The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Something Companies, Brands & Adland Need To Remember …
December 11, 2013, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

The bad news is that if you need to be reminded how important and influential the Asian market [and the people within it] is – in terms of trading, developing or working there – then there’s a good chance you’re already too late be a major part of it.


31 Comments so far
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The only thing companies, brands and adland should remember is you live there so they should avoid it like the plague.

Comment by DH


Comment by Rob

When was that taken? Bet if they did it not it would say that circle has had the biggest mass exodus ever since you moved into the neighborhood.

Comment by DH

Maybe that’s why so many people in China are moving … and I thought it was just because of Chinese new year.

Comment by Rob

i dont know what fucks me off more. the fact everyfuckingthing i would want to say has been said or that dave fucking said it.

Comment by andy@cynic

no, theres something to add. why the fuck is it too late to be there campbell? thats bullshit. new shit will happen. new opportunities to screw poor fuckers will happen. new ways to repackage old shit and charge a premium for it will happen. its how the fucking world works so stop with your amateur dramatic scaremongering and get back to insulting the poor fuckers who ended up living near you just because the chinese immigration department let you in. i bet the fucker who stamped your passport is in mongolia breaking fucking bricks for that right now.

Comment by andy@cynic

Good point Andrew. You’re showing your smarts again. You might want to be careful about that, you don’t want to tarnish your hardman image.

Comment by George

That said, I believe people from outside the region who wish to work inside the region find it much more difficult than it once was given local market talent, experience, cultural understanding and economic power. To be fair to Robert.

Comment by George

That is a fair point but as George mentions, the region has grown up and has acquired the experience, skills and confidence to fully manage their own situation and opportunities.

So I believe Rob is right in his statement because it will be harder for average brands and people to infiltrate the market successfully. That does not mean it will be impossible, but the circumstances, connections and standards needed to break through will need to be much greater than they once were.

That is good news for people in the region because they will get things that enhance their life rather than simply exploiting it, which was certainly the case (and approach of international companies) when I lived there.

Comment by Pete

planners sticking together. how fucking pathetic.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s a far point Andy …

You’re right, there will continually be opportunities for companies, brands & people to trade and work here.

However – as Pete highlighted – the country and region has experienced massive change in the past 10 years which has resulted in society [rightly] appreciating their own skills, influence and unique market understanding … so someone from outside who wants to come inside, will have to demonstrate something extra special to be allowed in.

In terms of adland … 5 years ago, almost anyone could come here with zero market experience. However now, that is not the case. Unless you speak Mandarin, have a good (basic) understanding of the culture or are internationally renowned, you’re going to find it very hard to get a gig here.

That shouldn’t put people off from trying – hell, it worked for me – but it does mean you have to respect the culture by putting in the effort to learn and understand what is going on it rather than thinking ‘the West is best’ so people will be begging to hire you.

Apart from that attitude being open to debate, brands need Asia more than Asia needs the West and so understanding the market dynamics from this region are far more important. That doesn’t mean you should lower your standards, but it does mean you should lower your ego.

Comment by Rob

Who fucking cares.

Comment by Billy Whizz

You just think it means you have less competition to talk to that woman sitting at the end of the bar at the end of the night who has low self esteem and standards don’t you.

Comment by DH

You make that sound like a bad thing.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Fair point, but how many of those people live in poverty and will remain there for the forseeable future? Rule number one of marketing – choose your customers.

Comment by John

And no that’s not some first world arrogance on my part. You know the situation in China, outside the new minority middle class and some experts on India (who were born there) painted a fairly pessimistic picture about their country at a McKinsey sponsored thing I went to recently.

There’s great potential for sure, but large numbers don’t prove anything. And if they did, then we should all be looking to Africa because that’s where future population increases are going to happen (Asia’s population is close to its peak already).

Comment by John

So because McKinsey said it, it’s right?

Don’t get me wrong, they’re very smart people but to deny the power and growth of China – especially in terms of the middle classes – is madness.

And for the record, that is something McKinsey have also been saying for the past few years so maybe they need to get their POV aligned between their Western offices and their Asian outposts.

Comment by Rob

Oh it wasn’t a McKinsey thing, just a sponsored McKinsey thing. OK. Still don’t agree.

