Label Cloud

dinsdag 11 september 2007

China Top Brand

Marketing is the art (ahem) of promoting something in such a way as to convince the consumer to buy it. “It” being the product that you manufacture or the image you’re trying to build. So, to enhance you’re reliability or the good image you come up with meaningful advertisements or you adhere to international standards (e.g. ISO norms). In a globalized environment it is also of the utmost importance not to offend your trading partners or intended audience through ignorance. A lot of deals never happen because one of the parties is unaware of the local cultural habits or because of wrong translations. For instance, the Ford Pinto didn’t sell at all in Brazil. The reason was the name of the model, which, in the local dialect, resembled the word for small penis.[1] Another example is the promotion of milk in a certain Muslim country. To make their point clear images were used instead of words. Three pictures were shown: an unhealthy person, a bottle of milk, a healthy person. Milk sales dropped immediately. Why? Unlike the Western advertisers, Muslims read from right to left, thus seeing that drinking milk makes you unhealthy.[2]

As we all know China is the strongest growing market in the world right now. To make sure that their products live up to international standards and to reinsure foreign customers, the China Top Brand quality label is awarded to certain companies every year, since 2001[3] (a few months before becoming a member of the WTO). “In the official interpretation of "China Top Brand," […] logo actually represent four arrowhead-shaped objects that symbolize economic development. Together the objects formed the character for fame [...] in China Top Brand as well as the character for quality [...] in Quality Top Brand. The four arrowheads also represent four Arabic number one's, which symbolize the four quality standards, the four evaluation criteria, the four concepts and the four evaluation principles necessary to become a China Top Brand.”[4] Unfortunately this design resembles something, which could deter European, American and Israeli customers from buying a product with this logo on it. What do you think?


[1] Some humorous cross-cultural advertising gaffes! http://www.takingontobacco.org/intro/funny.html, September 11, 2007
[2] It is quite possible that it was an African country, where the local language is written from right to left. So, don’t shoot if I’m wrong, but you get the general idea.
[3] 45 Businesses Scoop Top Brand Gongs. In: China Daily, September 3 2001, http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/english/200109/03/eng20010903_79159.html, September 11, 2007
[4] Renwei, T. "China Top Brand" Logo Resembles that of Nazi SS? In: Southern Metropolis Daily, April 27 2007, http://zonaeuropa.com/20070427_1.htm, September 11, 2007

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