October 20, 2005
Product Name: China Wants Your Brand
I came across an article published in the Denver Post that covered an interesting topic on brand names. Apparently, China is no longer satisfied with being the supplier of choice for many well-loved US brand names, they want to take over. Their strategy? Push their own brands, like Chery automobiles and Haier refrigerators, or else try to snap up well-loved USA and European brands like RCA, MG Rover and Maytag.
The Lenovo Group, China's biggest PC maker, has gone as far as to sponsor the Olympics and to take over the ThinkPad brand name from IBM -- along with the rest of its personal computer business. Consumer surveys have shown that we don't care where the product comes from, as long as it's inexpensive, and China plans to capitalize on that in reaction to the glut of foreign brands that dominate the Chinese marketplace.
Chinese mega brand TLC, the world's largest TV maker after its acquisition of Thomson in France and Great Wall Computer Group (could there be a more Chinese name?), plans to make its name "known across the world" according to the company's spokesman.
But the shortcut to world recognition still lays in foreign brand acquisition. At least one analyst has posited that China National Offshore Oil Corp's foiled $18.5 billion bid for Unocal in June is a proof that the country has recognized an undervalued USA export: global brands.
So, what's next? Should China Buy Wal-Mart? If so, I think they may call it Great Wal-Mart.
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Tracked on November 12, 2006 5:46 PM