博客网 >



2005年BrandChannel一期中,一个名为Edwin Colyer的作者写了一篇名为“Branding with Chinese

Characters”的文章。文章的大意是认为如果西方品牌采取One size for all 的策略,你的品牌肯定是不












所以,我认为,如果一种产品和一个品牌,是否要进行Globalization,需要考量它的Brand Origin是否被

看重。很多时尚品牌之所以可以获得广泛的认同,是因为它有很好的Brand Origin。而更多时候,产品与



然而,这里需要澄清的一点就是,Brand Origin和Brand Spirit的区别。Brand Spirit是我一个概念,是




的色彩不是Made in China,而是应当具有中国人的一种精神。也许你会想起《丑陋的中国人》,也许你会







于理性,逐渐趋于正常,未来的几代人中将会产生出一种不可抗拒的力量,也许可以成为China Power吧。















Branding with Chinese Characters

Everyone is talking about China, and not just because the country is hosting the next Olympic

Games. Since its entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, China has been seen in a

new light: not just the world's center of manufacturing, but now a legitimate consumer

market, open for business. Any company with international intentions would be foolish to

ignore the opportunities that China has to offer. 

In fact, says Mark Kennedy, director of marketing and brand consulting in Landor Associates'

Hong Kong office, China has grabbed the West's imagination for decades. “Many companies have

been in China longer than you think; it's just that today things are much easier,” he

remarks. “Around 1995 things were going bananas, and a lot of companies entered at that

point. They looked at the size of the country, saw a billion potential customers, and

couldn't resist entering. A lot of companies are now on their second or third entry, having

messed up the first time round.”  

Hans Fuchs, managing director of the German consultancy Chinabrand, agrees that the West has

had a long liaison dangerous with the People's Republic. “During the first period the

approach was to build up production and manufacturing—labor in China was cheap. Now that

initial period is done and most global companies have production in China. Now they want part

of the Chinese market too.” 

Suddenly the Chinese are transformed from laborers to consumers—and companies are only just

discovering how to market to them. Can branding win the hearts of these fiercely price-driven


“There are some specific problems that anyone looking to win some Chinese market share must

know,” says Fuchs. “First, most Western brands are too expensive for the average Chinese

consumer.” Most consumer brands in the West are geared toward (and priced for) people with

annual incomes of around US$ 20,000, Fuchs says. In China, an annual income of US$ 3,000 is

good. “Even in Shanghai, the richest city in China, most of the Western shops are empty, the

shops of Chinese brands are crowded.” 

The Chinese are fiercely patriotic, too. Says Fuchs, “They want to buy Chinese goods. Except

in the categories where the brand's appeal is specifically its Western origin, then Chinese

products tend to [only] win on both price and provenance grounds.” 

It is simply naïve to believe that you can move a product into China with a Western price

point, and perform well. And if you simply move in with your standard, one-size-fits-all

branding then failure is almost inevitable. Experience shows that many Western brands do not

cross the cultural divides. 

The language barrier is the first obstacle to overcome. Western languages codify words in

written script whereas each Chinese character represents a word. So any brand moving into

China has to decide how it will be rendered in Chinese—both phonetically and visually. 

According to Bing Ho and Hal Fiske of Baker & McKenzie, about half of the foreign brands used

in Chinese-speaking jurisdictions are translated phonetically, half conceptually. Phonetic

transliterations include Louis Vuitton ("lu yi wei den”) and Nokia ("nuo ji ya"). Shell and

Nestlé, meanwhile, have opted for literal translations of their names: "bei ke" (a shell) and

“que chao" (a swallow's nest) respectively. 

 The best renderings, however, are those that marry the two approaches together, and Coca-

Cola's choice of “ke kou ke le"is perhaps one of the best examples. In the early days

shopkeepers would use any characters that gave a close phonetic approximation to “Coca-Cola.

” Thus resulting in an oft-told story of Coke’s early translation problems. Today, the

consistent use of “ke kou ke le" ensures that (in Mandarin at least), consumers understand

Coke to “permit the mouth to rejoice.” 

Big brands like Coca-Cola have to choose their Chinese name with care. “Five years ago, so

long as the name sounded OK, it didn't matter that much,” says Mark Kennedy. “Now you have

to have a name that works visually, phonetically, and means something too.” 

But a name is only the beginning. Marketing and advertising is equally tricky in the Chinese

market. You may have a thoroughly researched brand strategy for Western markets, you may know

your positioning and your key messages, but there is no guarantee that any of it will work in


“In terms of messages, some Western brands make the mistake of addressing personal or

individualistic things in their promotions,” notes Fuchs. “But the Chinese think in terms

of community. They look at group issues; they see themselves as members of a group. 

“Chinese society is a relationship society. The Chinese are not so easy with big bang

advertising. They listen to recommendations, and emotional appeals. They are phenomenal

readers and talkers and branding works well using word of mouth. Brands therefore must tell a

story and have a strong identity and history.” 

Basically, a global brand strategy must be tweaked and adjusted for China. If your target

market in the West is the 25-year-old college graduate, there's no reason to think that a 25

-year-old graduate in Shanghai would be at all similar. Furthermore, a graduate from Shanghai

may have a very different view on life from a graduate in one of China’s smaller inland


“People have little understanding of what China is,” says Mark Kennedy. “They think

Shanghai equals China, but this is far from the case. China is a huge landmass. Beyond

Shanghai, Beijing and the developing east coast, cities have limited infrastructure—this is

still an emerging market.” 

Most companies launch in eastern coastal towns (usually Shanghai), hoping for some sort of

halo effect. They use the cities as a showcase, and as these markets become saturated the

idea is to move to secondary and tertiary cities. What they do not allow for is the vast

contrast in language, culture, tastes and attitudes between the different regions of the


“There is no such thing as a Chinese consumer,” Kennedy warns. “Proper research is


Fuchs echoes this call. “This is where people have gone wrong in the past. Market research

is very underdeveloped in China—you just don't have the facts, figures and consumer

insights. And most of the official facts and figures are inaccurate so you cannot trust

published data. You've got to do lots of original research.” 

The end result of the branding exercise (the look and feel) may not resemble the brand in

other countries, but how you get there should not change. The fact that the market is

developing is no excuse for shortcuts.

It is important that companies quickly learn to get their branding right, for competition is

increasing fast. Choice is exploding and the brand will quickly become the main

differentiator. Joseph Wang of Ogilvy & Mather in Beijing puts it thus: “China is like a

child that has had no toys,” he says, “then suddenly the world's biggest Toys R Us opens up

round the corner. There's a tendency to overdose at the moment, but they are learning fast.

The consumer is becoming more demanding and brands must be able to meet their desires.”   

<< 卡组织品牌管理——对“银联”品牌... / 风险投资计划和制定决策 >>




平凡的水果世界,平凡中的不平凡。 今朝看水果是水果 ,看水果还是水果 ,看水果已不是水果。这境界,谁人可比?在不平凡的水果世界里,仁者见仁,智者见智。




表情 验证码:


  • 文章总数0
  • 画报总数0
  • 画报点击数0
  • 文章点击数0