Chinese clothing companies and brands are developing rapidly. Among the brands are Li Ning, 361, VANCL, Seven Wolves, and Saturday. These brands have been well received in markets across China, but at the same time, we don’t see many of these brands carried on TV commercials or other forms of advertising. One can rather find advertisements on foreign clothing brands in almost every corner of the street, on Chinese Websites, and even in the subway.
This alone is a major deterrent to the Chinese clothing industry when juxtaposed with foreign clothing brands. A foreign clothing brand like H&M is an example of how foreign clothing brands are given priority over Chinese brands in adverts. Even though Chinese clothing brands are cheaper compared to foreign brands, many people relate “made in China” products with low quality.
But if Chinese brands are given more space on TV commercials, and other forms of advertisements, the situation may turn around – though the desire for quick profit on the part of manufactures and other business persons may hinder the growth and popularity of Chinese clothing brands, long term sustainability should be taken into account.
Another factor that stands on the way of Chinese brands is this: low-priced brands are usually seen as “for student’s products” who due to their low income should consider saving money. Since in Chinese culture, if you want to “save face” and show your status, buying cheap products will not be an option. Moreover, the propensity for copying well established brands may have led to some short-term success and profit. However, it will not be like that forever.
In the meantime, Chinese corporations usually determine the oldest or the most experienced person as the most suitable for a managing position, whereas if your company is looking for transformation and creativity, which usually characterizes clothing business, maybe a fresh, young, inventive mind will be more appropriate.
Now that China is experiencing a turning point economically, Chinese clothing corporations should think about switching to a more progressive, modern business model and at the same time, try to achieve an international prestige based on quality, originality and first class service. Then, the Chinese people should be more committed in advertising their own clothes – branding them in a way that will attract a global audience.
*Ileana Damaso is an intern with April Media from Cuba
* Photo from Google.