Monogram is a branding & advertisingagency that specializes in boldly creatingand repositioning brands. Founded in 1990, we serve divisions of the Fortune 500, leading middle-market private companies, civic organizations and entrepreneurial startups. For clients facing substantial growth opportunities or wanting to change the game in a commoditized environment, we offer a powerful blend of high-level strategic thinking and creative execution. We often act as the quarterback for our client’s brand, delivering measurable results.
Our clients include many leading consumerand B2B brands, many of them global. ™
We also serve many of Chicago’s mostrespected civic institutions and retailers.
Our Chinese client list includes companiesin a diverse array of sectors and revenue.
Scott Markman, Founder and PresidentThe Monogram Group 29 years in branding building and corporate design. Media coverage: ARD German TV, Wall Street Journal, Xinhua (China’s Press Agency), China Daily USA, Ad Age Global, Industry Week, China Business Network, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Crain’s Chicago Business Speaking engagements: US-China Global Brand Summit, Asia-Pacific Chamber (Shanghai), National Venture Capital Assn., The Smithsonian, the British-American Business Council and Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute.
Now, let’s do a quickexercise together:1) What is a brand?2) What Chinese brands can you name?
Why Chinese brands?Are we crazy?What could possibly bein it for a relatively smallChicago agency?
So how did we get started?What did we do to establishcredibility, make contacts,set up meetings and sellour services?
We started with quantitative market research,querying 1,100 US consumers 2x on theirattitudes towards China and Chinese brands. Optimal Position
Even the biggest Chinese brands were virtuallyunknown to American consumers, scoring thesame awareness levels as brands we fabricated. % Americans Aware of the Brand
And that low awareness (along with a pooroverall image of Chinese quality) correlated tolow scores on quality perception. % Americans Believe Brand is High Quality Based on Name
However, Americans were not shutting the door toChinese brands in many categories...especiallythose they already associate with China. % Americans Open to Purchasing from a Chinese Brand
The same branding fundamentals that all US/Western companies must follow were identifiedas precursors for Chinese companies as well. 67% of Americans say it is important that a Chinese company wanting to sell its products in the US has an English language web site written in excellent English. 45% of Americans say it is important that they purchase Chinese goods from a brand with which they are familiar. 36% of Americans say it is important that they have seen ads for a Chinese brand before they buy their products.
A relationship map for our branded entryservice offering.
Our services reflect an integrated approach fora Chinese company’s branded entry needs. PHASE I PHASE II PHASE III PHASE IV Entry Strategy Supporting Brand Go to Market Advisory Entry Services Building Programs Category/Market M&A Brand Concept Trade Shows Analysis & Messaging Legal Counsel Advertising Consumer/Buyer Naming & Insights Brand Identity Accounting Direct/Email Product Product Packaging Positioning Banking Social Media Warehouse Sales Presentation Product & Brochures Event Marketing Innovations & Logistics & Sponsorships Website Human Resources Public Relations Trade Show Sales and Booth Distribution
And once we got there,what did we find?(or, Scott’s excellent adventureinto exploring China, Chineseculture, values, beliefs andbusiness practices)
Scott Markman’s Top Ten perceptions ofChinese business people.#10: Very, very, very risk averse#9: Assume they can’t trust you until proven otherwise#8: Follow relationship, not expertise#7: Reticent to pay for professional service and advice#6: Hyperfocused on distribution and sales
Scott Markman’s Top Ten perceptions ofChinese business people.#5: Very short-term in their thinking#4: Understand “brand” simplistically#3: Slow to embrace the American Way of business#2: Won’t say no to your face#1: Assume a lower price solves all problems
What have we learned fromour experiences so far?How has our approach evolved?What do we look for in seekingout clients?
