Aug.7 -- "To enhance the global influence of a city's brands, the city must open completely to the outside world and build up a business-friendly environment. Chengdu is doing quite well," Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, told NBD at the press meeting of the 12th China Brand Festival in Chengdu.
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia (Photo/Vince Xie)
To invigorate Chengdu's brand culture and increase the city's international influence, the 12th China Brand Festival, themed with "Persistence & Endeavour", will kick off on Aug 8, bringing together political and economic celebrities from home and abroad, experts in different fields, representatives with famous domestic brands and hundreds of entrepreneurs.
"Brands are the commanding heights of a city to fortify its global influence. Brands should have unique features. For example, when it comes to Chengdu, I think of delicious food, beautiful sceneries and beautiful people. However, other cities have the three elements as well. But when I think of Chengdu's uniqueness,the Dujiang Weir and pandas come into my mind," Wang Yong, chairman of the board of Brand Union, told NBD.
The festival opens with Chengdu features
The China Brand Festival serves as a communication platform for Chinese independent brands and has been making contributions to the industrialization and globalization of Chinese brands since its debut in 2007. It's praised as the Olympics of Chinese Brands.
The China Brand Festival this time incorporates many Chengdu features such as the Panel Discussion on the Strategic Development of Chengdu's Brands and Trip to Chengdu's Brands which show the charm of local brands to thousands of visitors and provide productive suggestions on their development, facilitating the construction of "Quality Chengdu".
During this Festival, more than 20 forums and parallel meetings will be held including the Development Forum on New Economy Brands & Unicorn Brands, High-level Forum on IT Industry Brands, etc.
As the center of Southwest China, Chengdu is promoting the municipal strategies to impress the world with excellent Chengdu brands.
Infrastructure, basis for city branding
"When building a city's brand, the first important thing is to optimize its infrastructure including high-speed transportation network and telecommunication system. When I visited Chengdu for the first time in 1986, the infrastructure was not so good. Now, Chengdu's infrastructure is well developed," Mr. Rudd told NBD.
He also took his direct flight yesterday from New York to Chengdu as an example to prove the great transportation connectivity of Chengdu.
When a city has mature infrastructure, what comes next to build up its own influential brand? In Mr. Rudd's opinion, openness and friendly business environment are also vital to build up a city's brand.
Mr. Wang Yong told NBD that "A unique brand can represent the unique temperament, style and competitiveness of the city. For instance, the romance of Paris and the finance of New York both embody their uniqueness."
He also expressed his wish for Chengdu that Chengdu could keep its unique characteristics during the branding process of the "Garden City". A city with a brand is equivalent to a person with a soul. For example, "unicorn island" is where Chengdu differs from any other cities.
Chengdu does well in city branding
"Recent years, Chengdu has done a lot of high-quality work about brand building," Xiang Songzuo, former chief economist of the Agricultural Bank of China, told NBD.
According to Xiang Songzuo's estimation, about 60% of the Fortune 500 companies have established presence in Chengdu. At the same time, local brands have made great progress over the years as well. Facing competition from the entry of international brands of the Fortune 500, local brands in Chengdu still have a long way to go.
Xiang Songzuo, economist (Photo/Cai Ding)
In the meanwhile, Mr. Rudd emphasized that no matter what brands a city is going to build up, they should have local features. Chengdu government is smart to develop its high-tech industry as a name card.
On the basis of Mr. Wang's branding experiences, he sums up five keys during a city's brand construction, determination, confidence, patience, sincerity and creativity. Only by achieving these, can a city's brand be easily spread and reached out to young generation and be accepted by mainstream consumers. Government, consumers, tourists and media should work together to enhance Chengdu's image.
"In my opinion, branding is the continuous interaction between consumers and enterprises," Mr. Wang Yong told NBD.