Annabel Kelly reports on the huge opportunities available to Western brands in China especially through e-commerce.
China is second only to the US for the size of its economy and imports. For some markets, however, China has overtaken the US. The Chinese car and light truck market is now bigger than the US market. What’s more, the Chinese – with their increased wealth and diminishing trust in local brands – have a fast growing appetite for Western products especially those that are consumed in public such as fashion, cosmetics, personal technology, food and drink, movies, and automotive. In 2013, for example, 60% of all vehicles purchased in China were not homegrown brands, an increase from the previous year.
Annabel Kelly reports on the implications of the language barrier in China particularly when it comes to the development of a logo.
Excluding Hong Kong, less than 1% of the Chinese population speak English. There are close to 300 living languages in China but most (70%) speak Mandarin. With thousands of unique characters and the same symbol or word meaning different things depending on the tone, verbal or written context that it is used, Mandarin is ranked as one of the hardest languages for an English speaker to learn. With the potential for confusion, even among natives, puns are abound in China as is the incidence of bloopers in poorly translated marketing communications.
Every now and then you come across a brand that has perfectly tailored its offering to moms. A great example of this is Stew Leonard’s, the Connecticut-based grocery store. Mom of two girls aged 6 and 4, Annabel Kelly, was recently treated to a behind-the-scenes look at Stew Leonard’s flagship store on the invitation of Beth Hollis Leonard, vice president and daughter of the founder, Stew Leonard Sr. Annabel came away with insights for any retailer hoping to attract the patronage of parents.
It’s universally accepted that not all reviews on the Internet are genuine. For a fun example, take a look at these musings on a pink pen available on Amazon.
Many fake online reviews are, however, a lot more sinister in nature. With over three-quarters (78%) of online Americans relying on online reviews in their purchasing decisions, it’s no wonder that companies are doing everything they can to ensure that their own products and services are written about in more favorable terms than those of their competitors. Unfortunately, for the consumer, the rewards of a sterling online reputation have led to an increase in shady practices designed to part the review-seeking public from their money:
Annabel recently attended a Q&A with Steve Hafner. Steve was a founder of Orbitz, sold it for $1.25billion and two weeks later created KAYAK. The travel site recently announced its acquisition by Priceline for $1.8billion! The event focused on the story of KAYAK and was hosted by the Stamford Innovation Center in Connecticut.
Top takeaways from Steve: