Can Brands Thrive Beyond Their Founders’ Legacy?


The images of visionary brand leaders gracing the covers of Fast Company and Forbes have begun to reveal a darker side to the fame and fortune of founders. Looking back at 2018, we have witnessed Tesla’s stock price roller-coaster ride attributed to Elon Musk’s controversial actions, the ousting of skincare brand Deciem’s founder Brandon Truaxe following a series of disturbing decisions made in plain sight of the public, and the boycott of Dolce & Gabbana in reaction to racist remarks by founder Stefano Gabbana.

With more attention and pressure on founders than ever, responding with resilience to unforeseen challenges and adverse impacts is essential – but how can brands grow, change and evolve for the better beyond detours and bumps in the road ahead?

Leading with values

Creating a brand that is underpinned by unique, yet replicable, values offers customers and employees a means to carry on the brand vision. Nowhere is this more valuable than in the fashion world where brands must often outlive the turnover or passing of their namesake founders. In such cases, the replicability of values can be determined by asking: how easily can employees and customers internalize and express the values of the brand in the words they use and the actions they take?

Kate Spade offers us a compelling case of resurgence and growth. The brand has made headlines in recent years in the wake of its acquisition by Tapestry and the death of its namesake founder. Despite stepping out of the brand in 2007, the founder’s playful sensibility and sparkling wit still resonate with customers in the bright colors & polka-dotted charm. Staying true to the brand promise of optimistic femininity has been at the heart of Kate Spade’s evolution, and according to CMO Mary Renner Beech, “We are re-imagining everything about Kate Spade but linking it incredibly clearly to our heritage and these past 25 years.” With each bag designed to visibly evoke qualities tied to optimistic femininity, Kate Spade and the legacy of the founder outlasts her departure as indicated by strong first-quarter earnings.

Whether reinforcing a strong emotional connection with customers or evolving the offering to appeal to broader audiences, leading with clear and replicable values is vital for affirming the brand legacy.

Building an army of voices

In an age when audiences seek to identify with the personality of the brands, they pledge their allegiance to, the voices of employees and customers become ever more invaluable to amplifying brand image.

A closer look at different approaches taken by cult beauty brands Glossier and Deciem, for example, manifests the benefit of entrusting followers with the brand.

Skincare brand Deciem fell into chaos when founder Brandon Truaxe fired his co-founder and social media team and staged a hostile takeover of the brand’s social media to proclaim his personal commentaries, zeal, and criticisms directed at customers and even other beauty brands. Following the ouster of Truaxe by the shareholder Estée Lauder Companies, Deciem is still recuperating from damage control.

On the other hand, Glossier promotes its brand image not through one single founder, but via the collective voice of loyal fans. In a recent interview, Glossier founder Emily Weiss shared, “We have always believed that every single one of our customers is an influencer. The brands of the future are going to be co-created.” The beauty brand makes good on Weiss’s vision through cultivating a thriving community of “Glossier Girls” who promote their favorite products for commission, partake in product feedback sessions, and are regularly featured on the brand’s social media. With more than 500 Glossier reps to date, the brand is driven by a harmony of customer voices that interpret the brand in their own meaningful ways.

Inclusion of customer and employee voices is an effective antidote to potential brand identity crises. Enrolling customers and employees in the brand brings a level of accountability and integrity to the vision. While a founder defines the vision of the brand, achieving the vision requires joining forces with followers who can build upon the foundation of the brand DNA.

Designating co-pilots

It’s commonplace to see today’s founders attain celebrity status. Establishing them as the one and only North Star, however, is far from being a sustainable path. Prior to his passing in 2017, Pierre Bergé spoke on the power of his partnership with fashion house co-founder Yves Saint Laurent:

“The two of us formed a puzzle and we were made of pieces that fit together very precisely. The money, the business, the licenses, the store openings, all of that would not have been possible without me. But you can’t operate the world’s biggest and most beautiful airplane if you don’t have fuel and a pilot who can fly that plane. And the only pilot who knew how to fly that plane was Yves Saint Laurent.”

