Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Does Branding make you Branded?

One thing I've noticed (what with my fiancee's family being from Hong Kong) is that a huge number of products in/from Asia literally try to specify that they are a brand.

"Happy Boy Brand" "Lucky Star Brand"

Yet you wouldnt really get away with that here. You wouldnt see "Norwich Union Brand" or "Pepsi Brand Cola".

So I wonder what difference there is in the perception of brands that makes this the case, or whether it is in fact just a language thing.


Charles Frith said...

Its a perceived value thing. Asian cultures were traditionally more literate/textual on marketing communications so along comes occidental brand models and they see it's the same communications principles but different. Why they ask? Its a brand we reply. So they responded by putting the brand word on their products to compete with the Western products.

fredrik sarnblad said...

Charles’ explanation is interesting and spot on in terms of the traditionally more literate/textual approach to marketing in the East, but in a majority cases, the main reason the word "brand" appears on products from Chinese speaking countries is a lot simpler. And you're right Rob, it's mostly a language thing. Ask you fiancĂ© if she agrees?

In Chinese (I can only use Mandarin as reference), you tend to add the word brand (ming-pai, which is constructed by two characters meaning “name” and “sign/mark”) in both writing and speaking after the actual brand name. Not always but often. The meaning of the word in most cases in places you see it on packaging and in advertising (often translated directly from Chinese….word by word) is more that of "trademark"….not the Western, Adland meaning of brand. I don’t believe it’s meant to serve as a 'shortcut' to marketing success in competition with Western brands.

Doug said...

great spot Rob, and fantastic comments Charles and Fredrik - fascinating

Rob Mortimer said...

Brilliant answers.
Thank you so much.

Ive yet to ask my fiancee, but I will do tonight! She speaks (a dialect of) Cantonese so might be a different frame of reference.

FishNChimps said...

wow. There's something I didn't know. Good question, and fascinating answers.