Marketers should fuel the “soul” of their brands, and not be preoccupied with an addiction to “crude” promotions, says Huawei’s China CMO Jeffrey Yang.
Speaking at the Festival of Media Asia Pacific (FOMA) in Singapore, Yang said marketers should pay greater attention to the “intangible” in the pursuit of brand differentiation – pointing to the similarity between human and chimpanzee DNA.
“The problem with the market is that it only focuses on what is tangible, physical, but not what is invisible. There is a difference,” said Yang.
“All things tangible exist to serve what is intangible. Take the smartphone: it comprises 10,000 components, but its tangibility serves the intangible, which is communication.”
Yang criticised the cruder marketing tone taken by many brands, including the use of nudity in promotions to create awareness: “This is what the advertising community in China has failed to understand so far. There is a lot of market noise, but not enough marketing going on, and too much crude language. This has caused the marketing efforts to go spiralling downwards.”
Marketers should look at the bigger picture, and consider balancing the “ying and yang” of their brands, by paying attention to the business equivalents of the ‘five elements’ – fire, wood, earth, water and gold – of Chinese philosophy, said Yang.
Consumer insight is also key, he said: “You need to understand your consumer by decoding big data. Not just understanding the point of purchase, but the clothes people wear, the headlines in newspaper, and what kind of products are displayed on the first floor of shopping malls. Only once you understand all this can you target your audience.”
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