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Shanghai Needs to Promote Its Brand Names
In Shanghai only three local brand names of clothes -- Kaikai, Hailuo, and Shanshan -- survive in the harsh competition. They are included in the top ten Chinese name brand Clothes, according to a recently released list in the country.

Decades ago Shanghai-made goods dominated the Chinese market, and most Chinese preferred commodities made in Shanghai for their quality and fashion. Yet, today’s people focus their attention more on goods from foreign countries for both quality and fashion.

“Made in Shanghai or made in China shouldn’t be a symbol of cheap, labor intensive products. China needs to produce capital or hi-tech intensive goods to adapt to global demand,” said Prof. Lu Deming, director of the Economic School of Fudan University in Shanghai. “Many old brands in Shanghai and the rest of the country, formed in a planned economic system, are left behind in history. True name brands should stand the test of market competition.”

Since 1995, Shanghai has pushed the promotion of its brand name products. By the end of last year, it had developed 338 famous brands, which earned 200 billion yuan in sales revenue, one-third of the city’s total industrial sales, and had intangible assets of 55.6 billion yuan. These brands have helped fuel the local economy. Yet, as to nationally-recognized name brands, Shanghai has few.

Shanghai’s brand development faces some challenges since the city lacks internationally competitive brands owing to the generally small scale of its businesses. These businesses also produce goods low in high technology value, so lag behind in market demand. In addition, products have a lower reputation for reliability. What’s worse, famous brands are hurt by the prevalence of fake and inferior goods.

Promoting a brand name is as important as creating one. China has developed world known brands like Haier and Meidi. Yet the country is far behind in terms of brand promotion.

According to the Chinese Brands Promotion Committee, brand promotion involves market goals, brand competition strategies, market sales, market expansion, advertising, and media awareness.

An executive of Coca-Cola, for instance, once said: “We could easily regain our position if the company were reduced to ruins in one day. The brand name of Coca-cola is that powerful.” IBM and MacDonald’s are other examples.

Shanghai enterprises must safeguard and better promote their brands in the face of foreign brands and cut-throat price war in its own country so that they might find their niche in the market in China and abroad.

(china.org.cn 09/13/2001)

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