The UnNoticed Entrepreneur - public relations for business.

Where are the business opportunities in China for entrepreneurs?

July 22, 2021 Jim James
The UnNoticed Entrepreneur - public relations for business.
Where are the business opportunities in China for entrepreneurs?
Chapters
The UnNoticed Entrepreneur - public relations for business.
Where are the business opportunities in China for entrepreneurs?
Jul 22, 2021
Jim James

It's Half A World away but China is on every entrepreneurs mind - full of opportunities and risks. Having lived in Beijing for 13 years I was keen to hear the views of UK based Yishu Wang on how she thinks entrepreneurs can access the markets of the far east, and how Chinese companies are coming to the west.

If you want to know how to get noticed this show is for you. I have interviews, tools, tips, everything that an entrepreneur could need in order to help their organization to get noticed for free. Thank you for joining me on the unnoticed show.

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Please rate the show here.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the unnoticed to show. I hope that you've enjoyed. If you have, please do rate it on any of the players. If you'd like more information, go over to EASTWEST PR and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Or connect with me on Linkedin that's just Jim James.  I'd be delighted to connect with you and let me know how i can help you to get noticed.


Text into human voice-over in realtime.
Save money and time with Synthesys text to voice. Real-Human Sounding Voice-Overs In Minutes.

Niche Marketing Kit
Internet Marketing Complete Toolkit by John Thornhill and Dave Nicholson

Support the show (https://lovethepodcast.com/Unnoticed)

Show Notes Transcript

It's Half A World away but China is on every entrepreneurs mind - full of opportunities and risks. Having lived in Beijing for 13 years I was keen to hear the views of UK based Yishu Wang on how she thinks entrepreneurs can access the markets of the far east, and how Chinese companies are coming to the west.

If you want to know how to get noticed this show is for you. I have interviews, tools, tips, everything that an entrepreneur could need in order to help their organization to get noticed for free. Thank you for joining me on the unnoticed show.

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Please rate the show here.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the unnoticed to show. I hope that you've enjoyed. If you have, please do rate it on any of the players. If you'd like more information, go over to EASTWEST PR and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Or connect with me on Linkedin that's just Jim James.  I'd be delighted to connect with you and let me know how i can help you to get noticed.


Text into human voice-over in realtime.
Save money and time with Synthesys text to voice. Real-Human Sounding Voice-Overs In Minutes.

Niche Marketing Kit
Internet Marketing Complete Toolkit by John Thornhill and Dave Nicholson

Support the show (https://lovethepodcast.com/Unnoticed)

Jim_James:

Hey 你好. Hello and welcome to this episode of the UnNoticed show. I'm delighted to have Yi Shu Wang with me Yishu to say 你好. Cause I got to practice my Chinese, but. Hello?

Yishu_Wang:

Yeah.

Jim_James:

you're originally Chinese based here in the UK uh, having studied at Goldsmith and one of the many amazing students that they make a home here. Now tell us about your company half a world, because you help companies to go global. Tell us about how you get companies noticed overseas.

Yishu_Wang:

Cool. Yeah. Yeah. And so with the half a world we're help, companies and brands to establish in a new market. So a lot of our clients are Western brands or Western companies trying to grow in, China and. APAC area. And so I've been helping with Chinese brands and trying to grow and establish in international markets as well. So it's really helping brands to, to launch an international.

Jim_James:

can you give us maybe a couple of key observations that you share with clients when you first meet them? When they're thinking about going global?

Yishu_Wang:

The first sort of tips that I would always tell the client is know your audience in the market because they they might be different and chances are, they will be different. so really you understand your audience in your target market and also try to forget the things that you know about your home market, but that you already know, just try to learn, adapt,

Jim_James:

And then how do you get a company to think about the new audience and maybe as you say, almost not remember the current audience and still be the same company, because that often is part of the challenge. How do you retain the brand? When some of the messaging might need to be localized

Yishu_Wang:

I think that's it's definitely very interesting is something that's fascinating to me personally, as well is basically what made my career is that when you look at the brands, every brand has their own set of values and missions that the brand is unique. A good brand is. so it's really looking at the brand. Yeah. Pull out those cool values that represent the brand and then find those sort of any sort of points that will make it relevant. To the local market, to a new market, if there's an end consumer. basically essentially should still analyze who the, what the brand is, and then the bound to be some points or some values and some messaging that would make sense to your the new audience in a new market. So it's really look at both ways, look at the brand yourself. And as I look at the audience,

Jim_James:

So when a company goes, for example, to China Yishu, do you think that they need to have a local brand name or can they operate with their global brand name and then have maybe local materials? What's your guidance on that?

