Chinese Wine And Spirits Industry Highlight Language And Brand Awareness
Leading names from the Chinese wine and spirits industry held a panel discussion in Hong Kong during the last days of March, in which they stressed the importance of language and increasing brand awareness for the industry in China.
The panel was led by Ian Harris, chief executive for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the British organization regarded as one of the world’s foremost educators in the field of wines and spirits, and included other big names in the industry.
Language was considered important due to a trend revealed by data from WSET’s research, which showed that a considerable part of the WSET education across China are held in English, not in native Chinese. Data also shows this trend is prevalent in Hong Kong, which has 85% of WSET education in English, compared to the close to half everywhere else in the country.
The panelists have decided that lower-level WSET education, such as entry-level L1 and L2, should be offered in both English and the local tongue for increasing brand awareness in the country, whilst the higher educational levels should remain in the business world’s lingua franca, English.
Across the world, brand names and ad campaigns find the language barrier to be a notable issue in getting their point across, with specific phrasings in ad campaigns being lost in translation.
Panelists have expressed their opinions regarding the matter, stating that they themselves have run into issues with the language barrier in their works in the industry. Wellcome Supermarkets HK’s merchandising manager of Beers, Wines and Spirits, Mr. Sean Robson, has stated that even customers can agree on the language issue, with patrons in supermarkets ending up confused with regards to branding and product names. He adds that for the more remote areas, those more rarely in-contact with the international market, the more familiar brands are more sought after, stating that this is where good marketing comes into play.
Lead panelist, Ian Harris closed the panel, has expressed his opinion that the key thing now is to inspire people into the industry, stating that real tasting experience as important in the field.