How HK marketers can help mainland factories survive downturn

September 07, 2015 16:16
WITTI makes smart lamps that can change color to distinguish between types of call or message received or the platform it came from. Photos: internet

In the face of excess production capacity and weakening market demand, mainland manufacturers are having a hard time.

To survive the downturn, many of them may need to transform or upgrade their operations.

However, by definition, makers are usually good only at their core business -- making things.

And for Chinese makers, that probably means making products for established overseas brands.

This is where Hong Kong marketers can help, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council says.

If a factory wants to switch track and start making original products, it will need product ideas, market access and a way to test market response before going into mass production.

Then they will need to have funding channels to support the new projects, branding and marketing knowledge to sell the products.

These are areas Hong Kong marketers are good at.

The report cites a young brand called WITTI and brand management company Inspride Plot as examples.

Inspride Plot launched 10 new brands for its clients which make consumer electronics, garments and foodstuff.

The maker of WITTI, a smart desk lamp that can be connected to a mobile phone via Bluetooth to send alerts and notifications from the phone, used to be an electronic plastics manufacturer.

Inspride Plot then helped the maker by providing it with product design and market analysis.

It also assisted the maker in the use of online resources to test market response to the new product ideas.

The project successfully raised money from US crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

Through the exercise, it also raised its profile among foreign distributors.

Precisely because of China’s slowdown, factory owners might be more open to change.

The weak market can turn out to be a great opportunity for Hong Kong’s pool of brand planning and management experts.

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EJ Insight writer