Today Chinese brands are becoming worldclass, global brands.
As China moves closer to becoming the world’s top economic power in less than decade, its homegrown brands are also delivering an impressive performance in the global marketplace. Now, many of the world’s top 100 brands are China-based. These include China Mobile which is highly ranked, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Baidu, and China Life Insurance.
Given the lingering consumer impression that Chinese-manufactured goods are substandard, the rise of Chinese brands (that now comprise more than 10 percent of the very elite) is a solid break for entrepreneurs and thought leaders in China who wish to generate global respect for the competitiveness of Chinese brands.
Awareness is Lacking
However, respect among global analysts is one thing. Global recognition–the kind that allows a farm hand in Tunisia to positively resonate with a Coca Cola billboard–is another. There’s a telling absence of Chinese trademarks.
Countering Negative Perceptions
Well-capitalized Chinese companies are emerging in the B2B market, resulting to less than sterling engagements with the consumer sector. This, plus the well-publicized product recalls involving consumer brands (toxic toys, foods, and personal care products) create a bottleneck that prevents the full acceptance of and admiration for Chinese brands among consumers around the world. A recent survey, in fact, indicated that close to 70% of respondents believe that the “Made in China” label delivers a negative impact on brands.
Major Opportunities Ahead
Given this dilemma, how can China build strong global brands that command respect not only among industry insiders but also among the world’s increasingly connected consumers? Clearly, smart and forward-looking businesses in China want to break free of the substandard stereotype and squarely compete–even outperform–their more entrenched competitors in terms of product quality and customer satisfaction. After all, not a few Chinese brands have already surpassed their Western counterparts in terms of performance, operational scale and revenues.
Similar to many Taiwanese powerhouses such as HTC, Acer, and Asus, quite a number of performing companies in China have roots as cost-efficient OEM’s contracted by big western brands.
Strategy and Research are Key
Fortunately, many Chinese companies have already breached this hurdle using remarkably astute branding tactics that may well work for the rest of the flock. Among the high premium Chinese brands that are making great strides in the global arena are Lenovo, Huawei, Metersbonwe, Chery and Haier. These companies have already secured footholds in several countries and are in the process of building worldwide awareness for their brands’ quality and reliability.