If you thought Amazon was big – just look at Alibaba!
Hello and welcome to our weekly newsletter!
Retail is big business in China; and online retailing now accounts for around 60% of all sales. Alibaba – the main e-tailer in China – is bigger than Amazon and eBay combined. The good news for UK businesses is that the Chinese love British brands. So much so that both M&S and Sainsbury’s have a significant online presence there (with no traditional stores). Notably, there’s also a trend away from the traditional bricks and mortar in luxury retail in China. Instead the Chinese tend to come to the UK to shop for luxury items directly! Indeed one factory outlet in Bicester is a favourite shopping destination in the UK for Chinese tourists (as are some shops in Leeds’ prestigious Victoria Quarter).
We act for many ambitious and fast growing businesses that have brands as core assets. Several of them already have a significant presence in China and for all of them it is a rapidly growing market with substantial opportunities.
So if you’re eyeing up China as a possible market, here are 7 things you need to know.
Weekly Newsletter: 7 Things UK Exporters Need to Know About China
1. Get registered
If you’re selling to the Chinese or having goods made over there, you must get your trade mark registered there. Without a registered trade mark, you can’t get brand protection on Alibaba (or indeed anywhere else).
2. Be prepared to enforce
Enforcement of trade mark in China is carried out by the police using criminal sanctions. This means that infringers can be put in prison (they don’t always stay there that long but that’s another issue!) However, before the police will act, the brand owner must prepare their case and conduct trap purchases. Also bear in mind that documentation needs to be put together by local professionals.
3. Secure a portfolio of all relevant IP
If you register your brand in China, think about getting logos, images and colours registered as well as your wordmark. This can be useful as these are easily recognised; and your wordmark or slogan may not be so effortlessly understood by non-English speakers.
4. Don’t forget to translate your major marks
Think about having a translation of your main trade mark into Chinese. This is quite standard practice and whilst it increases cost, it decreases wriggle room for infringers. This kind of infringement is something we have seen happen many times; and it can really damage a company’s prospects in a major market.
5. Be prepared to put stock and personel in China
Think about employing local agents or distributors in China to hold stock for you – it can make shipping easier. Whilst it might seem easier to ship from the UK – once you have thousands of orders coming in, you might change your mind!
6. Put your Chinese customers at the forefront of your mind
Think about having your website and product information professionally translated into Mandarin. It’s common sense to make sure that Chinese customers will be able to easily navigate your site and product range in their native language.
7. Put “Britishness” in pride of place
Consider putting a Union Jack logo on your products. “Made in Britain” it seems is being regarded as a major sign of quality. Tastefully emphasising the provenance of your products may increase their demand – if the current trend remains true.
Marketing for Professionals without Spending Megabucks (plus lunch!)
We’re delighted to welcome Joe Reevy of Best Practice Online to speak on this important topic on Tuesday 4th July at Sukhothai Leeds City Centre at 12pm.
Joe is one of those rare individuals who grew his legal business with double digit growth for more than a decade before leaving to set up his own practice. He now helps services – such as accountants and lawyers – grow their businesses using content marketing and automated processes. As a former accountant he knows a thing or two about value and return on investment!
His talk will include how to make email marketing work for you and how your content will position you as king of your field. It’s not one to be missed for any professional looking to boost their profile online.
Lunch is included with this talk and the investment is only £10. Please click the button below and complete the form on our website to register your interest. You will then be contacted shortly after to confirm your place and arrange payment.
It will be a fantastic event! We’re looking forward to seeing you. If you are unsure now don’t worry, we will remind your in our weekly newsletter over the coming month.
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Our weekly newsletter is written Liz Ward