China Up: The China Survival Guide
COM-ENT sits down for tea with our Global Chief Creative Officer Kheireddine Sidhoum to discuss how businesses can successfully establish themselves in China.
Read the interview below:
Q: Which value is key to successfully establishing a business in China?
A: In one word, I would say humility.
Q: If China were an imaginary animal, what would it be?
A: A dragon of course, like us at Dragon Rouge! Although it would definitely be a fire-breathing dragon…
Q: Why is it challenging for brands to understand Chinese culture?
A: The similarity between France and China is that both countries have a strong attachment to their culture. We at Dragon Rouge think it’s extremely important to respect Chinese culture. When we designed a limited-edition Johnnie Walker bottle for the Autumn Festival, we had to identify a symbol which would accurately communicate the slogan, “Keep Walking”. It had to suggest the idea of the brand making continuous advancements. Drawing from Chinese culture, we realised that water and therefore rivers perfectly suggest that concept. Hence that’s what we used to illustrate the Autumn Festival bottle.
A: China is far, far, far more advanced in comparison with Europe or the rest of the world. People in China no longer think about whether they should buy something in-store or using their phone, they buy everything on their phones. Recently our client Mengniu, a huge Chinese dairy company, addressed this technological need while integrating a cultural dimension. In Chinese culture, they place a lot of emphasis on service. Their new retail model allows you to order dairy products online and collect your items in a shared refrigerator at the foot of your building. In this way, you’re being served up fresh milk daily, it’s there waiting for you when you come home in the evenings.
Q: Is China complex?
A: Complex… I don’t know if I’d say that. In any case, if you follow certain rules, be humble and respect Chinese culture, I think there comes a point where everything becomes easier and you can succeed. As I always say, it’s like going into a room which is completely dark, where you can’t see anything… but after a few minutes, your eyes adjust to the darkness and everything becomes clearer.
You can discover the full China Up guide here (sorry, it’s in French)!