East Asian companies are increasingly positioning themselves as international players, carrying their corporate and brand identities across East Asia and beyond. Companies in the U.S. and Europe have, meanwhile, sought to compete for business in East Asia, with regionally targeted marketing campaigns of their own. The author points out that corporate identity—the names and symbols that businesses use to represent them in East Asia—must be defined differently than in the West in order to appeal to regional clients and customers. Faced with tough competition in terms of quality and cost, managers of corporate identity must be sensitive to linguistic and cultural factors in order to sell their products. This article summarizes the author's research on the linguistic and cultural factors pertinent to naming and visual identity issues and illustrates how strong sales in East Asia can be partially attributed to an appreciation of these factors. Bernd H. Schmitt is associate professor of business at Columbia Business School. Professor Schmitt has, taught executive programs and seminars throughout East Asia. He has held visiting appointments at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the China-Europe Management Institute in Beijing (China). This article was written while he was a visiting scholar at the China-Europe International Business School in Shanghai.
Corresponding author emailBHS1@COLUMBIA.EDU
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