A piece I wrote for a brand new financial magazine, The Analyst. The inaugural issue is out, so I share it with you here, and it's not as goofy as my other pieces...
The recent inclusion of
Chinese consumers, as with the rest of
The report which was based on a survey of 12,000 consumers in 24 Chinese cities noted that China is continuing its march toward becoming the largest luxury market in the world, buoyed by extremely favourable attitudes towards brands, increasing levels of wealth in tier-two as well as tier-one cities, and a continued confidence in future economic prospects.
Clearly, brand consciousness is centred on global brands, not Chinese alone. If so, why was there a perception that
About 47% Americans think China is the (retain word in italics to show emphasis) economic superpower, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, while only 31% think the United States is leading the economic front.
Never mind the fact that US GDP is ten times bigger than the Chinese, but media-obsessed Americans are ready to believe the might of the land of the Great Wall and Peking duck.
In fact, the same survey could get China snickering when in fact a poll conducted by the Global Times, a tabloid published by the Communist Party mouthpiece - the People’s Daily - revealed that only 12% of respondents view China as already having become a world superpower.
Blame it on American China-phobia, seeing that they have been bumming about without a bad guy to pin every bad thing on since the demise of the cold war. Still, it remains to be seen if
Few Asian brands due to myopia
For one, the Google incident must have etched in the American minds that sent the “take it or leave it” message to the Americans when the frustrated search engine provider decided not to extend its service anymore to the Chinese when the latter’s government kept playing the “now you see, now you don’t” game with censorship.
Perhaps, it explains why Baidu, the search engine, leap-frogged 141% in brand value to US$22.6 billion from no.29 to no.3 in the Brandz ranking. (Google is valued at US$111.5 billion and Apple at US$153.3 billion).
It’s like shutting the front door to prevent the neighbours pet from coming in, while letting your Rottweilers out through the back door.
Belonging to the Asian fraternity,
James Baladi, chief executive of BrandAsian, a brand consulting firm, and author of The Brutal Truth About Asian Branding: And How to Break the Vicious Cycle, in an interview with a Thai newspaper, said while there are many good Asian companies, there are very few great Asian brands mainly due to “myopic leadership” of many of its chief executives.
If Baladi’s assertions are to be believed, the leaders, who are only concerned with the pursuit of prosperity think brands are just logos, slogans or trademarks, or the burnt mark on the rear end of cattle.
He also noted that the bosses in a typically family-owned business tend to be autocratic, “but most of the time, the chief executive don’t know everything”. In short, consumers are Kings, but the boss seems to know better.
In the case of
On the glamour front,
When even the c-grades “leaked video clip” celebrities like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian are plugging some product or another.
Another hurdle the country has to clear before it can find its way in becoming a brand superpower is the proliferation of counterfeit products.
If foreign brands are replicated at the speed of light, imagine their own home-grown products. Earlier, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke came down on the Chinese government on the availability of fake products in the market.
“When over 80 percent of all software installed on computers in
If counterfeit products is a headache,
Yet, reports of tainted pork, toxic milk, dyed buns and other dodgy foods have surfaced as recent as second quarter of this year clearly underscoring the government’s inability to oversee its huge and under-regulated food industry.
A more recent displeasure among all the consumers worldwide occurred when readers’ realised “exploding melon” was not a supermarket tabloid headline, nor it is a title of a sleazy film, but literally bursting watermelons due to too much growth hormone.
Around 20 farmers around Danyang city in
Forget the global paranoia, negative perception, worries about counterfeit product and fear or exploding fruits;
“Compared to BBC World Service polling in 2005, negative views of China’s growing economic power rose—and are now in the majority—in France (up from 31 to 53%), in Canada (up from 37% to 55%), in Germany (up from 44% to 53%), in Italy (up from 47% to 57%) and in the USA (up from 45% to 54%),” the statement issued on the poll said adding that negative views also grew significantly in countries such as the United Kingdom (up from 34% to 41%), and Mexico (up from 18% to 43%).
The poll conducted by GlobeScan/PIPA among 28,619 people in 27 countries reveals that the numbers that say that China is becoming more powerful economically is a bad thing have increased substantially across a number of China’s key trading partners—and especially in G7 countries.
The two nations with the most positive views of