Friday, June 15, 2012
Made in China: Li-Ning Co
Made in China is gaining acceptance in the West according to a recent survey by Li-Ning, a leading Chinese athletic footwear and apparel company, found that a growing number of US consumers are willing to buy Chineseorigin products. Li-Ning Co, was founded by 1984 Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Li Ning, set out in 2011 to launch a sportswear line in the United States. The Beijing-based company partnered with Acquity Group, an e-commerce and marketing consultant, to help expand its US consumer base. They came up with Digital Li-Ning, a joint venture with a $10 million investment that entailed the launch of an online retail site, and development of a new apparel collection for the US market. Digital Li-Ning is based in Chicago. According to the study, there has been a significant shift in US consumers' perception of Chinese brands over the past five years. About 62 percent of Americans said they're more likely to purchase products from Chinese companies today than they were in 2007. Two consumer groups, "Millennials" from 18 to 25 years old and those with annual household income of over $225,000, were most likely to regard Chinese brands favorably. More than half of the survey respondents, according to Li-Ning, said they believe the quality of Chinese brands will measure up to US-branded goods in the next five years. Electronics had the highest favorability rating among categories of Chinese products, with appliance manufacturer Haier and PC maker Lenovo the best-known companies.