Yishu_Wang:

well with names, it really depends. from legal point of view, it be good to have a Chinese name to register trademark from marketing point of view. Not necessarily if the name, if is the, say English name that is easy to remember and pronounce them. You could probably lead with that. and so if there's a name that a lot of people would have already heard of already, and then yes, go lead with that with a Chinese translation for the legal and business purpose. If the name is difficult to pronounce For Chinese consumer who don't really speak English or any other language? Yes, definitely. Lead is a local Chinese name. and in terms of localization, yes, definitely. from sort of social media content to, PR content and website to down to like image, video, visual assets, definitely localized. the more you can do localize the better

Jim_James:

now, there are some brands that have a lot of the value in being a foreign brand in China. Aren't there like Rolls Royce, for example, how do you help companies to. Be positioned in the overseas market appropriately, according to their brand positioning say at home.

Yishu_Wang:

Yeah. especially in some of luxury space, If we're looking at 10 years ago, being an international brands from the U S or the UK Europe, which is definitely a strong selling point by itself. I don't think it's still the case nowadays. a lot of brands will say the made certain country, but what that means is you need to explain what that means to the Chinese consumer, for example, Rolex maintenance, Switzerland what that means is that good quality that tradition of craftsmanship from the Switzerland, from Switzerland that is more important more of a selling point to a Chinese consumer, rather than being from a location just by.

Jim_James:

Okay. That's a really good tip. Are there some clients or a client that you're working on, that's a case study you could share. That's a success story that we can learn from.

Yishu_Wang:

yeah, I've always tried, like to talk about Farfetch. I worked with them many years ago when they were just starting. there was still a very niche brand at that time to help them. So my job was to help them to launch it, launch and grow in China because they saw at that time, despite that didn't have a Chinese website or any language, so it was really so help them to localize and do your China markets. they are very. Keen to learn what's new, what's different in the China market, which is really a good start for any brands trying to be successful in China. so yeah, work with tend to localize brand messaging and localized a website. and then I think later on they had a big investment on China and now those, I had Alibaba to invest in them. So they're really taking off. I think they have been a very good. Successful story for any Western brands trying to launch and growing China's they really localized that everything basically in China, which is great. Today's a really made an effort to connect, to understand the target consumer in China, and then just localised all their effort to communicate with them.

Jim_James:

Now Yishu. You talk about China, but it is 1.4 billion people landmass the same size of America. having lived there for 13 years, my view on the different variations around the region, but what's yours. Do you think one can have a China strategy or do you need to have a regional strategy? Just tell us how would you approach that?

Yishu_Wang:

I think most of the time when when people talk about China's strategy is the sort of certain areas that China target audience strategy. So you still need to, as you said, like China is massive. So we need to tailor your offering to who is your target audience can't just target 1.4 billion people in one hit. That's just impossible. I've been working with quite a lot of luxury and fashion brands for them. The primary target is, will be in tier one city now increasingly more in tier two cities. So to them, the China strategy will be. China tier one, tier two cities strategy, but then for other, other brands they might be looking to like tier three or tier four, or like from a Northern China strategy or Southern China strategy. Yeah. It really depends on what the brand is.

Jim_James:

Okay. And just clarify, what's a tier one and tier two, cause that's a nomenclature that's only relevant to China, isn't it? No other countries do that.

Yishu_Wang:

Yeah. So essentially tier one, cities are just four cities, Beijing, Shanghai, Guanzhou, and Shenzen. So the four basically pretty much the four. Cities that non-Chinese people were very like to have heard off and then you down tier two cities are more likely to local capitals of local province at different provinces. So as not, I don't think it's official tiers. That system is not official, but as people tend to so have the sort of tier system based on the economical power of those cities.

