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Going Global

Going Global

走向全球

Overseas expansion in a more contentious world requires new brand-building skills

在这个充满争议的世界里,海外扩张需要新的品牌建设技能

An open letter to CEOs of Chinese brands going global

致中国出海品牌CEO的一封公开信

by Chris Reitermann

作者:韦棠梦(Chris Reitermann)

Chief Executive, Asia & Greater China

亚洲暨大中华区首席执行官

Ogilvy

奥美(Ogilvy)

chris.reitermann@ogilvy.com

Dear Chinese CEO,

尊敬的中国CEO:

The world has become a rather complicated place. The political environment over the last year has changed dramatically. The trade war between the US and China has changed the playing field for Chinese brands in their quest to “go global.” Where Chinese companies were welcomed with open arms only a few years back, now, more than ever, they are looked upon with a skeptical eye and given a wary welcome (if they’re welcomed at all).

世界正变得错综复杂。去年的政治环境发生了巨大变化。中美之间的贸易战改变了中国品牌在“走向全球”的努力中所面对的竞争环境。几年前,中国企业还备受欢迎,而如今,它们遇到的是猜疑的目光和带有戒心的欢迎。

In addition, there has been a shift in leadership. Many Chinese companies are now world leaders in their respective fields, especially technology.

此外,许多行业的领导地位也发生了变化。许多中国公司如今都已成为各自领域的世界领导者,科技领域尤为明显。

But these leading Chinese brands often run into trouble on the global stage.

但在全球舞台上,这些领先的中国品牌经常会遇到麻烦。

Operating as a follower in a politically welcoming environment is a completely different game than being see as a global leader in a complicated, protectionist environment.

在一个政治友好的环境中扮演后来者的角色,与在一个复杂的保护主义环境中扮演全球领导者的角色,二者有着天壤之别。

Chinese companies going global need to think about their brand much more carefully than they have done in the past. Selling in foreign lands is relatively easy, but building a global brand is difficult and requires steadfast commitment. A brand is not an ad campaign, but a platform and belief that guides everything a company does and how it behaves—it must be crafted carefully.

走向全球的中国企业需要比以往更审慎地考虑自己的品牌。在国外销售产品相对容易,但要建立一个全球品牌却很困难,需要坚持不懈的努力。品牌不是广告活动,而是指导公司所有行为及行为方式的平台和信念,因此必须用心打造。

A brand platform—a clearly articulated point of view on the world and the company’s role in it—should resonate across all stakeholders (government, press, customers, consumers, employees) and position the company as the embodiment of a set of values irrespective of the company’s bottom line. Building this platform requires brands to take these actions:

品牌平台应清晰表达公司的世界观以及公司在世界中所扮演的角色,同时引起所有利益相关者(政府、媒体、客户、消费者、员工)的共鸣,体现出公司的一系列价值观(无论公司收益如何)。构建这个平台需要品牌采取下列行动:

You must Lead. A company needs to be human, it needs to be understood. This is what the world expects from leaders now, and companies are beholden to the same expectations.

发挥领导力。企业需要人性化,需要被理解。这是当今世界对领导者的期望,也是对企业的期望。

You must do more. Connecting the world and making it digital is no longer enough, providing a smartphone to everyone is no longer enough. Neither is building good affordable cars or the best value refrigerators. That is what every company aims for. Companies today need to answer these questions: What’s in it for the world? For the people? For customers? For governments?

承担更多责任。让世界实现连通、实现数字化,让每个人都用上智能手机,制造出质优价廉的汽车、高性价比的冰箱,光做到这些已经远远不够。每家公司都会追求这些目标。而如今的企业需要回答这些问题:我们为世界带来了什么?为人们带来了什么?为客户带来了什么?为政府带来了什么?

You must build trust. There is a general fear of all tech companies (new and old, Chinese and Western). People are worried about privacy, jobs, data—innovation in general. While they see the benefit of advances, they’re also worried about where this is all leading to. Now add to that the reputation that comes with being a Chinese company—the misconceptions and lack of understanding; one can understand why the world fears a tech or auto leader coming from China.

