Tom Doctoroff 2011
Tom Doctoroff

Convincing Chinese consumers is no easy task for foreign brands. Marketing expert Tom Doctoroff gives in Women’s Wear Daily some tips for American denim brands. “Definitely no dragons.”

Women’s Wear Daily:

Tom Doctoroff, JWT’s Asia-Pacific chief executive officer and author of the book “What Chinese Want,” agrees with Hobbs but cautions against overt displays of Chinoiserie, adding, “Definitely no dragons.”

Nor can American brands afford to overlook the strictly hierarchal nature of Chinese society. “You need to recognize the role that the product plays in life [here] is profoundly conventional,” he said. “It’s about helping people get ahead and climb a social hierarchy. Whereas we Americans view our brands as weekend brands, people here are going to view those same brands as a tool for impressing colleagues or others, so you have to bring it into alignment with the Chinese worldview.”…

For … Doctoroff, jeans occupy a special place for Chinese consumers — safe because they’re “neat,” as Doctoroff put it, but still respectable.

“Brands don’t need to talk about America in order to capture the essence of that individualistic, challenging, self-possessed spirit,” Doctoroff added. “But they need to sell it a different way here than they traditionally do in the West, because rebellion and counterculture never work here.”

More in Women’s Wear Daily.

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

In the China Weekly Hangout of November 7 Steve Barru and Fons Tuinstra tried to figure out what might be behind the story of the jailed reporter Chen Yongzhou. Is it a media story? Or local power struggle?

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