The risk becomes great when founders buy into their own legend of single-handedly building the future, as we have seen Tesla weather a media maelstrom in the midst of brand founder Elon Musk’s unconventional actions and tendency towards work martyrdom.

For some founders, hitting rock bottom and relinquishing control to trusted counterparts is what it takes to rise from the rubble. The massive rebound to become the Apple we know today is due in no small part to distributing the power structure to ensure no lack of lateral vision. The firing of Steve Jobs from Apple and subsequent return to the company of trusted co-pilots Jony Ive and Tim Cook now serve as a parable for brands today.

Welcoming alternative viewpoints to guide the course as custodians of the brand ensures a level of empathy both wide and deep enough to engender internal employee engagement needed for growth, and meet customer expectations across multiple touchpoints.

Paving the Road to Recovery

While unexpected setbacks are inevitable, the way in which brands adapt is what can make for an even stronger comeback. For brands, paving the path for a comeback begins with reinforcing the values that the brand does (and doesn’t) stand for, and is sustained by harnessing the power of an emotionally-connected customer base and strong partners to lead with. With these elements in place, the essence of the brand and vision set by its originator are destined to have the greatest chance at being preserved and expressed through any ups and downs with utmost integrity.

 

Susan Moon is a Senior Brand Strategist at Labbrand, a global brand consultancy specializing in creating meaningful brand experiences by bringing together excellence in research, strategy, design and verbal identity. Susan is based in New York and can be reached at susan.moon@labbrand.com.





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Catering To The Chinese Market

In the first quarter of 2006, the Chinese economy grew 10.2%. With the increase in growth in the Chinese market and the constant continued growth being forecast for the future, it's wise for western businesses to research what the Chinese market wants and needs before dipping their toe into the Chinese market. Here are the current trends in the Chinese marketplace:

Food

With such masses of people in China and a steadily growing population, it's no wonder that food and food service is one of the largest markets in China. From fine dining to fast food to supermarkets and specialty food shops, pretty much every kind of food is available in China. The largest western names in food have all delved into the Chinese market already, including Walmart, Pizza Hut, KFC and, of course, McDonald's. There is also a huge market for all types of food and even catering services.

Banking & Financial Services

Many foreign financial companies including Merrill Lynch and The Royal Bank of Scotland have already bought stakes in Chinese banks. With the lifting of more restrictions on foreign financial companies in 2006, the banking industry should see even more foreign investment.

Luxury Goods

High end goods, including foreign brand name watches, clothing, jewelry, electronics and autos are markets that continue to grow. The rise in the amount of wealthy people in China continues to fuel the demand for high end and luxury goods of all kinds.

Cellular

With an estimated 440 million cell phone users in China, there is a huge market for cell phones, cell phone service and cell phone accessories.

Malls

Massive sized malls and shopping centers are popping up all over China, most offer a wide range of imported products, particularly stores from the US and Europe, including Chanel, Papa Johns Pizza, Gucci, Burberry, and Ralph Lauren. Retail sales in China have increased a staggering 50% in the last four years, with much credit going to the boom of mall building. Over the last six years, over 400 malls have been built in China and that number will only increase. In Dongguan, you'll find what is now the largest mall in the world, the South China Mall. It boasts 6.5 million square feet of total floor area and room for 1500 stores.

Western Brands

More than ever, the Chinese crave the most famous Western brands. From fast food joints to soft drinks to coffee to clothing to shoes to entertainment, many of the largest Western names already have a big presence in China or are researching how to jump in. Walmart, the largest US retailer, already has dozens of stores in China, including three Sam's Clubs and Neighborhood Markets. Coca-Cola is already ubiquitous in China and McDonald's intends to have over 1000 stores open nationwide by 2008.

Whatever industry you're in, you must be careful to do proper research before delving into the Chinese market.



Source by Lydia Quinn

Luxury Brands Grapple with China’s Economic Future


The S&P 500 has already given up all its gains from earlier in the year, and there’s precious little positive news to make businesses think that the market will bounce back any time soon. Underwhelming retail sales and industrial production data out of China sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average into a selloff, dropping it to almost 24,000.

