I’m convinced that the only way brands can ever make money in China is if they have an unfair advantage.

You can get this in a number of ways. But the most accessible is control of branded traffic in China’s online marketplaces.

You’d think this would be obvious. But it isn’t.

Brands usually fail to build a defendable position. Some pay little attention to Chinese trademark laws and naming strategies. They don’t realize that China is a FIRST TO FILE, not RIGHT to file environment.

They hire lawyers who do sloppy work, or strategists that don’t do even basic (but vital) consumer research.

For example:

One of our clients can’t route their own brand traffic to their Tmall flagship because their lawyers failed to register the correct trademark in Chinese in the right categories.

But the copycats did.

They registered the brand’s trademark LEGALLY in the right categories while the brand’s own attorneys (registering late) didn’t bother to see how the products were being categorized.

So those copycats can use Tmall’s “demand routing” tools legally to squat on & control the brand’s equity.

It’s frustrating and depressing…

The moral of the story is simple…do the research BEFORE you activate.

And THEN we can really build something great.

#China #eCommerce #Activation #Trademark #UnfairAdvantage #ChinaBusiness