On our inaugural episode we talk with David Sullivan, Managing Partner at Deo Navillus Global Solutions, about winning and losing in China, and what every brand needs to take care of on the home front before they make the leap into the digital Middle Kingdom.
For a Westerner looking to have their product or service embraced in a foreign market such as China, a long period of branding is the first step. For David, it took a big investment in warehousing, sales and marketing staff, social media experts, engaging PR companies and celebrity influencers, and, most importantly, having local employees on board who know how to work the local market.
Another consideration is knowing whether to be directly involved in operations in China or to serve a more advisory role, as David did. This choice should take into account who has representation rights and their level of understanding of how to nurture a connection between the brand and the consumer.
David also speaks on the rise (and continuing rapid evolution) of e-commerce, or online retail, and making sure you have owners and investors who understand this relatively young economic landscape, because certain investments have to be taken that will not see an ROI for some time. For a Western business to enter the Chinese market, a large amount of trust and openness is required to make the business relationship, and of course, the business itself, work.
The topic of registering your trademarks and patents is also brought up as a sometimes-overlooked step for Western businesses entering China. Considering the “trade war” between the current U.S. and Chinese administrations, not securing your IP from the very beginning will create a lot of (expensive) challenges down the road.
Finally, David relates his experiences in making personal transactions in China, and his subsequent thoughts on how Alipay-type payment technologies are leading the way in the online retail space.
What is The Negotiation?
Despite being the world’s most potent economic area, Asia can be one of the most challenging regions to navigate and manage well for foreign brands. However, plenty of positive stories exist and more are emerging every day as brands start to see success in engaging and deploying appropriate market growth strategies – with the help of specialists.
The Negotiation is an interview show that showcases those hard-to-find success stories and chats with the incredible leaders behind them, teasing out the nuances and digging into the details that can make market growth in APAC a winning proposition.