Branding is such a hot issue in domestic and global business that the government in China has called for a National Day to urge its growing business sector to focus on it each year.
Various countries in the past have used their country as a brand, notably Japan, Germany and the USA. Each country likes to promote “Made In …” branding to encourage its inhabitants to support the national products for economic reasons.
According to WorldsTopExports.com China exported US$2.119 trillion in 2016, 21.2% ending up in North America and 18.5% in Europe. The top 10 products the rest of the world wants from China include electrical machinery, computers and accessories, furniture, clothing, footwear and vehicles. Given China’s population of 1.4 billion people, the value of its 2016 exports translates to roughly US$1,500 for every resident in the country.
The printing consumables industry has also gained a strong foothold in China. Zhuhai, in southern China, has been named the printing consumables capital of the world with $7.65 billion of exports going to over 100 countries..
The Zhuhai brand, like the China brand, attracts thousands of businesses from around the globe to the more than 650 individual printing consumables companies located there. Many of these companies travel to events held around the world including PaperWorld in Germany, ITEX in USA and the RT Imaging Expos in Egypt and Mexico. An Egyptian visitor told RT Media today, “I gained around 20 new suppliers from the show in Cairo, mainly from China. Now I am making deals with some of them. In just two days RT Imaging Summit and Expo gave us a plate of gold.” Ayman Abdelbaset added, “Now I will visit China in 50 days, to follow up the great opportunities made during this expo.”
The Centre for Printing Consumables in Zhuhai reports 78.6% of ribbons, 68.4% aftermarket inkjet cartridges and 40.1% of aftermarket toner cartridges used in the world come from Zhuhai based companies.
Many of the individual printing consumables supplies companies in China area also busy going about developing their own brands as well. Four of them have floated their companies and allowed ordinary people, including Chinese, to be a part of their success as they grow domestically as well as internationally:
- Print-Rite, the first company to start the supplies business in China 35 years ago floated its subsidiary Zhuhai Print-Rite New Materials Corporation Limited in September 2016.
- Suzhou Goldengreen Technologies Ltd, the second largest OPC drum manufacturer in the world behind Canon reported in August 2016 that its public float at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange was oversubscribed 3,263 times.
- According to Reuters Hubei Dinglong, which was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2010 has a market capitalization just over CNY12 billion (USD1.8 billion) and is using the capital to roll up some of China’s better known, second-tier supplies companies and emerge as the region’s largest toner cartridge manufacturer.
- Apex Technologies which owns the Ninestar and Pantum brands, acquired the well know US brand printer manufacturer Lexmark in 2016 and pushed the brand into the top 5 OEM global printing brands behind HP, Canon, Epson and Brother. In 2015, Apex also acquired Static Control Components, arguably the best known supplier of cartridge components in the world, which is also based in the United States.
Top brand marketing gurus say that successful brands rely on experience as being the leading key factor that determines who will follow them. Consumers leave brands where a poor experience has taken place, or move to a new brand where a better experience can occur. Taking the lead in proclaiming a National Brand Day reveals China is finding out quickly what it needs to do to its advantage.