Come Aug. 24, when the Olympic Games start with music and hymns and the torch lighting the flame, the global spotlight will land on Beijing, and when the athletes march in unison to their beautifully orchestrated national anthems, in the ultra-modern stadium, the whole world will witness a sleeping giant awaken to create a global shock wave.
Like a nicely packaged little gift box, a highly intense global consumer revolution will be let out to create ripples in global image and perception. Like a tsunami, it will mostly wash over the busy production facilities of hundreds of nations far away.
China, the world’s largest nation, also is the world’s largest factory, satisfying the needs of consumers all over the globe with fascinating ease, high value and economical products. It has begun to nurture new trends in mass consumer goods, technology, fashion and all other aspects of life that have now influenced a new global nouveau consumerism.
Writing on the Cookie
Just read the latest messages in the fortune cookies — they will most probably tell you a deep message from Taoist scripture about soft humility, and a deep sense of aiming for victory. With intense hard work and patience, the Chinese have striven hard to make this dream a reality.
All over the world, though, each country has developed its own opinion and nurtured it deep within its populace and modified its policies toward China. Nevertheless, one cannot deny the extraordinary strides that have taken place in China during the last few decades.
With focus and determination, it has changed and progressed along its own path despite all the international opposition. Today’s China is far better than the China of decades ago, and furthermore — as most Westerners are only limited to a Chinatown in their home city — they have tendency to judge all issues about this new superpower based on their encounters within that extremely limited standard. For any serious discussion now, a visit to China is certainly a prerequisite.
A Huge Force
Today, China alone could break the Internet into small pieces simply by creating its own exclusively Chinese network, capable of servicing a billion-plus online users. The armies of brand-new products under development could dwarf the reach of Western products in terms of quality, value and price.
By simply adjusting its currency, it would make the global sub-prime crisis look like a joke. Basically, what was the West doing over the last few decades in this international game? What really happened? Was China too fast or the West too slow? The answer is both.
It seems Asian countries with the largest populations have more power, as they can afford highly productive, cheap labor and use technological advancement to maximum benefit, turning their economies around and becoming exporting nations. Does this create scary scenes for the West, with its aging populations, and little or no population growth, combined with their massive terrain to fill with innovation and traffic jams?
The education standards and zeal to learn at the grassroots level is one the main ingredients of these sudden bursts of economic miracles, while the U.S. continues to slip in high-school standards among the Western world and cannot justify such slips within its own long-term nation building.
Without a doubt, in this global image-positioning shift that has consumed the last many years of tactical play and challenged the domination of Western brand hierarchies, China, India and other Asian countries will now dominate the landscape and dictate the future of global nouveau-consumerism.
Countries in Asia are rapidly deploying marketing, branding and image-building opportunities to create name brands that will circumnavigate the globe. Somehow, the same Western companies that manufactured the entire production lines in Asia and marketed them to the rest of the globe at 1,000 percent markup are in deep waters facing intense competition from the same countries, who have learned the ropes, secrets and tactical strategies to go out and play the game themselves.
Games to Games
In the numbers game, China is leading on far too many fronts, from its number in exports to innovation and the global trade-marking of new ideas. From shocking prices in major consumable items to technology to biosciences, it appears that in this century for Asia, China and India will lead the race. Big time.
Through my marketing work during the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, and having witnessed a boom in the power of the West during that period, and how advanced and targeted it was dwarfing the economies of the Asian countries, it will be quite amazing.
On Aug. 24, most of the Western and other global leaders may ponder about such dramatic shifts of global image perceptions and the ultimate global acceptance of China as the new world power of global nouveau consumerism. Fortune Cookie, please.
Naseem Javed is recognized as a world authority on Corporate Image and Global Cyber-Branding. Author of Naming for Power, he introduced The Laws of Corporate Naming in the 1980s and also foundedABC Namebank, a consultancy established in New York and Toronto a quarter century ago. Currently, he is on a lecture tour in Asia and can be reached at[email protected].