"Made in China" usually means that it's not going to last or that the build quality can be expected to be sub-par or poor. However there are companies in China that are starting to break that stereotype! Come with me to China's Silicon Valley and see some of China's home-grown brands that are shaking off the image that "Made in China" means "Junk".
There are different ways to think about branding and I'm sure I have a very different one. It is fascinating to imagine the path of a brand that starts from an entrepreneurial idea. Personality, interests and environments bring ideas to life that lead to a project and the first version of a brand, followed by continuous cycles of branding. Brands tend to be perceived as intangible, but the entire branding process is definitely chemical, physical and biological: even the slightest brand association is supported in our brain by dozens of neural links and is constantly being shaped and remodeled by our experiences!
With this physical dimension in mind, we can imagine how brands are also moved by forces that still need to be fully understood and summarized in their own Principia. It is fascinating to consider how emotions or memories can activate brand messages; explore the role of design and colors in shaping brand perceptions; to imagine these thresholds that one crosses by forming a preference for a brand or considering a purchase; admire the power of alchemy that allows loyalty to be maintained over time. Scanning modifies our interaction modalities and adds an extra layer to the system. The forces shaping brands' perceptions today are the result of very complex underlying systems: neuroscience, biology, psychology, semiotics, microeconomics and behavioral sciences. Understanding how the brand works is a field of study and infinite astonishment.
Our ambition is to observe the phenomena of the brand image, to practice the brand image and to unveil the principles of the brand image. Here are some observations on the growth of brand image in China gleaned in recent years. It is a period dominated by a form of classicism in continuity with the previous decade: the context is a Chinese economy in full growth, with companies turned inland and to lower levels as a reservoir of growth. It is the quintessence of an optimistic and carefree China, where brands work as identifiers without the need to build deep associations. It is a prosperous nation that is turning to the Olympics. It's about being fast, present, strong and obvious, tapping into the trend of mainstream adoption - even for luxury brands characterized by the golden age of monogramming. Consumers are distracted by novelty; very few have gained enough experience in branding to sacrifice exploration. There is no loyalty to the brand. What matters is the ability to monopolize space, whether it's retail or advertising. It is still a fairly traditional branding age with TVC commercials and prominent magazines, not yet guided by the digital revolution that is about to happen.
Foreign brands tend to be, at this time, only a name, often not translated into Chinese and rarely appearing in written form. Most CEOs, general managers and brand and marketing directors even question the need for local identity. "Strangeness" defines a very clear premium and a niche space. An additional adaptation in terms of relevance (beyond the notion of available and known brand) and differentiation seems premature and unnecessary. The big winners are the biggest brands that already have recognition. Most consumers want to not only experiment, but also show what they live;
They do it with a recognizable badge known to everyone, not just their peers. This is a time when Chinese consumers are very confident in the future. They do not want to project themselves into the brand heritage of a company. They are satisfied by floating on the surface of the mark, and do not gain the pride of being discerning and leads to individuality. We only see a few innovative FMCG brands for China: Danone functional biscuits and Lipton women's slimming tea. Many Chinese brands are in a position to be partly OEMs for other markets, partly for consumer brands. They feel no pressure in their consumer brands sector that seems to be a good asset, mainly managed through wholesale sales to the gigantic Chinese market. We see the emergence of strong brands of consumer products like Wahaha, the strengthening of local auto brands, the growth of sports brands like Li-Ning who have the ambition to conquer the world.
useful readings :