Martin Kessler致力于品牌建设领域超过二十五年。在1995 年创办Process 普罗品牌进化之前，他曾在瑞士航空负责品牌工作，并曾在Wirz 传播集团担任副总裁。创立Process普罗品牌进化之后，Martin Kessler成功带领团队在苏黎世、上海与台北执行品牌、产品设计项目，对中国市场有着深厚的了解，并曾在台湾就设计与品牌的主题发表演讲，也是iF Taiwan 承办的设计竞赛奖项的评审。
Process普罗品牌进化 创始人 Martin Kessler（柯鼎言）
Year 2015 is the 20th anniversary of Process Group. As we know, you have rich experience in the branding industry. Could you please share with us your insights and opinion about the development trend of this field?
When we started in 1995, the whole communication and branding industry was slightly different. Most of the agencies had their special interest on their heritage, so as Advertisement, Public Relations, Marketing consulting or, in our case, Corporate Identity. It was quite common that agencies offered services covering nearly all disciplines of the market, and that was quite unprofessional, to be honest. After a few years, the leading agencies realized that managing a brand rather than doing all the work is more intriguing, therefore like Process, we started to focus on Branding. The competitive agencies developed the understanding, that a brand has to be managed by a centralized stakeholder, whether this function is located in the agency or on the clients side. Modern Branding is not just Corporate Design. It also involves how a brand communicate and interact with the audience and target groups. For those agencies, who are not strong enough to establish their own staff of brand specialists, they have to build up a strong network of professionals, who share the same goals and understanding.
With the development of technology and life style, the way of presenting brand at the same time became more and more dynamic. We are having more and more opportunities to express the attitudes in different approaches via different interface, different media, different solutions etc. This means the efficiency of message deliveries will be even more important than before. This also means that each individual receives more and more information day by day. Hence the brand message has to be even more consistent, and more concentrated. Managing a brand in different aspects will be even more important than ever before
China has a long history with great culture, just as Europe. However, most Chinese brands feel difficult to go to overseas market. In your eyes, what’s the main problem?
This relates to economic and cultural business background and history. While Marketing and specially Branding have a more than 100 years long heritage and history in the Marketing efforts in the West, those disciplines are not yet developed on the same level in China. Most of the time the country do not have a stable platform till the recent 20 years. This factor might limit the different commercial brands to have the great chance of growing its business and characters from a stable platform. So it is quite difficult for Chinese brands to go international when they are ready because the global platform is already filled with competitors.
But, since the mid 90’s, when China opens his doors for the outstanding countries, China is catching up missing knowledges in a very rapid and remarkable tempo. In economical closed markets, Branding does not have the breeding ground as comprehensive market field. Based on my experience and knowledge, whether Chinese would adapt, learn, and enter the international market would very soon no longer be an issue.
I think maybe some Taiwanese manufactures can be good examples. Back to 10 or 20 years ago, some of local Taiwanese factories were developing their own brands and then slowly playing more and more important roles in the gloabal market. Today, as you can see, some of them become quite famous brands worldwide. Maybe they are not the first-class-brand, but they have their own reputation and awareness in the market. So it is really a matter of time only. We have great confidence on Chinese brands too.
If Chinese brands want to be global, what strategy you will recommend to them? What’s the core element they should pay attention to?
In our understanding, the thinking and acting of Marketing driven companies follows some structural procedures, which are not be dependent on the market fields. Even you focus on the Chinese market only, you have to do your homeworks. The topics remains on the same taskes. We follows our 5 phases plan with Analyse, Strategy, Concept, Realization and Management. That’s what we do, whether our client is heading to the Chinese or international market.
In general, Chinese companies should have a better confidence at their core competence. By following the factor that we just discussed as above, we can see it’s still a long way to go for Chinese brands. However, many companies in China already reach a good or even excellent level of manufacturing. They just need time to brand themselves better in order to present the value properly. It’s just a matter of time.
In the Chinese market, many brands are good at marketing. However, the service and business management couldn’t match each other. That leads to the quick decline of these brands. In your eyes, what’s the relationship of service and marketing?
Let’s make a long story short. Deliver your target audience the promises you have communicated. Being transparent and honest is one of the basics in a state of the art marketing. Your customers and your competitors are mercilessly judging your market success. Be professional and competitive in everything you are doing. If not, then there is not reason for you to survive. Stand out of the crowd. Be unique and be credible. Then you will get your chance. Nothing more, but you will get a chance.
Just simply remember the reason you build the brand! Of course it is very important to make sure every touchpoint matches what the brand would like to be presented as just what is wished. That makes the whole thing difficult because we easily just give up some little details at certain points when facing budget or time issue. Stick to the right value and point for the clients! If you look into the various global brands, it’s all about the very first (and best) value or belief that they would like to create for the brand. There are three words for being successful: Consiseness, Consistency and Continuity.
Now we are in the digital age. Internet marketing is getting popular. What influence that the digital marketing can bring to local brands?
Internet marketing is not getting popular. Internet marketing is a must! The world gets more and more digital and there is no turning back. If we agree on this or we fear about this evolution: The reality has already reached our daily life. We believe that even local brands can’t ignore this fact. China has a good starting point regarding this topic. You have certain digital solutions in your daily life – I just think about the fantastic and convenient App «Didi» for the taxi industry, which are trend setters and are not available in most of the western countries.
We think, that China is well developed from the commercial activities on the internet. This will be a great foundation for the near future that digital marketing may take the purchasing habit to enhance the efficiency of brand communication, which in a way is saving a lot of money and resources. That could make the brands even more active and build up even more chances for reaching the right target, for communicating in the right channel and timing.
Which Chinese brands have impressed you most in the recent years? Why?
Alibaba. A inspiring and very successful brand, which demonstrates, that Chinese brands are able to run the market on a top level.
Or Didi, what we mentioned before. A business model, which is originated from an open economic and with a App solution, which would lead in every other market as well.
Then EWAI (www.ewai-group.com). An allegory for entrepreneurship in many categories. They re-structured and re-designed their whole product lines, build up a totally new visual identity and enlarge their influences in the market by merger acquisitions in Australia.
Lastly, Shang Xia is a nice example of a Chinese brand, which stepped successfully into global market and even into the world of luxury goods. This is even more impressive.
So we respect those «pioneer» brands a lot and hope those may provide some up-coming brands from China to take as the benchmark or golden sample for stepping into global market and provide service internationally.