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So a couple of weeks ago, I saw this:
In typical Daily Mail style, they’re making a massive deal that a memory card inside a camera survived a journey of 5,200 miles while ‘lost at sea’, without ever mentioning/realising that the camera in question was an underwater camera and so was designed to do that in the first fucking place.
Anyway, what really struck me about this article was the last couple of lines:
‘Bruce Chen, general manager of China Airlines Honolulu Branch, said the next thing to do is find the owner and fly him or her on a complimentary flight to Taiwan to reclaim the camera.’
Am I the only one that thinks that’s the sort of thing you’d hear from Virgin?
Regardless, what I can assure you is that is absolutely NOT the sort of thing you’d hear from any Asian company, let alone China Airlines.
But times are changing.
The understanding of what attracts audiences is starting to get through.
It’s no longer about being cheap … or plagiarizing another brands success … or putting loads of cute pictures on products … it’s also about service and loyalty.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still lots of brands out there who focus more on what their bosses want than what their audience desire … but for a country whose previous approach to business was basically, “there’s 1.4 billion people here, so we can keep treating customers like crap because there’s lots of them to go around” – this is a major step forward.
Admittedly, in terms of top hotel hospitality, China [or more specifically Asia] already leads the World, but to see an Asian brand  speak to the international press  sound human and charming and not contrived and  talk about giving a free flight to pick something up that had nothing to do with them [or pick anything up, to be honest] is a definitive sign the increased competitive environment is having a positive effect on customer approach and brand building.
Yes, I know this is a little thing and I could be making a mountain out of a soundbite …. yes, I have previously stated that Chinese/Asian brands have some fundamental issues that could stop them from ever truly threatening their Western counterparts … and yes, I appreciate China Airlines may not [yet] be as good as Singapore or VA … but the speed of development here is incredible and if the act by the general manager of China Airlines is a sign of things to come, then Western brands will have another reason to look nervously over their shoulder at Asia’s rise.
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