China and the West – Centuries of Cultural Exchange Give Way to Calculated Competitive Campaigns

Posted on July 14, 2011

There is a campaign under way to make this little fellow the hallmark of the rise of Chinese branding.

In 17th Century Europe, trade along the “silk road” to China was on-going and ideas and design were also exchanged in addition to commercial dealings.  “Chinoiserie” found itself in our vocabulary and onto painted and plastered walls and carved and painted furniture. [WCTG.NET] From the curves of a Queen Ann chair leg to the black-stenciled Hitchcock chairs of New England, trade with China brought wondrous new ways of seeing the world around  us.

An article ini China Daily brought all of this to mind as the article’s author struggled to let his reader know that western apparel companies should be put on notice.  Chinese design was coming into its own.

China is the powerhouse of apparel exports, which reached $129.48 billion (90 billion euros) in 2010, 20.9 percent higher than in 2009. But, for many Westerners, China is still considered the world’s factory rather than a home for innovative design.

This made-in-China association is a barrier for Chinese brands, says Niedermeier. “Designed-in-China is clearly the next logical step for Chinese firms after made-in-China.”

“China has many creative designers who will eventually make the world take notice. Firms in China are beginning to really understand the power of brands. The Chinese love brands, but these have been largely American and European. The time has come for Chinese brands to emerge,” he says.

Chinese-American designers such as Vivienne Lam, Anna Sui, Vera Wang and Jason Wu are all popular among Western world. Their brands are well accepted overseas.

“The world will undoubtedly begin to see and accept brands that are uniquely Chinese. I believe this brand (Hi Panda) will help pave the way for many other Chinese brands to break through in the West as well as prosper in their home market,” he adds. [China Daily]

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