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Thread: Inter's Branding (Mis)Adventure in China

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    Inter's Branding (Mis)Adventure in China

    I recently read a lot of posts on FIF regarding how our China tour hurt our branding. Perhaps many people here don't understand the challenges of brand building very well. Or maybe their frustration stemming from our shitty displays in China is momentarily clouding their thought process. Purely from a brand perspective, our trip to China was hardly a failure. Let me state a few points on why I would consider our China tour a success from a brand building point of view:

    1. Brand building is not a sprint, its a marathon. This tour was just a small step in the gradual multi-year process of building our brand in China. This isn't our first trip there, nor is this going to be our last. Our performance in those games makes very, very little difference in the whole scheme of things.

    2. Brand recall & recognition: Every football fan in China knew we were there. It was big news. Being there was far, far more important than how we played. The PR that we did between games is 90% of the battle. That is probably why we booked this trip in the first place.

    3. Brand association: Didn't hurt that we played Real Madrid, Bayern and Milan. Brands grow by associating with bigger brands, even if we got clobbered on the pitch.

    4. Brand loyalty: We already have a huge following in China. Please do not assume that Chinese fans are more fickle than us here. Imagine yourself in China, realising your dream of watching Inter in flesh for the first time - do you really think the score or performance will put you off Inter? More likely, you will be excited just to be there, and will leave the game a much bigger fan irrespective of the score/performance. If you think these guys will stop supporting us because we lost a few friendlies, you better think again:



    5. Brand growth: How many people at FIF started supporting Inter because we played well in a friendly? We don't need a survey to know the answer to that question. Most countries in Asia have as good (and sometimes even better) TV coverage of top leagues and CL than we do in Europe. The brand will grow with what we do on the pitch in Serie A, and more importantly in the CL. The brand following will grow when we make bold, big moves in the transfer market. The brand will grow with consistent & frequent trips/PR in China. The score/performance in a few friendlies will have negligible impact either way. So if Mancini used the tour to focus on fitness/tactics, he is perfectly justified.

    I wouldn't be surprised if our (probably fake) interest in signing Zheng Linpeng created more interest/excitement in China than Milan's better performances. So if you are disappointed about our shitty performances in China, I can understand that. I am disappointed too. But lets not over-react and call it a failure in brand building or a missed opportunity. It clearly wasn't.

    (A large part of this article has been taken from my post in the Mancini thread - I think this is the right place for the content. If you read it there, you needn't read it here again.)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluenine View Post
    (A large part of this article has been taken from my post in the Mancini thread - I think this is the right place for the content. If you read it there, you needn't read it here again.)
    Thanks for saying this at the very end of the article



    Good post, though.

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    Inter's Branding (Mis)Adventure in China

    Yeah right.

    If you think losing every game and play like shit leaves a positive impression for people who don't really know inter is, think again.

    Put it this way, while we were able to get in contact with our existing Chinese fans, we did hardly anything to reach new fans.

    Definitely less than the likes of Madrid.

    For example, I definitely didn't become a fan of USA under 20 when I went to watch them in u20 World Cup.

    And the coverage of Serie A is only decreasing every year, the channels all prefer EPL and La Liga, and recently they even prefer Roma and Napoli to our games.

    I think you are pretty much clueless what's happening in Asia. Especially in China, for every Inter fan, there is pretty much 10 Arsenal, Man Utd fans, and that ratio is only going to increase if we don't display better performance in following seasons.

    Yes, we can probably retain the fans who are already our fans, but we did ourselves no favour in leaving an impression in China.

    If we made a first step, then it was a very small first step, one that a cripple would make.
    Wallace


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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallace View Post
    Yeah right.

    If you think losing every game and play like shit leaves a positive impression for people who don't really know inter is, think again.
    Dude, I never can tell when you are being serious and when you are being sarcastic. I will assume you are being serious here. I can assure you that EVERY European football fan in China KNOWS about Inter. Just like every fan in India. Or in England.

    And my next point was that winning a few friendlies will hardly make anyone convert into an Inter fan. And losing these friendlies will not make us lose fans. The tour is important to stay current and excite your existing fan base. To grow our fan base in China (and elsewhere), we need to make an impact in the CL, the transfer market, etc.

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    This is simply one way to look at things, that doesn't mean it's the only way.

    Why do car companies that we all know about, spend billions advertizing every year? Each coming up with innovating and captivating commercials to out compete each other? Same for cell phone manufacturers, or anything that has mass awareness already.

    This was not to gain fans or recognition but to tap into a market, whilst competing against far more popular teams. This was not a "Hey, we're Inter, watch us play and become a die-hard Interisti" it was more of a "Hey, we're Inter, what you saw today was just a preview of what to expect from us, and you can catch more when the season starts or whenever you see us on TV". Part of Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid's massive appeal is that people who aren't even fans watch their games, because more times than not they are exciting matches.

