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What can marketers learn from the follies of foreign brands in China?


Building a local brand image is difficult but building a brand image abroad is significantly more so. In a local environment, we have a range of shared assumptions and worldviews. The further we travel from home, the fewer assumptions we share, and the easier it is for a small mistake to ruin a relationship. Because of this, many firms struggle when it comes to sustaining a brand image built at home when they attempt to expand into foreign markets.

Here, we explore some of these issues regarding firms that have struggled in China.


Information and privacy ethics: Meta (formerly Facebook)

In the US, the concept of privacy is extremely important. Four amendments in the US Bill of Rights touch on privacy and its preservation. Because of this, we often take it for granted that (1) we have an unequivocal right to privacy in all forms, (2) everyone else agrees with our concept of privacy, and (3) we should do everything we can to protect people’s privacy, especially when they lack the ability to do so themselves.

It’s worth noting that what in some places may be considered an ethical issue, in others may be seen as an issue of national security.

These assumptions ultimately led to Facebook’s exit of China. In an attempt to protect the private conversations of certain Xinjiang activists following dangerous protests, Facebook refused to share these users’ information with the Chinese government leading to a block of the social media giant in 2009.


It’s worth noting here that what in some places may be considered an ethical issue, in others may be seen as an issue of national security. Furthermore, the weights and balances we put on these are not so clear.


Brands should conduct themselves as visitors in other countries. They may have core values, and they may be well within their rights to advocate for anti-establishment change within their own locality.


Read More at https://daoinsights.com/opinions/what-can-marketers-learn-from-the-follies-of-foreign-brands-in-china/

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