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During the past quarter of a century, Asia has risen to become the world’s factory. This trend has, however, coincided with the relative decline in value of manufacturing compared to other value adding activities, including R&D, design, and branding. This significant ‘‘value shift’’ has eroded the margins of manufacturing firms and sparked considerable interest among executives in Asia to design, brand, and market their own products. To date, though, this transition from being manufacturing oriented to becoming brand owners has largely only been accomplished by Japanese and Korean firms. In the rest of Asia–—including in the rising giants of China and India–—there are very few valuable brands. In fact, there is not a single Asian brand from a country other than Japan and Korea in Interbrand’s 2008 valuation of the world’s top 100 brands. Our article discusses, in depth, the challenges that Asian manufacturing firms encounter as they try to become ‘‘branders’’ and how these challenges can be overcome. Based on our collaboration spanning academia and consulting, we have been able to tap a wealth of information made available through research, case studies, and Interbrand’s database of completed brand related assignments across Asia.
The Branding Challenges Of Asian Manufacturing Firms

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