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Chief Planning Ofcer
Ogilvy & Mather China

How far have we gone with the sophistication of branding in the past 20 years? Modern brand management and integrated communications have helped brands to establish genuine connections with their customers. We have seen brands trying to appeal with emotional promises, some even making bold claims of higher purposes and ideals.

It is all good… if brands are living up to these claims and promises. With the exponential growth of digital platforms and social media in China, the balance of information has tilted in favor of the customers, meaning brands are under constant scrutiny. False claims and empty promises are easily seen through. More than ever, consumers are more suspicious and demanding of brands’ behaviors. They are calling for “Brands that Do” not just “Brands that Say”. Huawei is a good example of a brand that “Does things” first, before they “Tell people”.

To a large extent, the brand’s recent ascent is the reward for its long dedication to tech innovations and product delivery. Now, the brand is a genuine challenger on the world stage.Perhaps other brands in China will start reflecting on the way they attribute their resources. Instead of bidding for the sky rocketing 15-second commercial break on CCTV’s New Year’s Eve show, maybe it is time to consider putting more resources into R&D investment or in improving the customer experience.