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What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism and the Modern Chinese Consumer Hardcover – May 22, 2012
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“With insight and energy, Doctoroff…takes on the daunting task of explaining the Chinese character… This in-depth, lively précis of modern-day China is an invaluable guide to anyone hoping to do business in the fast-growing Eastern market.” ―Publishers Weekly
“A primer on Chinese consumers [with] each paragraph delivering a takeaway pearl of wisdom… A no-nonsense book by an enlightened capitalist.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“'Gaining familiarity with China's basic philosophies and culture will help businesspeople create new opportunities, offer competitive advantages, and avoid pitfalls. Doctoroff offers his readers practical advice as well as examples of successful marketing campaigns in China…An essential read.” ―Library Journal
“Do not go to China―with your product, your ideas, or yourself―without reading this book. Tom Doctoroff is a triple value interpreter; marketer, historian, and philosopher of all things China.” ―Charlotte Beers, former Chairman Ogilvy, J. Walter Thompson, and author of I'd Rather Be in Charge
“It takes decades for outsiders to begin to understand how China really works. In his latest book, Tom has distilled a career worth of professional and personal reflections into a potent cocktail of insights. This book is a must-read shortcut for any guest working in China trying to make sense of the overwhelming complexity and depth of China's consumer landscape.” ―Alan Jope, President, Unilever, North Asia
“Tom Doctoroff's insightful book What Chinese Want is a gem. It provides a unique perspective on why the Chinese think the way they do, history's role in China today - and unlocks mysteries one might have not even noticed. A must-read for those traveling to China―from the casual visitor to the corporate executive wrestling with the mechanics of Chinese society.” ―Stefan Halper, author of America Alone and The Beijing Consensus
“'What do Chinese Want?' It's a big question. But marketing guru Tom Doctoroff can handle it. He approaches rough business challenges not only strategically but also psychologically. He catches what numbers don't capture: the heart of a people and how it affects who succeeds and who fails on the mainland.” ―Jing Ulrich, Managing Director & Chairman of Global Markets, China, J.P. Morgan
“Tom's unique experience and perspective is a boon to anyone who plans to address the Chinese consumer. In so far as it is possible to sum the sentiment and unique cultural underpinnings of this mammoth country, Tom has done it.” ―Kathleen Hall, Windows Global Campaigns and Product Marketing General Manager, Microsoft
“In explaining what Chinese consumers want, Doctoroff vividly shows us where China is headed as a society and a world power.” ―Garrick Utley, Senior Fellow SUNY Levin Institute
“What Chinese Want is required reading for any business person that deals with Chinese nationals or companies. It will help you quickly learn what was so hard for me to understand during my five years of living in China: China is very different from the West, and Tom Doctoroff will explain what you need to know to succeed there.” ―Miguel Patricio, President of Anheuser Busch Inbev for Asia Pacific
“The scale of potential opportunity in China is staggering. But business people who want to succeed in China often feel like they have landed on a different planet. Tom Doctoroff's book offers a very insightful, down-to-earth analysis of both what's driving growth in China as well as a nuanced analysis of the psychology of Chinese leaders and people. Anyone who wants to succeed big time in China will find his book very helpful and interesting.” ―Dr. Ramesh Tainwala, President Asia Pacific and Middle East, Samsonite Group
“Tom Doctoroff's What Chinese Want succeeds in linking the most dynamic facets of the modern Chinese commercial and consumer landscape with the unique and timeless characteristics of China's people and culture.” ―John Quelch, Distinguished Professor of International Management, Vice President and Dean, CEIBS (China Europe International Business School)
“This is a breakthrough work on the modern Chinese consumer. Rooted in a long and successful career in China, Tom Doctoroff's book gives a concrete, in-depth, and simple explanation about how this mysterious land really works that will begin to change the world's biased understanding of a great country.” ―Pierre Xiao Lu, author of Elite China, professor of marketing at Fudan University in Shanghai, and Founder of China Market Institute Consulting
About the Author
Tom Doctoroff is the Northeast Asia Area Director and Greater China CEO for J. Walter Thompson, the author of Billions, and a leading authority on marketing in China and Chinese consumer culture, with more than thirteen years of experience in mainland China. He has appeared regularly on CNBC, NBC, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio and is frequently featured in publications ranging from the Financial Times and Business Week to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He is also a columnist for the China Economic Review and the Chinese magazine Global Entrepreneur. Doctoroff is the recipient of the Magnolia Government Award, the highest honor given by the Shanghai municipal government to expatriates, and was selected to be an official torchbearer for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
More About the Author
He has appeared regularly on CNBC, NBC's The Today Show, Bloomberg and NPR, and is featured in publications ranging from the Financial Times to the Wall Street Journal. He is a sought after keynote speaker for events such as the International Advertising Association's global symposium, University of Chicago's Global Management Conference and the JPMorgan Asia Pacific Equities conference.
