A WeChat Pay logo is seen on a cashier desk of a shop at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, Canada, May 11, 2017. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
"Amazon is making shopping more and more convenient. Alibaba is making shopping more and more fun. These are two very, very different routes," Doreen Wang said. "We don't know which ecosystem will win in the end, but because it is more fun, it has more integration."
NEW YORK, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Western marketers intending to boost their brand strength have been learning from their counterparts in the East in terms of innovative brand building, especially in the realm of leveraging novel formats and social commerce, a senior professional said.
"Nowadays the West is learning from the East as well. Youtube is looking very closely to TikTok ... Facebook have (learned) great ideas from Wechat. Innovation right now are going both ways," said Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ, a brand equity database managed by market research firm Kantar Millward Brown.
She made the remarks during a discussion on global brand competitiveness on Wednesday evening here, which was host by CKGSB (Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business) Americas.
With the rapid global evolution of digital media, Wang and her company believe that brands have more ways at their disposal to differentiate themselves from competitors and to establish globally recognized brands than ever before.
BE BOLD TO USE NEW FORMATS
By talking about TikTok, or Douyin, a sensational short-form video app in China, Wang stressed that big brands should be bold to leverage new formats as an innovative approach to build up public exposure and interaction with consumers, so as to become increasingly relevant to their daily lives.
Photo taken on Feb. 13, 2019 shows the TikTok app icon (upper right corner) on a smartphone screen. (Xinhua/Shi Zhongyu)
"We always encourage a big brand to try a new format," Wang said. "TikTok's awareness in the United States is almost 99.5 percent among teenagers. In Europe, it's 99.8 percent."
She mentioned that French luxury brand Chanel has been sharing viral memes on the platform, which has made the brand "very, very relevant to consumers."
Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton are also among the first batch of brands in the luxury industry to expand their publicity territories on the Chinese social media site that is particularly popular among young people, according to Wang.
TikTok has been downloaded over 1 billion times globally, surpassing both Facebook and Instagram in app installs last year, according to statistics of U.S. research firm Sensor Tower.
SOCIAL COMMERCE LEADS INNOVATION
Another area that stands out in twining social network with commercial patterns in China is "social commerce," which merges brand engagement and online transactions into one, according to Wang.
In this aspect, she gave the example of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba, which integrates brand engagement, communications and transactions at one stop.
A giant screen displays sales on Alibaba's online marketplace Tmall for Singles' Day shopping spree in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 11, 2018. (Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)
"Instagram and Facebook have a little bit of commerce, but not as integrated as Alibaba," she said, adding that the one-day sales of Singles Day, China's annual shopping holiday, is five times bigger than that of Black Friday on average, which should be accredited to Alibaba's one-click consumer experience.
"Amazon is making shopping more and more convenient. Alibaba is making shopping more and more fun. These are two very, very different routes," Wang said.
"We don't know which ecosystem will win in the end, but because it is more fun, it has more integration," she said.
"This is perceived innovation," she said, adding that only when marketers make consumers feel such innovation can their brand value literally grow. ■