Of course there are massive issues with this region and the potential that people have been sold may never be realised to the level they believed, but the growth rate here outstrips most nations – even with a huge amount of people still living in poverty – and if you were to take the money the US owes the Middle Kingdom, then China would already be the largest economy in the World.

For that reason alone, I think it’s a fair reason why companies and brands should have invested here – and I mean that in more ways than simply trying to take cash from the people’s pockets.

Comment by Rob

Careful John, you are sounding a bit like an old school coloniest.

Comment by Pete

who the fuck trusts anything mckinsey says? id trust mcfuckingdonalds more.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh there’s a lot John, without a doubt … but the current number of middle class in China alone is currently around 150-250 million [no one can ever be sure with the data that’s reported] and that figure is expected to rise in the next 5-10 years to over 50% … over half a billion folks, so that is hardly what you would call an insignificant figure.

And that’s just China, when you take into account other markets – including places like Indonesia, with a population of 246 million going through huge growth of their own, then your argument is even more shaky.

Now you could argue that this growth means the door is still open for many to come in, but I don’t agree … not just because the market is already saturated with an incredible array of local and international brands all trying to get a slice of the pie [and willing to wait it out because they know group acceptance is a big thing in this region and so ‘building a name’ has extra powerful benefits] but because the government are the greatest strategists in the World and will carefully manage what happens to ensure they always are in a position of strength – hence international digital, telecommunication and financial companies will always find it hard to break through, compared to the favoured, local market offering.

Comment by Rob

You really love that region don’t you Rob.

Comment by Pete

Yes I do Pete. Especially when I feel propaganda is being expressed by Western organisations to help them feel better about their bad decisions.

As I said, there is a lot wrong here. A lot of false hope and promises … but to discount the importance and influence of the people within this region [both now and in the future] is hysterical.

I know John is not saying that, but there are a lot of people, companies and governments that are … ironically people, companies and governments who are all relying on China/Asia to get them out of the whole their arrogance led them into.

There is still opportunity for people from outside of Asia, but as you said, they will need to bring something exceptional to the table to be able to play. That and the fact they’ll also need to navigate the government who rule the landscape with an iron fist … not to mention some of the ‘cultural quirks’ that need to be understood to move forward.

Comment by Rob

oi campbell, you need an iron because your frilly fucking panties have got in a twist.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes, I know I went a bit off on one. Oops.

Comment by Rob

Just to clarify.

1) I wasn’t disagreeing with your post. That’s why I started with fair point as my first words. I was simply raising points for discussion – it’s my new approach to this blog.

2) The McKinsey sponsored thing was only about India and the speakers were not McKinsey folk.

3) Yes, there are lots of other markets within that circle but China + India is a huge population so that’s why I mentioned them.

4) You know far more about China than I ever will, but I think there are some questions to be asked about the inevitability of its rise, given the loss of its cheap labour advantage to other countries in the area and the revaluation of the currency that trading flows imply.

5) I hadn’t heard that projection about the middle class and even if it doesn’t come to fruition the existing numbers still constitute a big market. But the world has never seen a population this big rise to affluence and we can’t assume it will happen seamlessly.

6) I’m usually wrong about everything.

Comment by John

I did mention that I’d misunderstood the McKinsey thing in one of my rant comments above and you’re not wrong about everything which is why I totally agree that there is an issue in how China will continue to fuel their growth if the unspoken agreement with it’s population is ‘do as we say and we’ll continually improve your standard of living’.

That said, the government are better strategists than any strategist and their forward thinking … from investment in Africa to green tech to moving slowly shifting manufacturing from cheap to quality … is a sign they are aware of their own issues and circumstance and, unlike certain Western Governments, are doing something about it. Though that’s much easier when you know you will still be in power in 20+ years.

Comment by Rob

This seems to tie in nicely:

It’s about Britain, but it really could be about any European country.

Good morning.

Comment by Marcus

Hello matey … that’s a great article and yes, you could against any number of European nations.

Comment by Rob

Oh yes, Europe happily violins while Rome burns

Comment by northern

No one is getting the real point of this post, which is that billions of people live in the sea.

Comment by May I Offer A Very Different Scenario

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