The Olive Way E-Newsletter
How Is Your Business Represented?
In August 2004, CV Technologies Inc., now Afexa Life Sciences Inc., teamed up with Don Cherry, NHL hockey commentator. This partnership, with Cherry as its spokesperson, turned the company around from the edge of bankruptcy. Today, COLD-fX®, an all natural solution for the prevention and treatment of colds and flu, has become a popular over-the-counter remedy, outselling even Tylenol as a cold fighter in Canada.
Afexa’s story proves the power of marketing and the leverage of celebrity endorsement. It shows even a solid product cannot sell itself without market awareness and recognition. Yet a credible representation can help a product or service reach desired markets in magic ways. To those with an eye to the ROI, it is not a question of whether representation is needed, it is how their businesses are represented and who represent them.
Representation comes in different forms. While engaging celebrity is popular, it may not always be feasible. For companies entering an offshore market, a very common practice (even if a celebrity is enlisted) is to establish a representative office, where a chief representative is appointed.
This arrangement, if done right, is an excellent way for a company to make its entry to a new market and to support continuing growth of its business there. However, if done wrong, the adverse could happen. For example, in April 2008 alone, some 16 representative offices of foreign enterprises were under the investigation of Beijing Public Security Bureau. The reason? Breaking Chinese law and engaging in financial fraud.
For those contemplating setting up representative offices abroad, here are some suggestions:
· Chief representative should be fluently bilingual, and understands the local culture in addition to that back home (vice versa if this position is locally filled).
· Chief representative should be able to open doors, and be well versed in the business.
· Chief representative must possess the highest personal integrity. Many representative offices are small in scale, and very often the chief representative is virtually playing solo.
· Check relevant rules and regulations governing representative offices, and conform to them. Breaking local laws could result in not only financial loss, but also reputation damage.
· Get expert help, and seek legal advice when necessary.
All the best finding the right representation for your goods and services!
Letter to the Editor
Re “Quality - A Matter of Choice”, September 2009
This article is nicely written, and makes a great point, whether you are sourcing from China, or from Canada… The key is always to treat business people with respect, negotiate what you want and what you need, and pay an honest amount for your requirements.
Jo-Anne McDowall, Winnipeg, Canada
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© 2009 Jacqueline Wu & Olive Kan Global. All rights reserved.
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