建立信任。人们普遍害怕科技公司(不管是新公司还是老公司,中国公司还是西方公司)。他们为自己的隐私、工作和数据而担忧,对创新怀有戒心。虽然他们看到了科技进步所带来的好处,但他们不知道这些进步会引领我们走向何方。除此以外,还有因为缺乏认知造成的对中国公司的误解;不难理解为什么世界其他国家对于来自中国的科技或汽车领军企业感到害怕。

You must own the narrative. To overcome this, Chinese companies must open up and tell their story to the world. They must clarify purpose and intent. They must act as a good person—emulating transparency, humility, compassion, and hope.

掌握话语权。要克服这一点,中国公司必须向世界敞开心扉,讲述自己的故事。它们必须阐明目的和意图,它们必须“做一个好人”——透明、谦逊、有同情心、有希望。

Tell a human story

讲述人文故事

A company’s story needs to be told in a human and exciting way. Products need to be explained in language that a normal person can understand. The problem is, most Chinese companies are lost in tactics—because they sell (mostly) and forget about a narrative. Tactics, however, eat brands. There is certainly a need for the immediate and tactical work, but it needs to lead into a broader narrative. Strong brands use good communications to build shields for when things go wrong, or when products are not as good as they could be.

公司的故事需要以人性化和激动人心的方式讲述,而产品则需要用普通人能够理解的语言来说明。问题是,大多数中国公司都沉迷于战术,因为它们大都专注销售,而忽略了叙述故事的重要性。然而,战术会吞蚀品牌。开展当下具有战术性的工作当然是必要的,但战术性的工作必须纳入一个更全面的叙事思路。当出现问题或产品质量不如预期时,强大的品牌能够利用良好的沟通进行防卫。

Chinese companies need a “Smarter Planet,” a “Network Intuitive” or a “Just Do It.” Not a slogan, but a belief—a belief supported by products, solutions, behaviors, and innovation to bring the company to life. This belief can be expressed in many ways, including: CEO speeches, events, products, interviews, ads, and employee attitudes and behavior. But all of it needs to build up to one consistent brand platform.

中国公司也需要自己的“Smarter Planet”、“Network Intuitive”或“Just Do It”。这些不是口号,而是一种信念——一种由产品、解决方案、行为和创新支持的信念,它能让公司焕然一新。这种信念可以通过多种方式表达,包括CEO演讲、活动、产品、访谈、广告以及员工的态度和行为。但最终目标都是要形成一个一致的品牌平台。

To build this type of shield requires someone in your company to own the message, someone senior and strategic who can make decisions. Someone who is interested in the whole company and not driven by short-term financial goals, but clearly sees the long-term goals of the company. A strong Corporate CMO, a caring and involved CEO.

要建立这种机制,公司中必须有一个处于战略地位、能够做决策的人负责掌控品牌信息。此人必须具有大局观,不着眼于短期财务目标,能够看清公司的长远目标——他/她是一名强大的企业首席营销官,也是一名无微不至、亲力亲为的首席执行官。

It requires a financial commitment. Many multinationals have spent hundreds of millions in branding efforts when they entered China, how is a Chinese brand going outbound any different? There is no “Chinese Way” in going global.

需要资金投入。许多跨国公司在进军中国市场时花费了数亿美元进行品牌推广,中国品牌在走出国门时又怎能不付出同等的努力? “中国式”的走向全球并不存在。

It also requires time. Those big, bold ideas that are needed can’t just be produced and executed overnight. No brand platform can be built in a few weeks, even months.  A long-term commitment and vision are vital.

同时也需要时间消耗。那些必需的大胆创意不可能一夜之间构思出来并得到执行。品牌平台的建设也不可能在数周或数月内完成。长期的投入和远见至关重要。

Many Chinese companies continue to struggle to do it right, simply because there isn’t enough focus on long-term and a lack of empowerment within the organization.

许多中国公司之所以在这方面一直表现欠缺,是因为它们不够专注于长远发展,并且组织内部缺乏一种赋权机制。

I am 100 percent certain that if this is done right, it will change how the world sees your company. It will create a much more positive and favorable environment around the globe to operate in. I am also absolutely confident that the return will be 100-fold. This is the key ingredient to becoming a true, global brand.

如果能够做好这方面的工作,那么我敢百分百肯定,世界对您公司的看法将会发生改变。这将在全球创造一个更积极、更有利的经营环境。我也绝对相信回报率将达到100倍。这是成为真正的全球化品牌的关键环节。

Thanks for reading.

感谢您的阅读。

Chris Reitermann

韦棠梦(Chris Reitermann

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