Despite this news, retail sales in China still grew 8.1 percent year-on-year in November, boosted by heavy Singles’ Day sales on November 11, but that growth rate was the slowest pace for the superpower since May 2003.

Does this mean the era of unprecedented growth in China is coming to an end? It’s hard to say, but these economic figures will be a major topic when the Chinese government convenes its Economic Work Conference in Beijing next week to set policy for 2019.

Other topics? The heavily depreciating yuan that has inhibited the Chinese appetite for imported luxury goods will be one, as will the Trump administration’s ongoing trade war, which has hurt confidence that Western high-end products would remain popular in China as economic growth slows.

Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economics research at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg that consumers are cutting back as “softening domestic demand continues to weigh on growth.”

And more recently, Chinese authorities began cracking down on daigou – personal shoppers abroad who repatriate luxury goods and skirt tax laws – in a move that some saw as an effort to increase domestic spending. While daigou business may be a drop in the bucket that’s the overall economy, it may just be the start of more policy changes to encourage Chinese to spend more at home.

Tiffany & Co., as well as other luxury brands, have blamed lower-than-expected sales in the previous quarter on fewer Chinese shoppers in their overseas stores. Tiffany, however, did note that it saw strong sales within China in the third quarter.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Rogerio Fujimori wrote in an equity research report this week that new e-commerce laws that affect daigou businesses will only hurt luxury businesses in the short term as they turn their attention to shoppers in the mainland. Fujimori added that continued weakness in the yuan could be a drag on luxury brands as fewer Chinese travelers make purchases abroad.

Despite the short-term headwinds facing the economy as a whole, the outlook for luxury sales in China remains fairly stable. Fujimori writes that millennials account for a large proportion of Hermès and Louis Vuitton customers worldwide, and that proportion is higher in China. Unless their shopping habits change drastically, luxury sales in China may not see a significant impact over the next year.





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Reports of Prison Camp Labor in China May Shake the Fashion Industry


A scathing investigative story published in The New York Times December 15 is a warning to international fashion brands who manufacture in China to keep track of every step of their supply chain system to ensure they are operating ethically and legally.

According to the article, China’s Detention Camps for Muslims Turn to Forced Labor,” American consumers who purchased items from the brand Badger Sportswear in recent months may have bought goods manufactured by Muslim detainees being held by the Chinese government in an internment camp in Xinjiang Province.

Under rules of the United States and the United Nations, forced labor is considered a type of modern slavery. It is illegal for any U.S.-based entities to import items made by forced laborers.

Despite the escalation of the trade disputes between the United States and China, China is still the largest manufacturing base in the world, so the investigation has repercussions throughout the fashion industry. Some high-profile names still manufacturing in the country include Balenciaga, Prada, Burberry, Michael Kors, and Ralph Lauren, among others.

The investigative report documented terrible working conditions of detainees who worked for one privately-owned company called Hetian Taida Apparel, which has supplied products to Badger Sportswear since April of this year. Hetian Taida Apparel confirmed their workers included detainees; however, the company denied that they are affiliated with the internment camps.

Badger Sportswear released a statement that it was not aware of the situation, and it would halt the cooperation with Hetian Taida Apparel and embark on an investigation.

Internment camps in the Xinjiang region were set up by the Chinese government about two years ago following a series of violent attacks by mostly Uighur militants that killed hundreds of civilians on the borders of Xinjiang and Pakistan or Afghanistan.

The Chinese position is that these internment camps are training centers that offer free vocational training for the Muslim Uighur population so as to eliminate poverty in the region. Many in the international community, however, have said the Muslims are being denied basic human rights.

Any company that lacks the capability to take control of its global supply chain system is exposing itself to escalating levels of legal, regulatory and reputational risks. What happened to Badger Sportswear could happen to many luxury brands.





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Italian Shoes Made in China

Most of us do not associate "Made in China" with luxury or designer brands but more and more of those fancy Italian shoes you like so much are actually made in China. You just may not find a tag inside the shoe saying so.