Jim_James:

here's a question for you. Is it possible to build a business in China without going to China oneself?

Yishu_Wang:

You mean the business

Jim_James:

Yeah.

Yishu_Wang:

in China?

Jim_James:

Yeah. How did, how can a company go to China without setting up and having the friendly, the cost and the time and the risk of having its own people and operations?

Yishu_Wang:

there's definitely ways to do it. I've helped quite a lot of the smaller brands to just do that. you would want to have a protect, protect your trademark. That's probably quite necessary. if there's not that if that's done, then you don't necessarily need to have a China team to start with. you could do. you can have a team here to organize everything from logistics, from a marketing point of view, but also you can do cross border shipping. And e-commerce from outside of China, which is increasingly more popular as well. So are Chinese consumers actually quite. Open to wait a little bit longer to get the products. As long as the product is what they want and love the product, so it's definitely possible, but I would suggest any brands if long term if they want to be really successful in China, they should have a plan to say, establish in China.

Jim_James:

What about Chinese brands Yishu? Because. That is also something that we're realizing with the brands like Huawei and the mobile phones, not withstanding the political Yishus around 5g, Chinese brands are growing. How can foreign companies compete with the domestic companies?

Yishu_Wang:

in this case, I would assume foreign company means a Western company.

Jim_James:

Western companies? Yes, that's right.

Yishu_Wang:

It's definitely a trend in the last couple of years for Chinese companies to grow to grow and launch globally is they, some advantages they have is they tend to be quite agile things that happen really fast in China to take the same sort of pace when the launch globe in global markets, which is really useful, those are tend to have lots of capital to work with. so that all sort of advantage they have. but then for them, the challenge is the same to, to understand Western markets who are, which are very different from local Chinese market is something like a lots of brands are still learning. but yeah, to compete, I think it's. Every Western brands, every brand, not just Western or Chinese, every brand has their own sort of advantages and something that can play up with. And then and then to just figure out what they're lacking and then just try to solve it.

Jim_James:

Yeah. What about the idea of working with a company in China to develop a business? Because as an entrepreneur or a business owner, it is possible to partner with a company in China is have you got some experience that you can share about that as well? Any successful examples,

Yishu_Wang:

I believe there are success stories out there, case studies but personally all the joint ventures I've heard for, not that happy.

Jim_James:

marriage is a challenge, In that sense.

Yishu_Wang:

Yeah. there's a lot of challenges for this culturally and and also everyone runs the business differently. There's a lot of challenges out there. What we usually do is recommend brands to go. If they want to establish in China, it's just through a foreign owned entity rather than JV, unless they know someone personally and, in a good relationship.

Jim_James:

Yeah. And are there some sort of tactics that you recommend, for example, around social media or events or print that you found to be the building blocks for campaigns?

Yishu_Wang:

social media is definitely the key. now those for China even just from an e-commerce point of view you see a lot of e-commerce platform become more social uh, lots of social media platforms become more sort of e-commerce focused. So social commerce is the thing I know. So think of like in China, many brands don't even have their own website. They just rely on social media so that social media channels are essentially theri websites equivalent, where people get to know the brand and interact with this brand. So I would say like social media is just rethink the role of social media is not just a marketing tool. Now. It is who you are is your base, when it comes to China in China

Jim_James:

And when we are talking social media with how about we chat, any other platforms, do you think are necessary?

Yishu_Wang:

Wechat weibo douyin, which is the parent company of tiktok it's not a app. The little red book 小红书 really popular nowadays. There's also I think there's a new one called poison was I think they specialize in sneakers and

Jim_James:

Oh,

Yishu_Wang:

more male focused consumer, but that now expanding to more male and female. so yeah, I think I know. So every day this seems like it was the new Chinese social media app.

Jim_James:

Yeah. The other thing that seems to be really big in China is the live streaming to commerce business. Do you have some experiences that Yishu of how brands can leverage that?

