Chinese companies are putting a new focus on developing strong brands that can hold their own both at home and on the world stage.
Our 2012 report “Remaking ‘Made in China’” examines how Chinese companies are putting a new focus on developing strong brands that can hold their own both at home and on the world stage. As we noted recently, a number of Chinese tech brands have been making headway in international markets. While these companies are focusing on innovation, a few others—notably automaker Qoros and apparel retailer Bosideng—are emphasizing superior quality and design in an attempt to shed negative connotations associated with Chinese goods.
Qoros, which is venturing into the European market, started gaining notice last fall when the Qoros 3 sedan earned the highest crash test rating in the Euro NCAP program. The seven-year-old company has a design center in Munich and engineering facilities in Austria, and has hired execs from VW and BMW. Its focus is on quality as it slowly expands across Europe and takes on the continent’s premium brands.
Meanwhile, one of China’s biggest apparel brands—with 10,000 shops operating in mainland China—is looking to make a mark on fashion, evolving from a midmarket retailer at home to a luxury men’s brand abroad. Looking to appeal to the same target as Hugo Boss or Ted Baker, Bosideng sources all its fabric from Europe and produces 80 percent of its international products there. The company opened its first overseas shop in London in 2012 and is on track to expand into the U.S., showing at this year’s Fashion Week in New York and operating a concurrent pop-up shop. According to Ad Age, the line will be available at a luxury department store in August, when Bosideng also launches its American e-commerce site.
“For many years—and I think this has changed to a great degree—China wasn’t looked at as a place where designer apparel could emanate from. We would like to be part of the change,” said Marty Staff, a former Hugo Boss chief executive and one of Bosideng’s U.S. advisers, in Ad Age.
Image credit: Qoros