Archives: Emerging markets

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Retail distribution in Africa: challenge and opportunity

The economy in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to grow.  A handful of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, it has the world’s greatest population of young people and the number of middle class consumers – estimated to be 350 million – is booming. With such a growing, promising market, comes great … Continue Reading

In China, it’s use it or lose it or else, get to be well-known: lessons to draw from Burberry’s battle to defend its signature tartan

A brand iconic for its tartan-lined raincoats faces stormy weather in China (at least in a metaphoric sense).  Burberry — like other brands with a strong presence in the People’s Republic— confronts the challenge of protecting its trademark under Chinese law, and there are lessons to absorb from its experience.  Burberry is currently appealing a … Continue Reading

Brands look to adapt as austerity drive hits luxury goods sector in China

Increased scrutiny in China of the consumption of luxury goods appears to be contributing to slowing demand in certain sectors.  As previously reported, the case of Yang Dacai, a Chinese official who became the subject of an internet campaign focused on the many luxury watches he owned, led to public outrage and an investigation by … Continue Reading

Luxury in Lagos: Nigeria embraces extravagance

Nigeria is often said to be the African country with the highest growth potential along with Angola.  It is the continent’s most populous country (with over 168 million people) and, despite 50% of the population living in poverty, there are still over 60 million who are upwardly mobile in society — a number that exceeds … Continue Reading

Promoting worker safety at overseas factories — factory inspections may not be enough

Brand owners who manufacture goods overseas often retain third-party firms to conduct factory inspections, in part to ensure that the workers who make their products are treated fairly and work under safe conditions.  Inspections are central to The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, two pacts … Continue Reading

Can the Maasai tribe obtain IP protection for its name and images?

Africa’s Maasai tribe is thinking about trademarking their name and designs, the BBC has reported.  Isaac ole Tialolo, a Maasai leader and elder, who is also chair of a new organisation, the Maasai Intellectual Property Initiative, has, together with Light Years IP (an NGO which specialises in securing IP rights in developing countries), been travelling … Continue Reading

Manufacturing in an emerging market: 10 things to include in your contract

Global apparel brands are facing uncomfortable questions about their brand values in the wake of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh where 1,127 people died.  The disconnect between the brand values promoted by companies using the factory and the reality of appalling working conditions and fundamental lack of rights for workers … Continue Reading

The Rise of E-Commerce in China: What Does it Mean for Premium Brands?

The CovBrands team in Beijing relies on e-commerce for day-to-day shopping.  With clothes, office supplies, electronics, and even groceries only a click away and often delivered the same day, we almost never need to set foot in a physical store.   And we are not alone.  In China, e-commerce is growing quickly, generating $190 billion in … Continue Reading

Is India the answer to the increasing costs of production in China?

With wages increasing in China some manufacturers are looking at alternative production centers.  For manufacturers seeking low labor costs, India is appealing and may represent the next frontier for manufacturing, but is it viable option? A 2010 study by America’s Bureau of Labor Statistics found that, at just under a dollar an hour, India’s labor … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Wedding dress try-on fee fails to protect fashion design copyright; Vera Wang’s Shanghai salon scraps fee following criticism

CovBrands has just learned that Vera Wang will no longer charge brides-to-be an almost $500 fee to try on gowns at her Shanghai salon. (We previously reported on the try-on fee, and resulting outrage, here.) The label apparently rescinded the fee in response to widespread criticism. In addition, the fee was apparently unsuccessful at protecting the … Continue Reading

Will a wedding dress try-on fee protect a fashion designer’s copyright in China? Vera Wang intends to find out

Many a bride-to-be has dreamed of walking down the aisle in her very own Vera Wang creation.  Known for their femininity and elegance, Vera Wang wedding gowns have been worn by celebrities such as Chelsea Clinton, Mariah Carey, and Kim Kardashian.  So as you can imagine, the CovBrands team in China was thrilled to learn … Continue Reading

China’s top 50 brands 2012

China’s top 50 brands On December 4, 2012, WPP published its third BrandZ Top 50 Chinese Brands annual report.  According to this report, Chinese companies value their brands and are investing in good branding more and more.  Here are some highlights from the Brandz report: The total value of the top 50 most valuable Chinese … Continue Reading

Geographical indication status awarded to Darjeeling tea

Darjeeling tea, renowned for its smooth and mellow taste and often referred to as the “Champagne of teas”, has recently received protected geographical indication (PGI) status by the European Union. Darjeeling tea, famous for its luxurious quality and named after the city located in the mountains near the border with Nepal where it is grown, … Continue Reading

Liquor crisis in China could create opportunities for foreign brands

To some people in the outside world, “Made in China” means low quality.  Most Chinese people recognize that, and some even have their own blacklist of domestic products such as certain brands of milk and cooking oil.  Now they have one more category of products to add to their list: Chinese liquor, or bai jiu. … Continue Reading

Chinese officials flaunt luxury goods; attract public backlash

A Chinese official was recently fired after an internet campaign revealed that he owned 11 luxury watches.  The official, Yang Dacai, claimed he purchased the watches with his modest civil servant salary, but Chinese internet commentators countered that Yang could not possibly have afforded them on just his legitimate income.  The Chinese Communist Party is … Continue Reading

Is the future for Bangladeshi apparel workers getting brighter?

Tesco has joined forces with the British government to set up the Apparel Skills Foundation in Dhaka, Bangladesh with the goal to train suppliers, middle managers, and workers in the garment production industry. The Skills Foundation’s center is open to all garment producers in Bangladesh — even those used by Tesco’s competitors.  Current production lines … Continue Reading