ESPecially in the current economic market, the sales of luxury items have decreased significantly and some designer brands are suffering. One of the most effective ways to cut costs is to move the base of operation overseas, and China provides one of the most appealing markets to set up shop.

The fact that "American" or "European" shoes are made in China is no secret. Nike has long been associated with "Made in China" shoes; in fact, approximately one in three of Nike's sneakers come with a "Made in China" sticker. This compromise is trickier for designer brands such as Chanel, Prada and Armani that have built the success of their brand on "European craftsmanship" through and through. One of the reasons that someone might spend an extra 300 dollars on a Prada shoe is that they want a piece of artisanal Europe. They want to believe that what they are purchasing is the real deal – an Italian leather shoe built by someone who knows and loves the art of shoemaking, not by a factory worker in China.

So which companies have jumped continents? Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Bally and Prada, to name a few brands. But not all of these companies are willing to publicize this new base of operation. In fact, in some of these shoes you will find a "Made in Italy" label where perhaps a "Made in China" label should be instead. This is possible thanks to some very flexible labeling laws which base a product's label on the final point of production. So shoes made in China will have a leather sole attached in Italy and Voila! The shoes are legally "Made in Italy".

That is not to say that these shoes are worse quality now than when they were manufactured in Europe. The claim is that workers in China are fast and precise. That is, they are capable of making equally high-quality shoes just in less time and for less money.

According to Giorgio Bonacarso – a chemical supplier who sells products to Chinese factories that manufacture Italian shoes – nine out of 10 of the high-end Italian shoe companies are now making at least part of their shoes in China. You, the consumer, may not be aware of it, and that is because the designer brands are afraid of backlash and losing the image that made them stand out from the pack in the first place.



Source by Jane Baron

New Jewelry Trends in China Highlight Tradition and Style

The world is seeing changes continuously in association with advancement and the jewelry industry also works with the same strategy. Conversely, there are some rules that have remained constant, despite the changes in the jewelry industry and are the trends.

China is the largest consumer of jewelry that the gold jewelry stood to 30% of the gold global jewelry demand. Today, China is viewed by robust trends in industrialization, urbanization and economic growth. It has led to rising levels. The robust income level growth may result in 20% growth in Chinese private sector by 2017 for gold demand in comparison to 2013 demand.

The Chinese market targets glamor and luxury in jewelry. The new jewelry trends is in association with rapid urbanization, sophisticated young generation shoppers, flourishing middle class and all these together indicate exciting opportunities to increase in China for the new jewelry trends.

Jewelry is a luxurious product and a girl's best friend is the diamond jewels. This is applicable in the Chinese market as well. Chinese also adore diamonds, particularly the working women. Jewelry is made here for daily wear, gifting and for special occasions.

The jewelry making tradition in China goes back to the Neolithic Period, that when worn representative animal pendants denoting talismanic properties. In the recent few years, the jade clasps like jewelry became means belts buckle, while the women took it to their hair as hairpins as gold jeweled ornamental.

Pendants and hairpins have not stepped down the jewelry trends in China. They are the fine jewelry dominant forms and these pins are glided in silver and also feature rich gold beading. Some have bird motifs decorating the surfaces with pearls and gems using as accents in patterns.

The garment plaques in gold as rectangular or square brooches are seen as adornments and they come with images of traditional Chinese iconography crammed. While, gemstones border and dot the jewelry interior that has openwork and chased gold.

Solid gold is also in demand as the new jewelry trends in China and it is seen as gold bands returned to as armlets on women's arms. The jewelry we associate today with China was from the Victorian Era and now Jade has become the Chinese jeweler's trademark, while coral carved into animals shapes and flowers also have become important materials.

A mineral referred to as cinnabar, features a reddish pigment and is commonly used in lacquerware. It is carved for pendants and bangles, while oxbone is used in China to imitate ivory to do necklaces beading and openwork on earrings.

Costume Jewelry also made the finest pieces as they include hand-crafted pieces. This had Swarovski crystals plating the metal and was studded in 18-carat gold hand rings or bracelets. Interlocking crystals were the hallmark of costume jewelry, same as the Japanese faux pearls and turquoise tiny seed pearls that held a special glaze as it was glass covered multiple times.



