British creativity will be key to emerging Chinese brands

Li Ning
Li Ning: Plans for global expansion

Your article on Asian markets (MW 23 July) touched on how Western brands and agencies are faring in targeting consumers in Asia. However, there is another emerging trend from this region – how Chinese brands in particular are facing the same challenge in communicating effectively with UK/EMEA consumers.

The first wave of Chinese businesses and brands that are reaching for growth in European and American markets are facing challenges in how to express their brand values and connect with an audience that is very different to their familiar domestic consumers. While China is now a world centre for manufacturing, there are relatively few recognisable “brands” that are of Chinese origin. Chinese products still suffer from the stigma of being cheap and cheerful.

To overcome this, Chinese businesses are turning to UK agencies to provide them with a voice and brand values in their new target markets.
The World Advertising Research Center recently highlighted how major Chinese companies such as Lenovo, Haier and Li Ning are looking to expand their operations overseas. Similarly, we recently started working with two Asian brands, 188BET and Alibaba.com, to win them Western consumers.

British creativity is the best in the world and, just like our brands are migrating to Asia in search of new markets, Asian brands are starting to recognise UK agencies as a key factor in successfully launching their brands and products in the West.

Graham Hawkey-Smith
Head of strategy
Truly London

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