Can the Olympics reverse the "China Brand"?
That, of course, is if you think China has a brand at all...because just like the countries leadership...their brand is not only confusing but fractured. (We find that in business as well...) Utter the word, "China" and dozens of images come to mind. And it ain't all Moo Goo Gy Pan.
What China will emerge from the Olympics? The leadership will want you and I to see China as not only an emerging nation but a bona-fide Super Power. They will want you to see modern, sleek, sophisticated, capable, strong and determined.
That's the message I received last year as I spent a week with five business people from China. You could see it in their eyes as they presented me with a gold and silver lapel pin for the 2008 games.
At the same time these same employees from the largest agricultural and construction equipment manufacturer in China marveled at the fact that US farmers had indoor plumbing. And they still have trouble writing warning signs in English. See the contradiction?
What "China Brand" will we think of on 08-08-08? Will it be the filthy air quality of Beijing that clearly (yes a pun) gives us pause? Will it be the memory of tainted pet food that killed thousands of dogs? Will it be the lead encrusted toys shipped here? Will it be the crushing of freedoms, both political and personal? Will it be the failure to live up to what the country promised when they bid for the Games? Will it be the reality of slave labor that turns out the garbage you'll find at Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot and others?
What say you?
Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications - Where we DO like eggs rolls.