Following is an English translation of this article in the Huaxi Press
For Sichuan Enterprises Looking to Expand Abroad,
Localization and Branding are Key
Exclusive Interview with Miles Young, Worldwide Chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather Holds Global Directors' Meeting in Chengdu
Chengdu, China, May 13, 2013 - According to the most recent financial report, China has become the third largest global market for marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather. And today, Ogilvy chose to hold its global directors' meeting in Chengdu.
In an exclusive interview with Ogilvy & Mather's Worldwide Chairman and CEO, Miles Young, he tells us that as the economic center of Western China, Chengdu is the ideal location to hold Ogilvy's global directors' meeting. Through this, he hopes to let Ogilvy's executives experience and understand the vibrance and potential of Chengdu.
Upon hearing that the Huaxi Press is sending journalists around the world to interview Fortune 500 companies right before the Fortune Global Forum, Miles Young voiced his approval for this seemingly odd tactic. He says, having the media cover Fortune 500 companies could bring great learning opportunities for local businesses and provide motivation for future development.
Ogilvy's China Strategy: Strengthen outreach in second-tier cities
"In the near future, we will increase outreach in second-tier cities," Miles Young tells our reporters. Ogilvy is the first international marketing agency to enter the Western Chinese market, sharing in the opportunities presented by a rapid development in the region. In recent years, many multinational businesses have started expanding into Western China's second-tier cities as they realize the growth potential of the region.
"When considering which city to hold our board meeting in, Chengdu naturally became the best choice."
Miles Young says that by putting the global directors' meeting in Chengdu, Ogilvy not only considers the importance of Chinese clients, but also aims to show global executives the differences among Chinese cities. This allows them to understand that Beijing and Shanghai are not the only cities in China - there is a lot of potential in cities as Chengdu as well. Ogilvy has even arranged for Sichuan chefs to teach these global executives how to make Sichuan cuisine.
Witnessing a City's Change: Chengdu as the center of economic development in Western China
As early as 1997, Miles Young had already paid a visit to Chengdu. In 15 years, the massive changes that the city has undergone left a deep impression on him. Chengdu is, in his words, "relaxing, open, happy". "Chengdu's position as Western China's economic center has become increasingly apparently. It has found the direction of future development."
Currently, almost half of the Fortune 500 companies have established operations in Chengdu. As someone who interacts frequently with Fortune 500 executives, Miles Young reveals that these executives all have a deep understanding of Chengdu. Compared with other cities in China, Chengdu has a lot of character.
"Chengdu has a great promotional campaign, and it was the first Chinese city to come up with a catchy tagline," Miles Young thinks that the "Can do, Chengdu" slogan reflects Chengdu as a city whose actions speak louder than words, and this attitude resonates with foreign investors.
Encouraging Sichuan Enterprises to Go Global: Focus on understanding local culture, invest in branding
New Hope, Hongda, Bo Hong ... these and many more Sichuan enterprises are looking to "go global", investing in overseas markets and increasing their international visibility.
"In terms of brand building and international promotion, Sichuan companies still have a lot to work on," Miles Young points out that there are very few Sichuan companies who are marketing directly to international consumers.
In order to penetrate foreign markets, Sichuan companies need to customize their brands for each individual market. This step can be very tedious, but is absolutely necessary to create an international brand.
Helping Chinese enterprises enter the international market is an important part of Ogilvy China's strategic outlook. "Ogilvy China Practice was set up in New York to support our Chinese team in helping multinational Chinese companies adjust to the American market. This is a practice that we hope to strengthen as well."
Miles Young on the "Bilingual Special Issue":
Hopes to See More In-Depth Reporting
To welcome the Fortune 500 Global Forum, Huaxi Press specially launched a bilingual issue, and will again be publishing a "Bilingual Special Issue", piquing the interest of Miles Young. Upon carefully reading the English version, he suggested, "International readers would hope to see more in-depth reporting, as well as more commentary and analysis." He also indicated that the English headlines could be more succinct, engaging expressions which Western audience might be more familiar with.
"I hope to see more practical and nuanced reporting, not just positive stuff." Miles Young told reporters that as a foreign readers, he hopes to see more analyses of and solutions to difficult problems.
"At the same time, I have questions such as, why was Chengdu able to win these investment opportunities over other cities? How was Chengdu chosen among the long list of candidate cities?"