Saturday, 27 August 2011

Website Launch!

So it's been quite awhile since we announced the soon-to-be launch of Sensu Communications' website - we know a few have been eagerly waiting for this so here you go folks -

This is only the first phase of our website and we are actively working on throwing some surprises in there for our fellow agency and client friends - so while this wait is over, another wait has now begun :)

Great big thank you to our creative partner - Orangy & Sweet Design and Communications - for the work over the past months, especially kudos to Wilfred Chung, our faithful web designer!

Enjoy and remember to check back for what we may have in store for you next!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Sensu Adds One More!

It is with pleasure that I officially announce the newest addition to our agency team - Ms. Dolly Shao

Dolly is a Partner Consultant here with us at Sensu Communications and we are very happy and fortunate to have her on board with us. Bringing over 10 years of marketing and strategic planning experience from Shanghai, China, Dolly is a strategic individual with an abundance of both industry AND cultural expertise. Canada is now home to Dolly, having been here for about 2 years, she has successfully completed her MBA program at the Schulich School of Business @ York University.

We are very happy to have Dolly join Sensu and did I mention...SUPERR excited for all the innovative work that we are going to bring to the multicultural marketing space as an agency! Dolly be also be a regular contributor to the Sensu blog, so follow closely to see what she has to say about multicultural marketing!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Future of Multicultural Marketing

The recent hype around Western imitations in China (Apple, Ikea, Subway etc.) have stirred up quite the controversy in China's ability to build global brands.


1.) China definitely has the ability to build brands
2.) Western consumers aren't aware of Chinese brands simply because they aren't the target market
3.) In the long run, the Chinese has the ability to not only build brands but INNOVATE brands
4.) China has a high pool of information workers, combined with skilled labour & lower production costs - this will enable them to go to market faster and more effectively than Western firms
5.) It's just a matter of time, the tides are set to change. Perhaps Western brands are reacting because they feel the emerging threat?


A discussion on LinkedIn has led to this thought provoking article:

Here is my response, that can be found on LinkedIn as well:

"I would beg to differ from the author of this article, perhaps the words of 'inability of Chinese business to develop their own brands" and "that's why Chinese brands flip" come too strongly and overgeneralized.

1.) Chinese businesses definitely have the ability to develop their own brands, more than you think they do.

Some of the top Chinese brands enjoy the same successes (if not more) than "western brands", i.e.) China Mobile, China Life, China Construction Bank, ICBC, Bank of China, Ping An, China Merchants Bank, TENCENT, MOUTAI, China Pacific, Lenovo, Tsingtao Beer ... and the list goes on. This is according to a brand value study conducted by Interbrand and Forbes China (really should question the degree of research that was placed into the article of our discussion here).

Many leading Chinese brands are not known to Western consumers simply because they choose not to enter the Western markets. To me, that’s smart business strategy – to focus on building domestic market share and penetration before stepping into someone else’s turf. Wait and watch how the tides will change when these Chinese firms finally decide that “the time is right”.

2.)"A supply side approach to entrepreneurship" - my understanding of this statement is that "Western brands are good at conducting consumer research while Chinese are known for supply of labour/finance, and this fundamental difference is the reason why Western brands succeed while Chinese brands fail."

If I understand correctly, then I must say I disagree with the statement. The success of western brands as they translate to ROI and sales revenue is largely related to the balance between production costs vs. advertising expenditures. Taking advantage of low wages and operation costs in China and other APAC countries enable Western brands to reap profits and hence, allocate more advertising budget towards brand building and research. This is not a matter of chicken vs. egg - it is simple, producing a viable product comes before building a brand, for what good is a brand that does not deliver on its core promise? China helps to lower production costs, which ultimately gives rise to advertising budgets and the ability to actually “build a brand”.

Conversely, if Western brands can take advantage of China's low labour costs and resources - then I dare ask: why is China in the midst of such scrutiny for leveraging the brand expertise of Western countries and customizing it to fit the local markets?

3.) To wrap up my comments, I urge everyone to read another article by Shaun Rein – “Chinese Companies Can’t Build Brands? Think Again.”"

Genius Idea!

Have you heard? There’s a female walking around New York City with four ipads attached to her head! How fascinating and genius of a marketing idea this is. You can watch the YouTube video below. What appears as an image of a female’s head attracts the curiousity of passerbys to get a closer look and here, there’s no doubt they have your attention. Then, the most curious who touch the ipad will then get a chance to interactively preview the pages of a trendy magazine. This is great! A unique but still, very effective way to hook, lure, and reel you in. This is especially rare in bustling cities like New York (we in Toronto can relate) where traditional outdoor advertising is often cluttered and dismissed.

Multicultural marketing is stuck in a limbo of traditional advertising and wanting to move forward to encompass more digital media and this type of creativity will definitely help any brand stand out in the marketplace.

Link to the video: