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Originally posted by schreiber at 2007-9-4 10:48
I'm not sure the marketing is as important as you think; Korean car makers have had terrible marketing in the US but have successfully competed on price. I do agree that China doesn't ha ...
You will never be seen as balanced by the Chinese no matter what you say. Instead of discussing things they often get a bit defensive. It probably stems from not being raised in environments like Australia and America where diversity of opinions are a way of life. Unexpected opinions are immediately viewed as attacks on China.
Back to marketing. Look at Harley Davidson. Expensive, slow, low fuel economy, but incredable brand loyalty.
Ford and Holden protected their brand in Australia via the touring cars. About 10 years ago, they said that if the Japanese were allowed to continue in the touring cars they would withdraw. As a consequence, it is a Ford and Holden show now, and this builds serious brand loyalty amongst those who are most passionate about cars.
I met a very very successful dentist once who said that being a good dentist is five per cent knowledge of teeth, and 95 per cent knowledge of people - but you must know 100 per cent about that five per cent. In his opinion, no one could ever check to see if he had done a good job. I got a similar opinion from a real-estate salesman. He was saying that people buy a house, one of the most important purchases they will ever make, because the like the gold taps, or the oak tree in the backyard reminds them of when they were a boy. Then they justify the purchase with some pragmatic reason like it has good investment potential.
I view cars the same way. It is five per cent quality and 95 per cent image. Admitedly, the importance of image declines the cheaper the car becomes, but so do the profit margins. Anyway, I guess the question is can the Chinese produce a car cheaper than Korea, better quality than the Germans and Japanese or market themselves better than Americans? I guess we will just have to wait and see.