Posted by Laura Fitch on July 1, 2010 09:30 AM
Club Med's recent sale of a 7% stake to China's Fosun has prompted interest among other Chinese companies looking to get a foot in the door of the international market.
A number of Chinese companies are now looking at buying up minority stakes in internationally recognized brands, reports the Financial Times, which notes: “If the preferences of Chinese shoppers are any guide, then taking a chunk of practically anything from Armani to Zara might be in their sights.”Continue reading...
Posted by Laura Fitch on June 25, 2010 11:00 AM
If Chinese electronic companies have their way, techies worldwide will soon be reaching over Apple’s latest gear on the store shelf for the Huawei handset in the back.
Lack of experience and knowledge in other industries—notably the auto industry—makes “Brand China” a tough sell.
In the telecommunications industry, however, Chinese companies have a chance at creating a breakout brand that will be recognized beyond the country’s borders.
Of course, China's nascent Silicon Valley will have to compete with Japan and South Korea for a corner of the Asian telecom market, and with giants such as Nokia for a piece of the global telecom industry.Continue reading...
follow the money
Posted by Laura Fitch on June 14, 2010 10:09 AM
Western fashion brands are looking to expand in mainland China, with Vivienne Westwood planning an additional 20 boutiques throughout the mainland, Burberry slated to add a whopping 66 new stores, Coach opening another 20 locations and Ferragamo planning 10 new stores, according to Alisa Gould-Simon at The Guardian.
That top fashion houses are salvaging the remains of declining international sales by catering to China’s growing population of nouveau riche is not news. But recent expansion plans may indicate an attempt by these fashion icons to expand into China’s second and third-tier cities, widely seen as the next, and potentially highly profitable, frontier for Western brands who have managed to gain a share of the market in Beijing and Shanghai.
The numbers certainly look promising. “It is estimated that the Chinese bought $7.5bn worth of luxury products last year. "We estimate retail sales will grow 16-18% this year," says Jessica Lo, of the China Market Research Group. A report published by McKinsey last autumn predicts that consumption will double in China's 100 biggest cities between 2008 and 2015.Continue reading...
Posted by Laura Fitch on June 11, 2010 10:00 AM
Global spirit companies like Pernod Ricard and Diageo are happily tipsy over the prospect of their products becoming the tipple of choice for Chinese consumers.
The category is one area of predicted growth in China as cash continues to flow into the pockets of the country’s ever-expanding upper crust. Many nouveau riche have money to burn, and want to show it off with luxury items, whether it be behind the wheel of an expensive car, strutting in pricey threads or sipping premium alcohols.
Currently, premium foreign spirit sales take just miniscule (about 1%) slice of the market. Though baijiu—literally ‘white alcohol’—is still the tipple of choice for many, foreign spirit brands are hoping to nurse a nascent interest in fine whiskies, bourbons and scotches. Their branding strategies are placing a heavy focus on presence.
Diageo, the world's largest spirits company, has invested heavily in marketing China's first vodka, Shanghai White, which it produces through its 20% stake in Sichuan-based Shui Jing Fang, a distiller with roots back to the Ming dynasty.Continue reading...
Posted by Laura Fitch on June 4, 2010 11:00 AM
After taking a massive hit during the Olympics and the global financial crisis, reports of China’s hotel industry making a comeback are rife. Most recently, Marriott International announced it would double its China operations within five years, according to the Washington Post.
"China is arguably the world's most compelling tourism market today," Marriott chief executive J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr. said in a statement. "Within the next 10 years, China is expected to be the world's single largest source of international tourism and its number-one travel destination."
Marriott is a great example of a business taking a chance to push ahead at the right time. Though the occupancy numbers are rising, they aren’t yet near an ideal level.Continue reading...
lap of luxury
Posted by Laura Fitch on June 2, 2010 11:00 AM
Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido is looking to reinvent its image from one of a high-end luxury brand to one of affordable quality.
Noting that the emerging middle class in China heralds a new beginning for developing countries throughout Asia, namely the beginning of a massive middle class, Shiseido is looking for ways to tap into this market while retaining it’s reputation for quality and prestige.
Dubbed “masstige,” an amalgamation of “mass prestige” the company intends to broaden its product line, and snap up foreign companies that fit in with its new line of marketing, such as US brand Bare Escentuals, which Shiseido purchased for US$1.7 billion.Continue reading...
brand and bottle
Posted by Laura Fitch on May 28, 2010 10:32 AM
As incomes rise, Chinese urbanites are developing a thirst for a vintage drop. While this means unlimited marketing potential for foreign wineries selling to China and growth opportunities for China-based wineries, the current lack of expertise in the drink of the gods means many businesses and consumers are easy pickings for scam artists.
The latest trick: a few rogue Chinese wine brokers have been selling wine futures for bottles of Bordeaux that will never be delivered.
"There’s a huge interest in the 2009 Bordeaux from China," as Sam Gleave, Hong Kong sales director for Bordeaux Index, tells AFP. "In an unregulated and uneducated market, there was always potential for rogue trading in en-primeur. Unfortunately, it seems as if that potential has been realised."
To educate consumers, Bordeaux's exhibition in the France Pavilion (above) at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai aims to enlighten and entice China's aspiring wine cognoscenti.Continue reading...
Posted by Laura Fitch on May 27, 2010 01:19 PM
If you want to get people’s attention in China, bring up children.
GE China’s latest ad campaign, created by BBDO's Shanghai office, uses the cute-as-a-button offspring of the company’s executives in an effort to give consumers the warm fuzzies when they think of the global titan’s China operations.
Though using children in ad campaigns is hardly a new phenomenon, nor is it exclusive to China, it has a special resonance here that is worth considering as a micro example of a macro issue – how to market successfully to cultures other than your own.Continue reading...