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Asian brands

what Asian brands speak to you? (David McCaughan wants to know)

Members: 6
Latest Activity: Dec 9, 2010

David's question:

I have a question ... I am working on a project on " the next asian brands" ... where they are coming from, where they will come from, where they will go, how they will get there. Not the SONY, Toyota, Samsung thing ... not even the Uniqlo, BB, Tata Nano round .. but the next round of asian brands.

" tell me about an asian brand you had absolutely never heard about two years ago but now forms part of your regular life be it home, work, social or private ... the brand , the country, why you like it, how you found it" ??

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Comment Wall

Comment by Grant McCracken on March 24, 2010 at 4:40pm
Pete, splendid, thanks for the head's up, I will put this on my screen. Best, Grant
Comment by Pete Heskett on May 28, 2010 at 1:21pm
Hey Grant,
I've started a blog which I hope you'd feel is in line with the CCO creed - just tweeted you this but am trying to achieve saturation media coverage.
I've been based in Asia for five years and my role is partly regional partly global - I travel a lot and take photos. The blog is the world through the eyes of Planner and his camera.
Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and of course would be grateful for a tweet in its direction to help increase my reach :)
All the best,
Comment by Dave McCaughan on June 6, 2010 at 7:46pm
Thanks Pete ... sorry it took me a week to catch this ... sorry Grant I know I should check CCO more often. Amazed then that we have not run into each other if you have been in Asia for a while. Where ?? I am in Tokyo now but in asia for 15 years all over.

Thanks too for the comment and PilingPalang ... i will do due diligence on that one.

I am trying also to spot asian brands that have developed a mythology that is / will stand them well as they try to grow. Like Son-san at Softbank or Li Ning or the whole Singapore Girl thing of days past. The debate I am in now is how much a "myth" is cynically created or evolves from a kernal of intrigue. All thoughts and ideas welcome.
Comment by Pete Heskett on June 7, 2010 at 2:35am
Hey Dave,

I'm based in Singapore working with JWT doing a regional job across SEAsia although I spent three years helping to set up BBHs operation in China.

One really exciting Indian brand is Himalayan Water which is manufacturing a fabulous mythology. I've blogged about it here:

Another interesting brand that has started up in China is Song Fang - a gourmet tea retailer. It is fairly niche but is part of what will be an interesting trend to watch which is Chinese/Asian gourmet culture as opposed to it all being about Champagne, oysters, and foie gras.

My favourite Chinese brand currently is the bar chain 'Bar 88'. Its basically a brand that has emerged from Chongqing and is conquering the whole of China with its raucous brand of entertainment/bar culture. Its a thoroughly kitsch and tacky experience but is fantastically honest and real - more chandeliers than you thought was possible to fit in one space, strange performances throughout the evening such as Chinese models in skimpy nurse uniforms doing a turn followed by a hiphop artist rapping for greater respect between men and women. It's totally crazy but is massively popular. I visited on a Monday evening in Shanghai at 1pm and it was still full. I think this trend/counter-trend of 'lower-tier' Chinese brands/fashions will rise to compete with the International pretentiousness of Shanghai entertainment and the arty-pretensions of Beijing nightlife. The website is only in Chinese but if you visit Shanghai it is a must see!

For me Li Ning has the mythology of its founder but nothing else. It comes across as a very 'me too' kind of brand that has little originality. I hope they sort that out soon as it is one of the few Chinese brands which currently could transition easily to be a global brand if it could crack a great positioning.
All the best,
Comment by Pete Heskett on June 7, 2010 at 2:36am
One more - Banyan tree is a truly authentic Asian brand with an amazing mythology....
Comment by Dave McCaughan on June 7, 2010 at 8:25pm
thanks Pete

Guess you know I am like the "grandad" of planners in Asia .. certainly been around the longest. Next time I am in Singapore we should hook up for a chat. Give me your email address.

Banyan tree is a classic. I am really going to see how it rolls outside the region ( a friend just visited their Mexico resort and noted thatwhile it was "great" there was a sureal feeling in having Thai service with mexican accented english.

Another brand I am noticing a lot of people talking about is Thana. What is intetresting is the number of women in north asia who are able to recite all sorts of facts and wisdoms about the brand. What is interesting is that when I ask them how they cam by that knowledge they just can't say. so the mythology is really true WOM.

Comment by Pete Heskett on June 8, 2010 at 6:20am
Hey Dave,
I haven't heard of Thana - tried googling but didn't get anything, can you forward a link?
My email is or
Yes would love to meet if you visit Singapore. I should be coming to Tokyo some time in July as well so will look you up when that gets fixed.
All the best,
Comment by cristiana schiavolin on July 26, 2010 at 12:35am
hi, dave
just few coming to my mind now…PROJECT SHOP ( in singapore for having evolved from fashion to lifestyle and contributed to the retail scene “soft revolution”; DIN TAI FUNG restaurants ( taiwan for the consistency of their products through their franchisees and knowledgeable service of the staff; CITY SUPER from hong kong for being a successful jap-chino enterprise offering experience in their shops; ORIX LIVING japan for adding a bit of style to elderly lives.
and then, have you seen the “made in china” advertising clip on BBC?

hope it helps


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