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, thats 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 McDonalds 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 McDonalds in China, it’s a Chinese experience as well. The way the McDonalds is laid out, the fact that there are more tables for people to sit at for a long period of time. Its a place where people take their dates. It’s not a fast food experience in the U.S. sense.