By Naseem Javed
Come August 24th, 2008, when the Olympics Games start with music and hymns and the torch lit the flame, the global spotlight will land on Beijing, and when the athletes march in unison to their beautifully-orchestrated national anthems, in the ultra modern stadium, the whole world will witness a sleeping giant, awaken to create a global shockwave. Like a nicely packaged, little gift box, a highly intense global consumer revolution will be let out to create ripples in global image shifts and perception consuming minds and like a tsunami will mostly wash over the busy production facilities of hundreds of nations parked far away.
China, the world's largest nation, now also the world's largest factory, satisfying the needs of consumers all over the globe with fascinating ease, high value and economical products nurturing new trends via mega-brands in mass consumer goods, technology, fashion, and all other aspects of life that have now influenced a new global nouveau consumerism.
Just read the latest messages in the fortune cookies, they will most probably tell you a deep message from Taoist scripture about soft humility, and a deep sense of aiming for victory. With intense hard work and patience, they have strived hard to make this dream a reality. All over the world, though, each country has developed its own opinion and nurtured it deep within its populace and modified its policies towards China. Nevertheless, one cannot deny the extraordinary strides that have taken place in China during the last few decades. With focus and determination, it has changed and progressed despite all the international oppositions. Today's China is far better than the China of decades ago and furthermore, as most Westerners are only limited to a Chinatown in their home city, they have tendency to judge all issues about this new super-power-country based on their encounters on that extremely limited standard. For any serious discussion now, a visit to China is certainly a prerequisite.
Today, China alone could break the Internet into small pieces, simply by creating its own exclusively Chinese network, capable of servicing a billion-plus online users. The armies of brand new products under development could dwarf the reach of western products in terms of quality, value and price. By simply adjusting its currency, it would make the global sub-prime crisis look like a joke. Basically, what was west doing over the last few decades in this international game? What really happened? Was China too fast or west too slow? The answer is both.
It seems Asian countries with the most populations to have more power as they can afford highly productive cheap labor, and interplay the technological advancement to maximum benefits, and become exporting nations for internal, economical turnarounds.
Does this create scary scenes for the west, with its aging populations, and little or no population growth, combined with their massive terrain to fill with innovation and traffic jams? The education standards and zeal to learn at the grassroots level is one the main ingredients of these sudden bursts of economical miracles, while the US has now placed last in high-school standards among the western world, and cannot justify such slips within its own long-term nation building.
Without a doubt, in this global image-positioning shift that has consumed the last many years of tactical play and challenging the western hierarchies of brands and their domination, China, India and many other Asian countries will now dominate the landscape and dictate the future of global nouveau-consumerism. Countries in Asia are rapidly deploying marketing, branding and image-building opportunities to create name brands that will circumnavigate the globe. Somehow, the same Western companies which, in a large majority, manufactured the entire production lines in Asia, and marketed them to the rest of the globe at 1000% markup, are in deep waters facing the intense competition from the same countries, who have learned the ropes, secrets and tactical strategies to go out and circle the wagons.
Games to Games
In the numbers game, China is leading on far too many fronts, from its number in exports to innovation and the global trade-marking of new ideas. From shocking prices in major consumable items to technology to biosciences, it appears that in this century for Asia, China and India will lead the race. Big time. During my marketing work during the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics, and having witnessed the boom and power of the West during that period, and how advance and targeted it was dwarfing the economies of the Asian countries, it will be quite amazing.
On August 24th, most of the Western and other global leaders may ponder about such dramatic shifts of global image perceptions and the ultimate global acceptance of China as the new world power of global nouveau consumerism. Fortune Cookie, please.
Naseem Javed is recognized as a world authority on Corporate Image and Global Cyber-Branding. Author of Naming for Power, he introduced The Laws of Corporate Naming in the 80s and also founded ABC Namebank, a consultancy established in New York and Toronto a quarter century ago. Currently, he is on a lecture tour in Asia and can be reached at email@example.com.
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