Distribution is very different in the US vs. China,and because that is top of mind for every prospect,we have to start there. National Retailers Private Innovative Branded Label Products Products Products • Dominates products • Creates its own • A strong brand gives competing on category, highest retailer reason to stock low price (not chance to gain the product (Chinese available anymore) distribution companies’ best choice)
The Five Prerequisites every Chinesecompany needs to have to consider theUS market. Excellent product quality (ideally, innovative products) Clear, realistic business objectives An international talent team Appropriate financial resources Patience (minimum 2 year time commitment)
...which lead to The Five Factors everyChinese company needs to master forsuccess in the US market. New product development Willingness to adapt business practices to US standards and methodologies Insights about consumers who buy their products An understanding of the wholesale and retail process The differences between OEM and Branded business models and how to do both concurrently as a transitional stage
The Old Reality vs. the Future OpportunityOEM Model Branded Model Good enough for client specs Excellent quality, own design Cheapest price Competitive price FOB only Entire logistics & customs continuum Transactional focus Relationship with buyers and consumers Trade shows, friends’ intros Marketing and sales support Immediate sales Longer sales cycles with many factors No consumer contact Understanding, serving consumers Low margin, high volume Much higher margins and creation financials of brand value
Case Study:Changzhou Asian EndergonicElectronic Technology Co., Ltd.(Asianbag)
Asianbag is the leading manufacturerin dashboard mounts for portable GPSdevices and smartphones. This US$12 million company has been selling to four US importers for 2 years. They have 10% market share, and their products are sold at Best Buy and Radio Shack. They own two US patents and several Chinese patents for their designs. Monogram was hired in Sept. 2009 to create a US brand for Asianbag and build US distribution to grow sales and dramatically increase profit margin.
Steps in our process to date. Conducted online market research with 55 US consumers. Created the brand concept, value proposition, positioning and personality. Created names for the brand and product line, trademark, package design, web site and sales materials to prepare for the brand launch in May 2010. Coordinated the company’s setup in the US, including filing a trademark application.
Steps in our process to date. Attended National Consumer Electronics Show, met potential sales reps, gathered feedback from retailers. Set up warehousing, sales and merchant banking operation. Developed e-commerce enabled website. Created social media strategy including Facebook, Twitter. Developed new product features.
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What have we accomplished? Established a long-term partnership with Priceless Resource, a leading electronics distributor to reach all big box retailers. Established a relationship with a Canadian distributor in to sell Züuma products in Canadian market. Got Züuma listed on a leading loyalty reward service whose clients include Citibank. Placing Züuma products in major retailers, both online and brick & mortar stores
Case Study:Yuzhou Green-Ship GardenSupplies Producing Co., Ltd.
Green-Ship is a $7.5 million manufacturerof unique flower pots and planters madefrom a patented composite material. $5 million in sales in Europe and $2.5 million in the US, all under private label. They have no domestic market. Founded in 1993, they own over 20 Chinese patents for their manufacturing of their products. They are completing the construction of a new factory in Qingdao that will allow them to triple in sales. Monogram was hired in January 2011 to create a US brand and build distribution to dramatically grow sales with independent garden centers.
Steps in our process to date. Conducted online market research with US consumers. Created the brand concept, value proposition, positioning and personality. Conducting online research with buyers at independent garden centers nationwide. Developing marketing communications materials. Preparing list of distributors for factory, planning to attend 3 major trade shows in 2011.
Consumer Research Question #1Who in your family buys flower/vegetable pots?
Consumer Research Question #2When purchasing a flower/vegetable pot, whatfeatures are most important?
Consumer Research Question #3Are you more inclined to buy a pot at a nationalretailer, a garden specialty shop or online?
Consumer Research Question #4Where do you go for information about potting plants?
Consumer Research Question #5If flower pots were made of eco-friendly material, wouldthat be an important factor in your purchasing decision?
Thank you very muchfor your time tonight.Questions? Comments?
For more information, please contact:The Monogram Group 233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 410 Chicago, Illinois 60606 USA Tel: +1 312-726-4300 Fax: +1 312-726-4308 www.monogramgroup.com www.monogramgroup.com.cn Scott Markman, President email@example.com John Yang, AE/China Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org Direct: +1 312-268-6687