Made in China, made with the world
China wants to change the world’s perception of “made in China.”
To that end, China’s Ministry of Commerce recently launched a beautifully crafted advertising campaign—”made in China, made with the world”—designed to change poor perception of products made in China. It focuses on the undisputed fact that China is the manufacturing center of the world and collaborates with leading companies around the world to deliver top quality products. (Watch it here.)
There is no doubt that this assertion is true but it misses a fundamental, vital, and much more important idea—that China is and will be a powerful force in shaping the future of the world.
China is dynamic, vibrant, and brimming with energy—a nation filled with optimism for the future and confidence in its role in the new world order. And today’s China is doing so much more than manufacturing. Dig a little beyond the surface and one will find tremendous innovation and creativity taking place across the nation—in arts, sports, sciences, technology, and many more areas.
A bolder and more visionary campaign would have challenged the world’s perception that China is a mere manufacturer reacting to the world’s needs and would have begun to lay the groundwork to define an expanded role for China as a pro-active innovator for the future.
It is promising to see China actively manage its brand image but the approach they have taken is woefully shortsighted. The current campaign is not dissimilar to Taiwan’s “it’s very well made in Taiwan” campaign of the early 1990s, which served to reinforce the island’s image as a center of quality manufacturing without any intrinsic dynamic creative force. Once China opened up, offering cheaper labor and capital, and the manufacturing base began to migrate to the mainland en masse, Taiwan lost any relevant differentiation and has been trying for the last 20 years to find a meaningful way to position itself. If China chooses to build its national brand on manufacturing alone, it will find itself in the same existential trap.
This article was sourced from Landor.com and can be found here