Source by Karen K Williams

What to Expect from 2019 in Chinese Spending Outside of China


2018 was a year of intense change in cross-border China retail, marked by rapidly evolving consumer trends, as well as enhanced services and solutions to aid and delight global Chinese shoppers.

As the co-founder of China Luxury Advisors (CLA) — a global consultancy that advises and works collaboratively with luxury brands, tourism boards, destinations, and upmarket retailers on their China consumer strategies — we expect to see continued growth in the number of Chinese overseas travelers in 2019 but also anticipate accelerated changes in key consumer travel behavior and spending patterns.

We expect the number of outbound Chinese tourists to increase, but the average spending amount per trip should continue to decline slightly. Global brands and retailers will be watching market trends like these, but the industry will also increasingly look towards governments around the world for hints at forward-looking trends such as China’s “daigou” crackdown, the US-China trade war, China’s economic policies, changes in tourist visa policies, and exchange rate fluctuations.

But with fewer than 10 percent of Chinese citizens holding passports, one thing is certain: traveling Chinese consumer spending is positioned for long-term growth. The Chinese domestic luxury market is expanding rapidly — posting greater than 20 percent growth each year for the last two years. And the impetus for buying overseas is constantly shifting, requiring brands and retailers to innovate and optimize their global offerings to retain a share of this hotly contested market.

With that said, here are trends we would prioritize in 2019:

Global prices will further align, and the price gap between luxury goods in China and other countries will continue to shrink. This trend has already taken hold over the past two years, and we expect price gaps to continue to narrow after industry leaders such as Chanel and Burberry have taken action to narrow the price gap between China and the rest of the world, setting the trend for other luxury brands to follow.

Chinese tourists will venture off the beaten path to visit new destinations. We predict that experienced travelers will increasingly shun the guided tour system, take firm control of their itineraries and visit exciting locations that are sure to make their friends back home swoon. In a recent report by China Luxury Advisors and Coresight Research, we saw a surge in the proportion of respondents who had made all their own arrangements and traveled completely independently (without a tour guide) on their latest trip, from 20.7 percent last year to 26.8 percent this year. That bumped independent travel ahead of package tours as the second-most-popular option after group travel. Travelers from tier-one cities are leading the charge in independent travel.

O2O (online-to-offline) will dominate the consumer experience. By 2025, a Bain & Co. study shows that 100 percent of Chinese consumers will seek inspiration online before purchasing offline. We anticipate 2019 to be the year that overseas retailers close the loop between online and offline with traveling Chinese consumers — adopting mobile payment options, offering in-language customer service, deploying innovative customer experiences and creating branded gamification to connect with these global consumers at the point of purchase.

Unique products not available in China will outsell products that are more broadly available. As price disparity narrows, Chinese travelers are not only motivated by price anymore — they are seeking unique products not available in China when they shop overseas. Whether these are limited edition products from top global brands, niche brands not yet in China or local products from museums or local artists, Chinese consumers will gravitate towards hard-to-find products to bring back to China.

Chinese apps will continue to expand their location-based media and advertising options. As platforms from WeChat to Dianping enhance their location-based media targeting capability, brands and retailers are increasingly able to pinpoint consumers before, during and after their travels, allowing for more targeted messages and engagement with these consumers. We expect brands and retailers to become more sophisticated in reaching these consumers with relevant, focused messaging throughout their travel experience.

Little Red Book will become an even more integral part of customer’s overseas shopping research. In addition, the platform’s most recent tie-in with Taobao will make their social content even more directly linked with e-commerce. We believe that brands and retailers should be scouring Little Red Book and other travel and shopping forums to understand what Chinese consumers really think of them.

Brands will increasingly collaborate with Chinese celebrities and KOLs to co-create products and experiences. Brands and retailers can no longer sit back and wait for Chinese tourists to come to their destination and buy their globally hot-selling products. They have to actively court this consumer and create connection points for new collections and products. Celebrity and KOL collaborations remain the most direct path to make these connections. As research firm L2 found, social media posts on Chinese platforms that mention a celebrity account for 96 percent of all fashion brand engagement on Weibo and 88 percent of watch and jewelry engagement.

