The Globalization of Chinese Brands in An Era of Intergrowth


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Santa Monica, CA

Hylink’s founder and CEO, Su Tong, gave a forward-thinking speech at the 2018 Belt and Road Advertising Cooperation Conference on September 28. He discussed “The Globalization of Chinese Brands in an Era of Intergrowth,” and outlined the many reasons why Chinese brands should expand their roots overseas.

In his remarks, Mr. Su explained how the digital age has brought about an era of “intergrowth,” in which values and ethics are directly correlated to the cooperation between brands and consumers. Although many Chinese brands understand the importance of expanding abroad, many experience difficulty in adapting to the competitive overseas market. With this in mind, Mr. Su put forth the following suggestions to help companies grappling with this dilemma, outlined in the below:

#1: Business Ethics First

Millennials value social influence much more than their predecessors. According to the 2015 Nielsen Global Corporate Sustainability Report, consumers were more loyal to transparent and ethical brands, with 66% of respondents expressing that they were willing to pay more for sustainable goods. This telling data point tells us that in order to make a lasting impression on consumers, brands should not only get involved with the community, but also integrate their business ethics into daily operations–from the goods they are producing, to how they treat their employees. Consumers want to see corporations create a genuine and trustworthy brand with their actions.

#2: Embrace Cultural Diversity

The advancement of media has also helped introduce a new outlook on identity. Approximately 40% of millennials consider themselves independent and non-partisan. Since company values are constantly being redefined by new generations of consumers, Chinese brands should be sensitive to diversity when stepping into the global market. While millennials hold a more critical perspective on corporations’ ethics and social actions, they are also becoming more open to cultural differences and are actively showing more empathy toward others, despite any variance in background.

#3: Incorporate Human Values in Technology

Lastly, companies should leverage the advancement of technology to make a lasting change on society. For example, Uniqlo launched their HeatTech Window campaign in Korea to promote their heat-generating thermal wear. With every HeatTech purchase, customers receive a bubble-wrap window sticker that helps reduce electric heat consumption. Not only did Uniqlo receive free advertisements through the campaign, but HeatTech sales skyrocketed as a result. Incorporating human and environmental values can be a tremendous asset in building a successful brand.

In summary…

Considering the current flux of trends in the global market, Mr. Su hopes that an increasing number of Chinese brands catch wind of the many benefits in having a people-first business model. In recent years, Hylink has seized the opportunity to open offices in Seoul, Los Angeles, New York, and London to expand our own roots. With a more expansive global structure and advanced tech integrations, Hylink seeks to help more brands find their voice and maximize their value in the global market.

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