Yishu_Wang:

Yes. I've worked with some brands to actually Western brands who don't actually have a presence in China to run a live streaming and to end that way to, to sell products. I wouldn't recommend live streaming to every brand. It really depends on what the brand is and what's yours. What's the business goal. the business goal is to sell more products, essentially, but then as long-term business goal, do you want to build a brand and what kind of brand are you trying to build and everything? So is definitely very effective way to live streaming, to push some sales, but I would recommend every brand look at the format, watch some videos to just yourself and then see. If you want to do it yourself, can you imagine your brand being in that environment and selling some products and those, so after what's, what would, what was things be after that one, 20 minutes live streaming, you can sell some products, but what's after that, do you have any plan for that? yeah.

Jim_James:

So part of a strategy, but not the strategy itself, livestreaming. Okay. And then how many Western entrepreneurs do you think are in China and which sort of industries do you think they're particularly successful in.

Yishu_Wang:

so I think in terms of consumer facing brands or companies that actually quite a lot of fashion, quite lots of others, of fashion and accessories and everything, I think growingly, there's quite a lot of mom and baby. brands out there as well, and this all growing markets. I think the brands that tend to do very well in China are now focused on targeted at young consumers who have in China, they might be young, but they definitely have the spending power. They they're very switched on in terms of marketing. They engage with brands. but yeah, so those are the brands, the brands who target those consumers tend to do very well in China, but I also do think there's a huge opportunity for brands to target. Let's say over 50, over 60 demographics in China is a huge market there those tend to be getting ignored.

Jim_James:

yeah the aging population in China and the health care Yishu. And on a practical point of view, we were finding recently that the search on Google for content in China delivered entirely different results to the search on Baidu for the same keywords in China, any ideas of how people can solve the problem that China really is living behind its own internet. Great wall.

Yishu_Wang:

Yeah, it's it's challenges. that's why, like you have to reach out to them. You can call and just say They will. Yeah, because people have VPNs in China that go around the fire wall but for any brands you need to go then and try to communicate with them, just go do SEO on Baidu, do PPC on Baidu and others, social, search engines as well. But But again, I think more increasingly that you see things more effective on social media, even with SEO and PPC, you can see more tangible results when you do that on social media platforms, rather than search engines.

Jim_James:

And then Chinese companies that you see doing well, you're helping a couple of Chinese brands into the UK, into Europe. Any ones that we should be looking out for.

Yishu_Wang:

I'm actually working with a toy company. They're launching launching a brand. They have a Amazon store already. They're very small, more small. Sense. They have about 28 million us dollars revenue a year, which is pretty big already,

Jim_James:

in

Yishu_Wang:

business in China in it. so yeah they have, they do great sales on Amazon store. Ready. They just need, now what they want, what I'm helping them to do is to establish. So doing a more, this is a brand rather than just they want to sell the brand rather than the products, which is, which was the right way to get it. So yeah, I would say they are, they're not the only one in China that there's so many of these kind of companies in China that have good products, have some sale, have certain sales already, which means they have a capital to work on many other things though. So have a consumer insight space on them.

Jim_James:

Okay. So I think there's a, an opportunity in China, but not necessarily easy one, but there's also opportunities to work with Chinese companies that are coming overseas it sounds like So Yishu your company name of half a world. Sounds like it's perfectly branded because you're obviously a Chinese based here in the UK. If you want to find out more about you and the wonderful services that you can provide, how do they do that?

Yishu_Wang:

Right. Yeah, it was, the name started because, we do Asia, China, which is essentially half of the world's population there. so yeah, we help brands to the ideas initially to help Western brands to grow in the APAC area. Now with the growing trend of Chinese, Chinese brands going overseas. Whereas the work was lots of Chinese Chinese brands or Chinese companies to grow and established a business overseas, primarily through sort of marketing insights. So mainly help on a marketing point of view, but then because Because for a lot of brands, like I do say I do China for them, or I do us market for them. I become the person. They were just, they go to whenever they have any questions about their market. whereas I tend to ask a question about, and legal, what legal side of things or trademark and what kind of trademarks and they come to do. So yeah, we just try to help with pretty much everything.

Jim_James:

Yishu. Thank you so much for sharing. What is the best way for people to get ahold of you at Half a World?

Yishu_Wang:

I was the easiest way probably to find me on LinkedIn. I just Yishu Wang on

Jim_James:

I'll an out of course, put your contact details in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining me. And I would practice my last a little bit.

Yishu_Wang:

很高兴再见