Monday, May 23, 2011


China is opening up to the outside world.  Everybody and their brother know China is the place for manufacturing.  

The days of marketing China as a big, mysterious, scary beast are over.  If you are a company that touts itself as a China manufacturing expert and you do it under the blanket of how “scary” and “unreliable” it is to buy from China, then your days of marketing in that fashion may be numbered.

 Everyday China is becoming more and more refined.  Suppliers are adapting to market and overseas standards; English is improving for exporting and international business purposes , education levels are raising. 

There are times it can be scary and more times than not, it can be unreliable, but all of those mountains can be scaled.  Selling yourself as a company that can scale the mountain while everyone else is stuck at base-camp has a limited shelf date.  What happens when the “exploration bug” bites the folks at base camp?  What happens when the people at base camp realize there is humungous cost-savings in buying their own equipment and scaling the mountain?  How about if the people living at the top of the mountain decide to come down the mountain and start selling directly to the folks you have scared back at the camp?  

Any advantage you have that’s related to others’ disadvantages seems to be limited.  Make your advantage based on…your advantage. 

Time May be Running Out
on Your "Advantage"
Is all of your success based on a country, a people and it’s culture?  Or will your company have advantages in other markets, other areas? 

Once “weird” cultural nuances stop or evolve overtime, are you going to piggyback on the next cultural characteristic or will your company just stop dead in its tracks?

China does have a rap for using “smoke in mirror” tactics in their manufacturing and it’s a reputation they’ve undoubtedly earned.  But a lot of China-expertise companies, on the other side of the globe are doing the exact same thing.  These people are no more “China experts” than the next guy.  They don’t speak the language, they haven’t spent extended periods of time living and working in the country, what they claim is their “China infrastructure” is nothing but a loose network of suppliers they play off one another for cheapest price.  We know where chasing cheap price in China can get you.     

What value are you offering your customers?  Are you providing real help or riding a short-term wave?

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