Lecture  |  Düsseldorf (Germany)  |  January 2015
Conference: China Business Insights

Dusseldorf’s first China-Conference CHINA BUSINESS INSIGHTS, organised by Handelsblatt and HSBC, took place on January 26th. With 300 participants it was so well booked, that occasionally it was difficult to find a seat. While keynote-speakers such as Daimler-CEO Dieter Zetsche or Stephen King, head economist of HSBC, presented many facts, numbers and statistics favoring China, the various panel discussions featured a bit more controversy. The idea of Shi Mingde, chinese embassador to Germany, of a transnational free-trade agreement between China and the EU for example, was a burning topic.

In her graphic-intense presentation, titled »Visual Communication – what is different in China«, Susanne Zippel spoke about the challenges of adapting western Corporate Identity for the Chinese market, differenciating not only in regards to design, but also contentual to other lecturers. Using a multitude of examples, she explained her understanding of successful and less successful »visual translations« of Western companies in China. The question, if Chinese customers would buy less of a product, »simply because a Chinese logo is not as perfectly designed as the Western version« arose from the audience. This led to a passionate debate about the relationship between well-defined features of identity and the strength of a brand, especially in a globalised world with increasing competition in all aspects of quality, service and price. A German spice-trader, producing in China, stated:  »I always say: if you’re going to cook, make it taste good. And as anyone who has been in China will agree, the cooking tastes especially good in China.«

 

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