I recently came across a posting by a good friend, Jacob Johansen, a long term resident of Shanghai, and advertising extraordinarie. He writes about the exit from China of a leading European underwear brand, BB. His comments are priceless:

” BB is just one of many examples of companies and brands, who want China and think China automatically wants them.”

So true. And the comments equally apply to global restaurant chains who think the concept will work in China with no changes from their home country model.

Haagen-Dazs is a luxury dessert restaurant brand in China for young lovers. In Japan it is a popular convenience store purchase for office ladies. In the USA, it is moderately expensive supermarket brand for the broad middle class.

Yoshinoya in Japan is a small low price counter service guydon (beef bowl) chain primarily for salary men and retirees. In China it is a large QSR like KFC and McDonald’s for the whole family.

Pizza Hut is a popular priced pizza delivery service in the USA and Japan.In China it is upscale casual dining.

I hope everyone gets the point!

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