A brand is a collection of perceptions. How it is perceived is at least as important as the product. It is how customers begin a relationship with a company, and ultimately, the cornerstone of that company’s commercial success.
Before we even begin to position a brand for the B2B market in China, it is vital that we undertake research about their competitors.
Sometimes, companies will simply try and execute their tried and tested global marketing strategy in China. Get the materials translated, get a Chinese name, set up on Chinese social media, buy some PR in the relevant trade press and Bob’s your uncle, right?
Wrong. The message you craft needs to contain strong points of differentiation. You can only find out what’s different about your brand, if you see what competitors are saying about their brand.
We’ve done this research about countless companies here at Brandigo. Guess what? Those unique selling points – turns out often they are the same points two or three competitors use in all their collaterals.
This research is time consuming, if done properly, but essential to find points of differentiation that can be used to shape the marketing strategy. It starts with close reading of the competitor’s collaterals (website, brochures, etc.) to see what messages they keep promoting. The research should determine the competitor’s values, and how they attempt to differentiate themselves.
These findings will play a big part in justifying and crafting the brand’s strategic direction in China.