Branding in China (free download)

Last month, Christopher Liechty, president the AIGA Center for Cross-Cultural Design, moderated a panel on branding in China. The transcript from the session has been published and is available for free download. It’s a long transcript but worth a read.

The panelists included:

  • Bernd Schmitt, director, Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School
  • Don Sexton, professor, Columbia Business School
  • LiAnne Yu, strategic director, China Insight Group, Cheskin
  • Tom Lowry, media editor, BusinessWeek

Here are a few excerpts that I found interesting:

    LiAnne Yu: The hugest opportunities in China are not in the first tier cities right now, they are very much in the second and third tier cities, Chengdu, smaller cities, just growing very rapidly and very different kinds of customer experiences there that may lead to very different types of branding experiences…. There are 166 cities in China with over 1 million people, that’s compared to 9 in the US.

    Bernd Schmitt: I think there is a difference in terms of how you look at
    individualism and collectivism in different Asian countries. And the difference I see in China, it’s much more a small group, family, you mentioned small groups of collective sense, collectivist sense, much more than in Japan.

    LiAnne Yu: I think McDonald’s is the most incredible example of a brand. People know that, yeah it started off as an American brand, but when you go into a McDonald’s in China, it’s a Chinese experience as well. The way the McDonald’s is laid out, the fact that there are more tables for people to sit at for a long period of time. It’s a place where people take their dates. It’s not a fast food experience in the U.S. sense.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.