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March 15, 2023

Episode Notes

Joanna Hutchins is an expert in brand growth and innovation, with extensive experience across various product sectors of the China market. Joanna also serves as an adjunct professor at Duke University’s China campus, and she has authored a new book titled Chinafy: Why China is Leading in Innovation and How the Rest of the World Can Catch Up. The book is scheduled to be released in March / April 2023 and will be available in stores in the US, UK, and SE Asia, as well as online globally.
In our conversation with Joanna, we learn about the evolution of the Chinese market over the past two decades and how major international organizations like Unilever (where Joanna worked) have found success in the region. We also discuss Joanna’s new book, Chinafy: Why China is Leading in Innovation and How the Rest of the World Can Catch Up, which offers a deep dive into China’s role in global innovation over the past decade, and what the rest of the world can learn from the market.
As an innovation expert, Joanna also highlights several emerging innovations expected to shape the Chinese market in the next five to ten years. We discuss the pace of innovation in China and the potential opportunities that exist for businesses to take advantage of this wave.
Our conversation offers a compelling look into the role of China in global innovation and how businesses can navigate the ever-changing landscape of the Chinese market.
Topics Discussed and Key Points: ●      Joanna’s new book
●      Influences that have led to the growth of domestic Chinese brands
●      The impact of China’s melamine milk scare on the branding landscape in the country
●      The era of multinational consumer brands in China and their dominance
●      The Unilever corporate master brand and how it was significant in marketing products in China
●      The early days of the internet and e-commerce in China
●      The role of e-commerce in addressing logistics and transportation challenges in second and third-tier cities in China
●      The intersection of design and business growth, and the importance of design in the China Market
●      Brand collaborations in China and why they make sense there, better than anywhere else
●      How China is an effective sandbox for brands to flex their design muscles
●      China’s innovation and influence on the West
●      BYD: a Chinese firm that has expanded its business from producing rechargeable batteries to selling electric cars and buses
●      Social commerce in China and the rise of Tik Tok as a marketing tool
●      The potential that exists in reverse innovation
●      The velocity of innovation in China
●      The future potential of China’s consumer brands
●      How technology can disrupt consumer segments