The views expressed in this story are solely the opinions of the author.





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How to Market Luxury Products and Increase Market Share in Asian Countries

Your product is considered a luxury product, but just because your product is a luxury brand does not guarantee it will sell well in Asian markets. Despite this obvious fact, many companies launch products into market with fallacious conclusions and skewed strategic plans and often fail in implementing their business objectives. These companies develop broad conclusions on how they should approach economies on the macro-level but fail to execute the results because they do not see the details in the micro-level. Many leaders may even suffer from "change blindness" because they focus on one aspect of the business and all its players, yet miss the 800 pound gorilla in the room. In order to avoid these obstacles, leaders must develop an objective approach to a more analytical perception of reality and all its intracies. This article is the spectacular that will clarify and break down the important details of consumer behaviors in Asia's largest markets: China and Japan. Although these two countries have different tastes they both have an increasing demand for luxury goods. Companies that make luxury brands are increasing their investments and gaining market share despite a world that is in an economic downturn. It is therefore, imperative for companies to penetrate these emerging markets to gain their own market share and have a planned strategy to execute clear strategic vision.

In marketing, the goal is to find what people want and what people are buying and developing a strategy to deliver results to consumers and increase market share. The Asian market can be complex; however, there are similarities and trends one can identify to capitalize on a growing consumer segment. The challenge is that many US companies miss the mark in trying to penetrate Asian markets because they approach the market with a broad brush hiring that some good ideas will stick. One major fallacy is that US companies group all three countries together and assume that they all have similar tastes and preferences, moderated by different income levels. The solution, therefore, is to perform a comparative analysis of consumer behaviors can help companies identify effective marketing strategies, and enable them to successfully penetrate these Asian markets.

To ensure success, companies must set aside narrow and risky liabilities, and tailor country specific strategies to target these consumers. The two major countries to target for luxury brands are Japan and China. Both countries have unique mechanisms that correlate to buying behaviors such as:

(1) brand orientation

(2) aspects dealing with domestic vs. foreign

(3) quality and price.

Brand Orientation

First, Japan of all developed countries, this is the most brand-conscious and status-conscious. It is also intensely style-conscious: Consumers love high-end luxury goods (especially products from France and Italy), purchasing items such as designer handbags, shoes, and jewelry. It seems that a slump economy has not inhibited its consumers. Japan has a highly group-oriented consumers are apt to select prestigious merchandise based on social class standards, and prefer products that enhance their status. Correspondingly, they attach more importance to the reputation of the merchandise than to their personal social classes. Japan's influence has spread to surrounding countries such as China and Korea. In Shanghai or Seoul, you can see the influence of Japan's fashion trends and products (Jiang, Crystal and Kotabe, Masaaki, 2006).

China, rough 10 million – 13 million Chinese consumers prefer luxury goods. The majority of them are entrepreneurs or young professionals working for foreign multinational firms. Recent studies found that 24% of the population, mostly in their 20s and 30s, prefer new products and consumers technology important part of life. With higher education and purchasing power, this generation in brand and status conscious. It considers luxury goods to be personal achievements, bringing higher social status. In China, purchasing behavior tends to vary regionally. Consumers in metropolitan areas follow fashions / trends / styles, prefer novelty items, and are aware of brand image and product quality. These consumers live on the eastern coast-in major cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Dalian.

Domestic vs. Foreign

Second, Japan, although is mostly dominated by local companies that are well established such as Canon, Sony, and Toyota, many global companies have managed to gain market share. In this market, Haagan Dazs Japan Inc succeeded the exit of Ben and Jerry's, dominating the premium ice cream market with a 90% market share. It has successfully delivered the message of a "lifestyle-enhanced product" with word-of-mouth advertizing. The company flourished by promoting high quality with local appeal (Jiang, Crystal and Kotabe, Masaaki, 2006). Chinese companies can not longer view this country's youth through the lens of traditional cultural values' this generation considers international taste a key factor in making decisions (Jiang, Crystal and Kotabe, Masaaki, 2006).

