7 steps to building a successful brand for Chinese manufacturers

By Dewet Boshoff - June 30, 2015

7 steps to building a successful brand for Chinese manufacturersStarting from ground zero

Every business, startup or manufacturer looking to expand globally needs good branding!

Effective branding makes all the difference when it comes to getting one up on your competitors and creating a demand for your products that will lead to customer loyalty, brand promoters, and ultimately, an increase in sales!

Getting it right is something that even the biggest Chinese brands in the world would tell you takes a lot of creative thinking, meticulous research, careful planning, and thorough implementing of. It is definitely not something that can be accomplished overnight or something that can be rushed, but it is definitely something that can be done!

If you are a manufacturer that understands the necessity of building a brand, but you just don't know where to start, you have come to the right place. Join us as we break down the 7 steps of building a successful brand for Chinese manufacturers in our two part blog here!

Let's get you started on the road to building your brand right away...

1) Discover your brand's identity

This is truly one of the fundamentals of branding that you need to consider carefully before jumping head first into anything. Your brand identity are the elements of a brand (seen an unseen) that forms the very basis of your strategy going forward.

Your identity includes a number of things such as the image you are looking to project to the world and your customers, your company's message and ideals, how you want to make your customers feel, why your business is different, what you plan to achieve etc.

By nailing all of this down beforehand, you have the core of your business in a nutshell to help project the most real image of your brand and culture! This will shape every future decision for your company's branding and as such care must be taken to outline all of the things that make "you" you!

2) Know your audience

Once you have a very clear idea of the image and values of your brand, the next logical step is to get to know your audience better.

It makes sense to find out which people will be interested in buying your product (as opposed to marketing aimlessly to everyone). The best way of going about this is discovering the ideal customer for your products, and in inbound marketing terms, that means getting to know who your buyer persona is!

See why Chinese manufacturers need Inbound marketing here!

Buyer Personas are an integral part of any inbound marketing campaign as every single marketing step is dictated by them! They are particularly important for the sales and marketing departments as the marketing team needs to know to whom they are marketing to, and the sales team needs to know to whom they are selling to.

This will involve a degree of research and really getting to the nitty gritty of what makes your ideal customer (buyer persona) tick. Check out this blog to find out questions you need to be asking yourself when developing a persona so you have a complete idea of who your demographic is: How to create a buyer persona to refine your marketing activities

By doing this you will also be able to further refine your brand's image so that you can really speak to the people that matter most to your company.

3) Draw up a branding strategy

The next important step in building a successful brand is drawing up a strategy.

If you took your time with the first two steps and put in a conscious effort to get to know why you are doing what you are doing, and who you are doing it for, then this third step and the formulating of your branding strategy should be a breeze.

Do the following:
  • Identify your company's goals. What do you hope to get out branding your products or service? By doing this you will have a clearer idea of your goals, short-term and long-term, so that you know what you are working towards
  • Ensure that every business decision you take has your buyer persona in mind. By doing this you increase the likelihood of succeeding. Your business is only made successful by the people that support it
  • Set yourself a realistic time frame in which you hope to achieve your goals. Make sure that you account for time you will have to spend putting systems in place, as well as refining them, fixing them, experimenting with them etc.  
  • Identify the resources or channels you will need to leverage in order to achieve these goals. Doing this helps you to get a more accurate idea of what you need to accomplish your goals so you cover every base when it comes to growing your business and brand

4) Ensure your brand's language sets you apart

One thing that almost every brand out there struggles with is setting themselves apart through their language. Too many brands sound like generic copies of one another, and as such, fall between the cracks never to be heard from again.

It is imperative that you use language that is in tune with your brand's image! What you want to project to the world is reflected in not only the visual side of your brand, but the way that you speak to people. It should be consistent over all aspects of your business such as your website, promotional materials, social media channels, and in your company's blog!

Not blogging yet for business? See what opportunities you are missing out on here!

Even though making sure that you stick to using language that is in line with your image is useful, it is not going to keep everyone coming back for more. It is important to use this as the basis of how you direct your marketing activities, but you should also take it upon yourself to show your audience what makes you special. By showcasing your uniqueness through your brand language you are able to connect with consumers tired of hearing the same old story.

That's it for part 1 of the 7 steps to building a successful brand for Chinese manufacturers. Be sure to catch the second part of our building a brand series next week!

What do you think is the most important part of branding? Let us know in the comments below...

Need help with your branding?

Oxygen 2.0 is a full service inbound marketing agency that is dedicated to helping Chinese manufacturers with their branding needs to expand into Western markets and gain more overseas sales. See where your website stands online by clicking below to get your FREE website, brand and marketing assessment from one of our professional consultants!

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About the Author

Dewet Boshoff

Dewet is originally from South Africa and has been living in Asia for almost 10 years. He found his calling in China, becoming a fluent Mandarin speaker whilst studying Business & Chinese at Shenzhen University, and was among the first cohort of foreign students to graduate with honours there. He is an inbound marketing scholar and social media enthusiast. Dewet delights in using his language skills to promote inbound in China and to educate the West on Chinese social media. When Dewet isn't on the job he enjoys outdoor activities, traveling to exotic locations and socialising with his friends-online and in the real world!