Manage episode 362900782 series 3363852
Christian Klepp, Co-Founder of EINBLICK Consulting, explains that as a “third culture kid” he grew up in Austria, the Philippines, Singapore, and Germany, landing in China as a young adult. This experience of living across countries gives him and other second- or third culture kids the appreciation and ability to navigate cultures since they’ve had to do so from a young age.
It's fascinating to hear about how Christian helps Chinese-speaking clients enter the Canadian and US markets, the perfect complement to his past experiences helping English-speaking companies enter China.
He shares a story about a medical device company that entered China with the attitude of “what got us here, will get us there.” Instead of taking the time to understand the market for their non-invasive blood sugar measuring device, the company assumed doctors would promote the device to their patients, not knowing that such practice is prohibited. Instead, hospital procurement teams must approve the use of any new device; doctors can recommend devices to the procurement teams but not directly to patients. This adds another layer of relationships to the sales cycle that the team could not anticipate because they did not hire a Chinese partner connected into the health system for the launch in China.
In addition, 90% of people in China are on their cell phones looking to key opinion leaders (KOLs) for information on doctors and healthcare. Mobile marketing and social media are more influential in China than in other markets.
Christian also talks about the importance of accurate translation and cultural adaptation. China is a big country segmented by tiers of development; major cities along the east coast have a much different standard of living than rural communities, so what might work in the city could be different than in rural areas. It’s also important to be mindful of the spoken and written Chinese language. Although there are hundreds of dialects, there is only one written language. People may not be able to speak to each other, but they can write to communicate.
Christian shares some interesting case studies about brand name translation:
- Siemens translated its name to 西门子, phonetically pronounced Xī mén zǐ. The literal meaning is “West Gate Child” or “Child of the Western Gate,” which worked well for Siemens as the characters didn’t have offensive or hidden meanings.
- BMW translated its name to 宝马, phonetically pronounced Bǎomǎ and meaning “Precious Horse.” Again, no offensive or hidden meanings.
- AirBnB wasn’t so lucky. The company picked 爱彼迎, phonetically pronounced Ài bǐ yíng. The selected characters seemed appropriate, signifying “love,” “mutual,” and “welcome,” words that align with the company’s mission of creating neighborhood communities around the world. Yet they didn’t test the name or consider the message of combining these characters and ended up with a name that sounded like a “sex toy shop,” a “condom brand,” a “matchmaking website,” or a “brothel,” according to comments on social media. Eventually they pulled out of the market due to the naming issue and fierce competition.
To wrap up the interview, Christian talks about what Canadians and Americans can learn from Chinese culture. Listen to the full episode if you’d like to know more.
Company website: www.einblick.co
Podcast ("B2B Marketers on a Mission"): https://www.einblick.co/podcasts/
Connect with Wendy - https://www. linkedin. com/in/wendypease/
Connect with Christian - https://www.linkedin.com/in/christian-klepp-einblickconsulting/
Music: Fiddle-De-Dee by Shane Ivers - https://www. silvermansound. com