Quality and Price

Thirdly, Japan compared with the Chinese and Korean consumers, have much higher expectations for products-and are willing to pay premium prices for them. Slogan such as Walmart's "everyday low price" philosophy does not seem to attract Japanese consumers, because they offer associate low price to low quality: yasu-karou, warukarou-cheap price, cheap product. Case study – McDonalds although McDonalds is known as a low cost food in the US. McDonlads in Japan has positioned itself a luxury item. Today, McDonalds Japan has grown to become the country's largest fast-food chain (Jiang, Crystal and Kotabe, Masaaki, 2006).

Business leaders need to embarrass three important concepts in order to have a successful marketing campaign.

• Successful products must be FBI: Functional Design – Beautiful Results – Imaginative Style

• Sticking to your strategy and values ​​in an economic recession

• Be a thinking leader – Stick to your values ​​and redirect marketing strategy focus.

In the mist of the global recession, companies are focusing on the emerging Asian markets, focusing on customer loyalty through mind-care marketing that focuses on building trust with their current customer base. For many companies, turning to Asia for growth has also paid off. Many companies are investing more than 60 percent of their investments in Asia Pacific.

In conclusion, company executives must remember that not all countries are created equally. By understanding and learning to appreciate the differences and the similarities between these three Asian purchasing giants, companies from other countries can immerse their organizations seamlessly.



Source by Joshua Cook

Chinese Men’s Surprising Online Shopping Lists


While the “She-conomy” (她经济) in China has thrived, its counterpart, the “He-conomy” — or to be more specific, male consumer consumption — has also been growing, albeit quietly. Aiming to better understand this market, Taobao released a sweeping report summarizing male consumer purchases made on the retail platform in the 12 months ending November 30, 2018. The report covers categories like apparel, beauty and skincare, and tech gadgets, as well as personal care products.

Here’s what Jing Daily learned from the report:

1. Men are fashionistas, too

Thanks to the growing popularity of hip-hop music in China, sales of hip-hop-related fashion products zoomed by 420 percent on Taobao in the period. “Streetwear” is taking advantage of this trend as the styles share similarities, with sales increasing 185 percent in the same period. Among the popular streetwear brands (including the big international runway brands) that found success in 2018, Chinese domestic streetwear was a surprising contender, as domestic companies garnered over 40 million web searches and increased sales by 270 percent year-on-year.

2. They care about their personal image

Chinese men today are paying more attention to their professional and formal looks, as well as their casual daily wardrobes. Three-piece suits are becoming more popular, and cufflinks sales jumped by 27 percent this year. Other than simply putting more thought into their attire, Chinese men also have become more aware of overall fitness. Working out is now a part of their daily lifestyle, and men are buying more at-home workout equipment than in previous years. But they’re also aware of nutrition in their quests to look and feel better, and sales of health-related items like protein powder have steadily risen.

3. Men moisturize

Sales of male beauty products, like anti-wrinkle face creams and moisturizers, increased by 140 percent over the past year. Even sales of male makeup have exploded, with the top three most popular makeup products being foundation, eyeliner, and concealer.

4. Post-’90s men want a healthy lifestyle

It’s almost time for China’s post-’90s men to enter their thirties, and they want to take care of wellness issues right away. Due to the pressures of work and education, men born in the 1990s are already suffering hair loss, in some cases earlier on average than their fathers did. In 2018, sales of hair restorer and anti-hair loss products on Taobao doubled from the previous year, and the majority of those consumers were millennials.

The report breaks down Chinese male consumption behavior neatly, but it also exposes some more general trends, such as the way that successful young, male superstars (aka “little fresh meat”) have led Chinese men to focus more on their daily attire and personal care. But it doesn’t end there. Chinese male consumers are also paying more for leisure activities, with a 10 percent increase in sales of skiing equipment and GoPro cameras, and a massive 260 percent year-on-year increase in purchases of drones and aerial devices.

Chinese men, especially the younger generations, simply seem to treat themselves better these days by taking care of their looks, health, wellness, and even their play time.





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