are so few great brands coming out of Asia (Japan aside)?
The brutal truth is that branding is little understood by
decision makers throughout much of the region. There exists
widespread misconceptions and, in many cases, outright ignorance
over the value and role of brands and the process required
to build them.
Surveys repeatedly confirm that Asians from across the region
overwhelmingly prefer great Western brands to home-grown
ones: given the choice, they will drink Coke, wear Nike
shoes, and drive a BMW every time. Rare is the intense emotional
relationship with an Asian brand found in, say, the Apple
zealot. Yet the region is awash with tens of thousands of
new brands that emerge every other day reflecting an unstoppable
energy and vitality that is fueling the increasingly universal
belief that this century will belong to Asia (and China
in particular). The continued absence of genuinely great
Asian brands (as opposed to merely 'good' brands) will at
best slow down that prospect, at worse throw a real spanner
into the works. Something visible and disruptive needs to
happen if Asian brands are to live up to their potential
during this period of unprecedented change and opportunity.
And something will and in all likelihood it will be driven
by individual visionary Asian business leaders. This book
provides a clear and compelling blueprint that will deliver
long-term sustainable competitive advantage to these exceptional
leaders who will, in time, blaze a pioneering trail for
others to follow.
The Brutal Truth About Asian Branding aims
to do three things: uncover, educate and execute.Firstly,
it aims to expose the practices, circumstances, policies
as well as management attitudes and mentality that individually
and collectively conspire to effectively hold back Asian
brands from graduating to great brands. These range from
the plainly visible, to the insidiously undetectable. It
is reflected in cultural values that encourage middle level
company employees to sanitize bad news; it is reinforced
by the unwillingness of all level employees to experiment
with new ideas or even volunteer opinions for fear of being
penalized for being wrong; it thrives in operational environments
that separate functional departments responsible for creating
the product from those that promise the experience of the
product to the customer; and it dies a still-born death
in the hands of CEOs who lack long term vision in favor
of short-term wins.
Secondly, it aims to re-educate Asian managers - particularly
CEOs - on the subject of brand and branding. It takes aim
at the countless misconceptions and the outright ignorance
that have collectively contributed to poor and non-existing
brand building practices in Asian companies. The approach
is provocative because many of the metaphors used (from
rock music to religion) not only provide immediate and relieving
clarity, but many do so by aiming to deliver personal epiphanies.
Suddenly the vague, nebulous, contradictory and confusing
are rendered clear, connected and comprehensible.
Thirdly, it provides a comprehensive step-by-step explanation
of the typical multi-phase methodology brand consultants
use to either position new brands or re-position existing
brands that have lost their way.
This book is a long awaited no-holds barred reality check
for Asian decision makers that at the same time validates
the potential greatness hidden in Asian brands and provides
the means to making them so.