Saturday, April 17, 2021

As China’s target H&M and Nike, local brands see their chance

BMW was once fired by Tim Min. He considered buying Tesla.

The 33-year-old owner of Beijing Min cosmetics, Mr. Instead of Min, bought an electric car made by a Chinese Tesla rival, NIO. He likes the interiors and voice control features of the Nio better.

He also considers himself a patriot. He said, “I have a very strong inclination and very strong patriotic feelings towards Chinese brands.” “I also loved Nike. Now I don’t see any reason for that. If Nike is a good Chinese brand to replace, I would be very happy. “

Prefer western brand H&M, Nike and Adidas Get under pressure For refusing to use cotton produced in the Xinjiang region in China, where the Chinese government has launched a massive campaign of repression against moral minorities. Shopkeepers swore Disfellowship Brand. Celebrities dropped their endorsement deals.

But foreign brands also face increasing pressure to create a new breed of high-quality products and sell them through Chinese marketing to an increasingly patriotic group of young people. There is a word for this: “Guochao,” or the Chinese craze.

Hey taatThe $ 2 billion milk tea start-up, with 700 stores, wants to replace Starbucks. YuanqisenlinA four-year low-sugar drink company valued at $ 6 billion wants to become China’s Coca-Cola. Uberus, A five-year-old company, wants to keep Victoria’s Secret with it Secret of most non-Victoria products: Unwanted, sporty bra that emphasizes comfort.

Anger over Xinjiang cotton has given these Chinese brands another chance to win over consumers. As celebrities cut their ties to foreign brands, Li-Ning, a Chinese sports giant, announced that a boy band member Xiao Zhan would become its new global ambassador. Within 20 minutes, Mr. Xiao wore almost everything he wore on the Li-Ning ad sold Online. A hashtag about the campaign was viewed more than a billion times.

China is undergoing a consumer brand revolution. Its younger generation is looking for more nationalist and actively looking for brands that can integrate with that Chinese identity. Entrepreneurs are rushing to create names and products that resonate. Investors are turning their attention to these start-ups amidst returns from technology and media ventures.

When patriotism becomes a selling point, Western brands are put at a competitive disadvantage, especially in a country that increasingly requires global companies to tread the same political lines that Chinese firms need.

China’s consumer protest “is a historic turning point and will have a lasting impact on Chinese consumers in the long run,” Mr Min said. “Chinese consumers don’t want to eat the same crap foreign brands are feeding them. It is essential that foreign brands respect Chinese consumers as much as Chinese brands do. “

Foreign brands are far from the work done in China. Its drivers helped with electricity A jump In Tesla delivery. IPhones remain extremely popular. Campaigns against foreign names have come and gone, and local brands that emphasize politics if too much unwanted attention is paid to political winds slip away Quickly.

Nevertheless, interest in local brands is an important change. After Mao, the country produced some consumer products. The first TV owned in the 1980s were from Japan. French designer, Pierre Cardin, reintroduced fashion with his first show in Beijing in 1979, which brings color and flair to a nation that wore blue and brown clothing during the Cultural Revolution.

Chinese people born in the 1970s or earlier remember their first sip of Coco-Cola and their first bite of the Big Mac. We saw Hollywood, Japan and Hong Kong films as wardrobes and makeup. We ran to buy head and shoulder shampoos, because its Chinese name Hyphasi means “hair flying in the sea.”

“We’ve gone through the European and American craze, the Japanese and Korean craze, the American streetwear craze, even the Hong Kong and Taiwan craze,” said Xun Shawhua, a Shanghai sportswear competitor with Wangs and Converse Company established.

Now may be the time for China’s craze. Chinese companies are making better products. Generation Z of China, born between 1995 and 2009, does not have the same affinity for foreign names.

Even People’s Daily, which is traditionally the official newspaper of the Communist Party, is getting involved in branding. It started a street wear Collection With Li-Ning in 2019. In the same year, it released A. Report good Along with Baidu, the Chinese search company, called “Guochao Pride Big Data”. They found that when people in China searched for brands, more than two-thirds were looking for household names, with only one-third up to 10 years ago.

As with so much in China, it can be difficult to tell how much Goku movement involves politics. It is okay to build homemade brands with the Communist Party’s desire to make the country more self-sufficient. Officials also want Chinese people to shop more: domestic consumption makes up Only about 40 percent of China’s economic output, much less than in the United States and Europe.

Patriotic aside, entrepreneurs argue that their enterprises rest on a solid business foundation. A similar trend followed in Japan and South Korea, both now home to strong brands. Local players better know the country’s supply chain capabilities and how to use social media.

Mr. Zoon’s sports brand has over half a million followers on Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace and sells at the same prices as Vanes and Converse, or slightly more. He said his brand has competed by making shoes that better fit Chinese feet and offer locally-liked colors, such as peppermint green and fuchsia. He sells exclusively online and works closely with Chinese and foreign brands and personalities including Pokémon and Hello Kitty. At the age of 37, he was the only person in his company who was born before 1990.

Goku’s craze has also strengthened old Chinese brands like Li-Ning. For many years, sophisticated urbanites considered the brand, made by former world champion gymnasts of the same name, ugly and cheap. The Chinese flag is followed by its signature red and yellow combination called “scrambled eggs with tomatoes”. A daily chinese dish. Li-Ning was losing money. Its shares were on a losing streak.

Then company Started A collection at New York Fashion Week in early 2018. Its eye-catching look, combined with bold Chinese characters and embroidery, created buzz back home. Since then, its shares have risen nearly nine-fold. Now Li-Ning’s high-end collections sell at an average of $ 100 to $ 150 on a par with Adidas.

As ambitious as these businesspeople are, almost everyone acknowledged to me that Chinese brands still cannot compete with megaboards such as Coca-Cola and Nike.

Alex Zhi, a marketing consultant working with companies in China, used the sports industry as an example. Naik has a long standing lead over Chinese brands in research and development. It acquires a deep network of relationships in the world of sports. It also works closely with athletes to develop better footwear, sponsoring many events and teams, including China’s national football, basketball and track and field teams.

“It simply has a much sweeter relationship with its customers than any Chinese brand,” he said.

But for these Western megabrands, the Xinjiang cotton dispute is a major challenge that may help their Chinese competitors. Whereas previous resentment against Western brands such as National Basketball Association And Dolce & Gabbana Passed too quickly, this bout could accelerate, many people said.

“In the East, some Western brands failed to understand Chinese culture or were mostly unsuccessful due to incomprehensibility,” Mr. Xoon said. “It is a political issue at the moment. They have violated our political sensitivity. “

Then, like any sensible Chinese entrepreneur who knows what subjects are sensitive, he asked, “Can’t we talk about politics?”

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