Lessons from Samsung

June 13, 2014 | Benoit Beaufils

Factors to drive the rise of Asian brands

Understanding consumers takes more than technology or getting the numbers right. It requires an understanding of emotions, positioning and a bit of fun.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Shao Yang, vice president of marketing for Huawei’s device division, admitted: “At Huawei, we are always very confident about technology and innovation. But understanding people more, this is the challenge.”

Shao’s admission is courageous, but it seems to reflect an Asian state of things, more than an issue at Huawei. Indeed, while western brands crowd Asian shelves in every category you can name – from toothpaste to mobile phones, from ice-cream to apparel, the Asian brands making a dent into western markets are quicker to count; a few apparel or fashion brands (from Uniqlo to Comme Des Garcons), a few cosmetics powerhouses (Shiseido), and a handful of car manufacturers and technology brands. But Coca-Cola, Dove, Apple, Johnny Walker and Nike, all western brands, make up a whopping 90 out of the 100 largest brands in the world list from Interbrands. What drives that dynamic?

Read our full article in Campaign Asia-Pacific or download PDF.


Posted By Benoit Beaufils

Change and intuitive human understanding have been at the core of Benoit’s life. Twelve years of marketing experience at both Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola have prepared him well. Managing the marketing work of Coca-Cola in Belgium and Thailand in periods of deep crises gave him a unique insight into how brands can be shaped to best overcome cultural anxieties. Working as a consultant and researcher across Asia and Europe has given him further opportunities to facilitate change and engagement processes within companies and between companies and consumers. Benoit finds sources of inspiration living in a 100-inhabitant dust road serviced village on an Asian island and raising four children.

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