Thursday, 15 December 2011

Chinese luxury labels to challenge Western counterparts

There is a small but growing stable of companies who are betting that Chinese luxury goods buyers will begin to seek out items that reflect their own culture, rather than just the European heritage and exclusivity that have been so popular to date.
While industry experts say it will be an uphill struggle for such brands to take on the prestige and marketing power of well-established luxury goods and fashion houses, some big-name companies are gearing up to meet the challenge of changing appetites.
However, Henry Steiner, who runs Hong Kong-based Steiner & Co that advises companies about brand creation and strategy, is sceptical about the chances of a high-end, Chinese brand emerging any time soon.
"They have to go through this very difficult process of not just coming up with a cute idea, but really building a company, working on it strategically and logistically and sticking their neck out when it comes to marketing," he says.
"Western brands come with a certain personality that's been built up over the years, with recognition and consistency and dependability - all the things that Chinese brands don't have."
Few Chinese brands have recognition in the West - luxury or otherwise

Best known Chinese brands

  • Lenovo (PCs)
  • Huawei (telecom equipment)
  • Haier (home appliances)
  • Tsingtao (beer)
  • Li Ning (sportswear)