IMPORTANCE of BRAND – Getting It Right for China & UK

14th March 2017

China going global is having a profound impact on the international business community. Finding its roots in the 1999 ‘Go Out Policy’, this initiative for Chinese companies to break out into markets large and small across the globe has given rise to the first batch of organic Chinese brands. Shattering the perceptions of cheap and low-quality, these brands are beginning to show the first fruits of the ‘Created in China’ and ‘Made in China 2025’ initiatives. Having swiftly and securely conquered their domestic markets, names like Huawei, Tencent and Alibaba are beginning to trickle into the shopping baskets of Western consumers, boosted by slurries of cross-border acquisitions and encouraged by improving sales figures. However, these success stories only tell half the story, with the large majority of Chinese companies still struggling to pry away the hard earned trust Western consumers have lent to their most beloved brands.

In keeping with this challenge, CBBF was delighted to support Chopstick Club’s joint CEOs Theresa Booth and H.J. Colston in hosting their “Importance of Brand – Getting It Right for China & UK” panel discussion at the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising on the 13 th March 2017. Chopsticks Club is the largest, independent China-UK professionals’ membership network dedicated to provide members with an interaction platform between China and the UK. True to this cause, the events panellists included Huawei Communications Director Ed Brewster, China Oracle Founder & Director George Wyndham and Pi Global Creative Director Simon Pendry. All panellists expanded on branding in China and abroad, elaborating on visual equities and how to strike the perfect balance between global consistency and sensitive localisation.

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room” Jeff Bezoz, Founder & CEO of Amazon

The event was a fantastic triumph, successfully connecting many themes that plague Chinese companies looking to break into the Western market and visa versa. Evolution of marketing channels, advertising trends as well as Chinese economic structure and demography were all addressed, covering a great deal of content with both eloquence and substance. CBBF CEO Syrus Lohrasb also questioned the panel as to the role of corporate governance in the ‘DNA’ of brands and the challenges faced on this issue by Chinese brands in the West. He also supposed that Wechat should come with a health warning to companies, given the massive impact negative company reviews shared on Wechat have on sales figures within China.

The discussions highlighted the numerous challenges faced by Chinese and Western companies in their respective market entries, as well as theinformation gaps impeding their progress. More than ever, it is crucial for companies to find the right agents, partners and programme to engage with in their diversification into other markets. CBBF will continue to be the bridge that connects the two, ensuring that all parties reach the other side of the shore safely, equipped with all the tools necessary to thrive in these ever changing economic enviornments.

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