27 Jan Happy Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is now an international event celebrated in communities across the world. On the eve of the Year of the Rooster it struck me how Chinese technology brands have grown in appeal and are increasingly synonymous with innovation, design and quality.
“Made in China” is now “Created in China”, a subtle difference, but a powerful message. This was rammed home to me at CES in Las Vegas a few weeks ago where Honey represented eight clients offering everything from clip-on 360-degree cameras for iPhones and Android devices, personal robots, to the latest in VR and smart home technology.
China’s consumer technology manufacturing prowess has long been white labelled to Western brands, but today has given way to Shenzhen entrepreneurs who’ve woken up to the value of building a superbrand. The days when a China-based company focused 80% of its sales on the domestic market is in reverse – we work with companies that see a global market first and 20% of at-home sales.
Chinese tech pioneers now recognise the lifetime value of brand ownership and customer engagement. This is a radical shift and presents challenges, particularly when it comes to interacting with Western media, sales and distribution channels.
One of our clients, Goovis, has approximately 30 patents pending for its light-weight VR glasses, another, Bluehalo, wants distribution and manufacturing partners for its smart devices, and Insta360 wants to dominate the 360-degree camera market. These are ambitious companies barely existed a year ago and have made a name for themselves on the global stage.
According to the Zodiac, the Rooster is observant, hardworking, resourceful, couraged, talented and very confident. We’ve worked with about 20 Chinese firms in the past 12 months, established household names and crowdsource startups. Not all are Roosters, but these personality traits are commonplace.
Western brands can learn much from their Asian counterparts. They move very quickly, it’s exciting to watch, and from my perspective at Honey, it’s a thrill to help some of them grow and globalise.