    The reason why sponsors pay so much for those clubs is because the larger audience to them represents a large return on investment. Sure, their fan bases are greater than ours, but I can almost guarantee, so is the number of neutrals watching as well, and with good reason to, why would anyone who is not a fan of ours or the other team want to spend 2 hours of their time watching our games that aren't entertaining, where we don't score goals or even win. That's the state of the Inter brand right now.
    Best match thread opener ever.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyall View Post
    This is simply one way to look at things, that doesn't mean it's the only way.

    Why do car companies that we all know about, spend billions advertizing every year? Each coming up with innovating and captivating commercials to out compete each other? Same for cell phone manufacturers, or anything that has mass awareness already.

    This was not to gain fans or recognition but to tap into a market, whilst competing against far more popular teams. This was not a "Hey, we're Inter, watch us play and become a die-hard Interisti" it was more of a "Hey, we're Inter, what you saw today was just a preview of what to expect from us, and you can catch more when the season starts or whenever you see us on TV". Part of Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid's massive appeal is that people who aren't even fans watch their games, because more times than not they are exciting matches.

    The reason why sponsors pay so much for those clubs is because the larger audience to them represents a large return on investment. Sure, their fan bases are greater than ours, but I can almost guarantee, so is the number of neutrals watching as well, and with good reason to, why would anyone who is not a fan of ours or the other team want to spend 2 hours of their time watching our games that aren't entertaining, where we don't score goals or even win. That's the state of the Inter brand right now.
    All I am saying is that its far more about the "Hey, we are Inter" bit, and much less about the "what you saw today was just a preview of what to expect from us, and you can catch more when the season starts or whenever you see us on TV" bit that FIF seems to care about so much. It a friendly, not a preview.

    Lets not assume that the Chinese are dumb fucks who don't realise that these are just glorified training sessions. If the entertainment bit in a friendly was so important to market clubs, do you not think all clubs would have played a crazy attacking game? Do you really think clubs like Real, Bayern, Inter, Milan are all run by muppets who don't understand the basics of marketing?

    The only way we will make big inroads into the Chinese (and asian) markets is if we win big in the CL or sign some world class players (or local market players). Entertaining in friendlies does not win fans in Europe, and ditto for Asia. We have to be entertaining, and more importantly successful in games that really matter.

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    As a long time Inter fan and currently working in China, I'd like to point out a few things I've noticed. As the most common football shirts I see around here are definitely Barcelona and Real Madrid. Ofcourse the reason for this is due to their players and success. However I'd like to point out that the people here don't just change teams just because a particular one is doing so bad. Its pretty much like us, we pick a team and stick to it, the only difference is that people here tend to have a bigger variety of choices to support a club as the Chinese league isnt so great. Chinese Inter supporters get that we are not the club we once were but they stick to their chosen club. In fact Chinese seem to be more loyal to their teams to what I've seen back in England. Oh and if anyone wants to know, I see more Italian football shirts than English whenever I go to play football. Even have a few Inter and Milan tops on my team .


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    Inter's Branding (Mis)Adventure in China

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluenine View Post
    Do you really think clubs like Real, Bayern, Inter, Milan are all run by muppets who don't understand the basics of marketing?
    Yes, for us, yes.
    Wallace

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    where can i buy inter magazine? do inter.it sell it?do Inter even create a magazine like Manu or Arsenal or Chelsea?

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    Talking about inter brand is like figuring out how to polish a turd. It might work with Justin Bieber, it wont work in sports.
    Team #Dare2Mazzari #Messi4Inter #Messi4AsadoClan

  14. Thanks (1): Bluenine

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    Please close this thread. It makes us look even more mediocre.
    Spoiler: text 

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.l.i View Post
    Please close this thread. It makes us look even more mediocre.
    How does it?

    Discussing how to become a better worldwide brand and whether our playing/business and marketing expeditions were successful is hardly 'mediocre'.

    If anything, it shows we are a forward thinking fanbase, constantly looking for ways to move the team forward on and OFF the field!

    Great thinking in this thread so far. I love perspective.

    From my point of view, I agree with the idea that we weren't going to gain a HUGE LOAD of new supporters. It was more about going over there and giving our loyal supporters (and even our not so loyal supporters) a taster of Inter football, and European football.

    It probably won't make the Asian fanbase flood over to the Meazza, nor will it necessarily make us the biggest supported team in China, but it just might give our fans an experience they will remember forever. Like 'Hey, I saw my team Inter in my home country!'

    That, for me, is enough. The fans out there are so so passionate (from experience) and they honestly deserve it. Results aside, what a great thing to be a part of.
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