness to the Chinese consumer. China marketing specialist Tom Doctoroff does not think that will work, he tells the BBC.
Is it possible for British brands to lure Chinese customers, simply because they are British?
Probably not, says Tom Doctoroff, CEO of J Walter Thompson’s Asia Pacific operations. He believes most Chinese consumers do not have an image in their heads of what is specifically British about most companies hailing from the UK.
“It’s not enough to just come in and say, ‘We’re British,’ because ‘We’re British’ will just be interpreted as ‘We’re not Chinese’ and there are a lot of not-Chinese brands out there,” he explains…
Competition with other [foreign] brands is stiff. Most visitors to the exhibition strolled past the UK brands in order to snap photos of the neighbouring Lamborghinis and BMWs.
“Very few international brands compete directly with local brands,” explains Tom Doctoroff.
While British brands band together to tout their UK credentials, they would need to keep a wary eye on other foreign competitors, who are also setting up in an increasingly crowded Chinese marketplace.
China’s internet companies prepare to go global too, but should Facebook, Twitter and Google+ worry now Tencent, Baidu, Sina, Alibaba and Xiaomi have plans to expand globally, the China Weekly Hangout asked September 5. Not yet, said investor William Yung, media-expert Paul Fox and Tech-in-Asia editor Steven Millward. Well, maybe Whatsapp should. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra of the China Speakers Bureau.
Devastating pictures of tourist areas in the Golden week of October showed again that taking a holiday together with 428 million others is not always a good idea, even though a growing number might go abroad. The now adjusted system of Golden Week was introduced to encourage consumer spending – still high on the political agenda.
But would a paid leave, where you can decide yourself your holidays, be a good alternative? Some love the ideal, others loath it. And what is worse, many Chinese would most likely not take their holidays, but try to cash in at the end of the year. That would cause consumer spending to drop. What would you do? How did you spend your holidays in October, and what would be a good alternative?
Join the +China Weekly Hangout on Thursday 17 October, 10pm Beijing Time, 4pm CEST(Europe) and 10am EST (US/Canada). You can leave your remarks here, but during the event you can also ask questions and remarks using the Question tool at the event page here. At the event page you can also register for participation at the hangout. (You can read our initial announcement here.)