The advancement of the Chinese dream, a dream about building a more equitable and prosperous modern nation that draws strength from its 5,000 year-old civilization, turns its focus to high-level products and services needed in society. Serving the Chinese dream strengthens a brand, by linking up its mission with national and individual aspirations. The dream is also formed by the shift from “madein China” to “created in China”, in which focus will shifted to sustainability, less use of raw materials, high quality, innovation power and customer fulfilment. What does this mean for (international) branding?
Modern branding is also about new business models in which the customer/consumer is involved in the co-creation process.
It is safe to say that until recently there was a general lack of trust, especially in Chinese products and services worldwide. Building? trust is in the hands of a brand. By creating a brand, one creates a dream about a product or service to be experieced by the consumer. Consumers place high value on trust. They want products to be made with high quality, safe raw materials and with respect for the environment. Building trust in a brand has to include online and offline communication instruments. Consumers in China are much more focused on online communication tools than anywhere else in the world. How do you deal with this?
China is a challenging market for national and international companies. It is entering the stage of mature market with an unbelievable size. The growing middle class has changed its opinion brands and international brands are no longer a must have. Vital questions for international and national companies might differ. However, there are also shared challenges for types of company to work on gaining a stronger foothold in the Chinese and international market.
For international companies, the question is whether or not to adapt brands for China. If so, to what degree and in how? How do we balance this adaptation with our international heritage?
For Chinese companies, the challenge is to become more meaningfully different from international brands.
Branding and above all international branding all starts with corporate identity. What are a company’s vision and mission? How do you tackle this in a rapidly changing environment? In this context, cross-cultural communication plays an important role.
But, building a brand is not only one-way communication, as wholesalers/distributors also play an important role. Besides all of this, there are the other marketing instruments involved, such as the shape and lay-out of the product, price, packaging, services, etc. What’s more, current social media delivers a massive response of consumers to your doorstep 24/7.