Change of Plans…

As the day for our official project proposal inches closer, I’ve been thinking more and more seriously about what I would like to research in China.  While my previous topic regarding gender roles would have been interesting to study, I realized I would much prefer to hone in on a research topic that was more interrelated with the world of business.  I was thinking about some ways that I would be able to do this, and just came up with a few tentative ideas.  I plan on finalizing these ideas after my meeting with David Lapinski, the career counselor for business majors, Thursday morning.  I am hopeful he will provide me with a lot of great ideas.  I am really excited to enhance my Chinese speaking abilities and cultural knowledge in China while also learning some relevant information about the business world!

I came up with 2 rough ideas, which are still subject to change until my meeting with Mr. Lapinski on Thursday.  Here are some thoughts:

1.) I think it would be interesting to learn more about brand awareness in China.  For instance, how important is it for school aged children to show off possessions with big name brands printed on them.  How important is it for kids to represent some brands over other brands.  What are the reasons?  I could hand out surveys in schools, and maybe perform my ethnographic research in a store in a shopping mall in Beijing.
2.) Another broad idea I’m considering is perhaps to look at the types of financial decisions different demographics in Beijing make.  For instance, do women have purchasing power?  If so, what kinds of things do they buy, and how do those businesses in China specifically cater to that group of people.  What about kids?  Are kids given the opportunity to buy things?  How much do kids preferences play a role in the world of marking in China?  What kinds of things do men buy, etc etc.


While I was exploring these topics, I came across an article in the New York Times entitled “China Tries to Solve Its Brand X Blues” which discusses the importance of brands in China.  The authors speaks to a personal experience he had in China, when sellers would scream out brand names, as opposed to the actual item they were selling.  As of 2008, there was not a single big Chinese brand.  “There is a powerful sense among Chinese consumers that domestic brands are inferior- and a distinct lack of confidence among Chinese companies in the allure of their own brands.”  What I would like to learn is why does no one trust these Chinese brands, and how can this change?  How can Chinese brands enhance their credibility and market their brand more appropriately?