From the past week’s happenings, news and notes of interest for companies selling into, finding partners in, and raising capital from emerging economies:
The Oreo turns 100 years old this week, but in China, would an American Oreo even recognize itself? Well, turns out maybe not, but then again, neither would the ubiquitous American potato chip, which in China is available in interesting flavors like cucumber and blueberry!
I often tell people who ask how I met my wife that I married out of a combination of love and life-long access to pork products. She, being the daughter of a successful hog farmer in southern Michigan, has never been sure what to make of this. We would both be equally perplexed – and interested – at Dunkin Donuts’ plan to launch pork flavored donuts in China.
In South Africa, Walmart finally receives the go-ahead to acquire the retailer Massmart. This strategy initially helps Walmart grow in South Africa, but many industry analysts believe it will serve as a beachhead for the company to expand into other parts of Africa as well.
Vietnam is working on a way to incorporate gambling as part of the state’s revenue. It makes for an interesting challenge given the country’s government calls gambling a “social evil”; however, other parts of the region have shown the inexorable link between having a vibrant gambling offering and tourist traffic, something Vietnam will need to pursue if it wants to become a regional destination for China’s outbound tourists.
Interesting reflections on L’Oreal’s use of sports marketing in China by Joel over at China Observer. Of note is how they managed to both use this advertising channel to educate consumers, but also how the interactive dimension allowed them to capture key information that will guide future product and marketing strategies.
As the world debates the virtues of deep versus shallow globalization, even emerging economies are getting better at using the rules of the game to make points and guide their own domestic and international priorities. A great example of this happening was this week’s export ban by India of cotton exports to China. The story used to be how developed economies and emerging economies interacted within the context of WTO matters; now it is increasingly obvious that the same policy framework is guiding how emerging economies deal with one another.
Great OpEd from Ranjani Iyer Mohanty over at the WSJ titled “Why the Big Fuss About Starbucks in India?” My favorite line from the piece: “And the Starbucks product in India is not really coffee. What the company sells is a slice of cool, young and urban American life. It will be a smart, slick, Wi-Fi connected, non-alcoholic hang-out space for well-heeled young adults (of whom there are a vast and growing number in India), with sounds of Putumayo world music playing in their ears and visions of Microsoft dancing in their heads.”