Tom started his career at Leo Burnett in Chicago but jumped ship to JWT. In 1994, he moved to Hong Kong as Regional Business Director for clients such as Pepsi, Kraft and Citibank. In 1998, he landed in China as the Managing Director of JWT Shanghai and in 2002, was appointed Northeast Asia Area Director and Greater China CEO. In 2013, he was appointed the CEO of Asia Pacific for the J. Walter Thompson company. Through diversification into digital, trade marketingand field marketing, JWT Asia Pacific has emerged as one the most synergistically integrated, creatively dynamic communications networks. Some of JWT Asia's key clients include: Unilever, HSBC, Ford, Nokia, Microsoft, Mattel, Kellogg's and leading local enterprises in different markets.
Tom is the recipient of the "Magnolia Government Award (白玉兰政府纪念奖)," the highest honor given by the Shanghai municipal government to expatriates and was an Official Torchbearer for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. He is the author of the best-selling books "Billions: Selling to the New Chinese Consumer" (2006) and "What Chinese Want" (2012). His third book, "Twitter Is Not a Strategy: Rediscovering the Art of Brand Marketing," is now available.
Top Customer Reviews
After having read the book I have to agree with both the positive and negative comments in other reviews. First of all, this is a must-read for people in the marketing, sales and advertising professions that consider China to be a (potential) market for their products or services. Even for people that are not necessarily working in these areas but are still involved with Chinese people (whether or not professionally) this is a recommended read. Doctoroff's experience, undoubtfully backed by investments in market research at his advertising agency, provides us with an invaluable source of information and understanding about China and the Chinese. And most of what Doctoroff writes seems to be spot on. An interesting aspect is the way Doctoroff 'zooms out'. Starting with the individual consumers, then discussing the society, than China's place in the world, while touching upon many different very relevant subjects along the way. It has given me many new insights, resulting in instant adjustments to my own projects.Read more ›
Tom Doctoroff is currently head of JWT in China and has lived in Shanghai for ten or so years. He lives in the French Concession in a row-house apartment and was evidently not tempted to live (it up) at Richgate. As an advertising and marketing expert, he takes the reader through the intricacies of selling and marketing to the Chinese. Doctoroff's title, "What Chinese Want" is interesting in itself. Notice he leaves out "the" between "What" and "Chinese", therefore bringing his findings down a bit from the macro "the Chinese" to the micro "Chinese". There's a difference in meaning by leaving out "the" in the title, and unless it was a mistake (which I doubt), Doctoroff gives the reader a bit of a look at the individual person in China, rather than the mass of Chinese, as consumers.
But, in truth, Doctoroff also speaks about the mass Chinese consumer.Read more ›
Perhaps I am not the target audience for the book, but I would personally not recommend it as a "leisurely read."
"Chinese fear chaos; they are unable to imagine social order without autocratic control."(p. 26)
"In China, no one invests in status brands unless everyone recognizes them."(p. 76)
". . . the imitation and piracy of brands--has become a national point of pride."(p. 79)
". . . there are few Chinese labels actually preferred by mainland consumers."(p. 86)
This may be true for the emerging middle class, but what about the millions who are happy to have consumer goods, period. For them, the cheapest brand will do.
Of the Chinese education system, he says, "It's primary role is to advance the interests of the nation, as defined by the Communist Party."(p. 126)
I know many faculty members at Chinese universities that would strongly disagree with this, especially those in the humanities. Again, he is overgeneralizing.
"Surgeons will still be bribed by patient's relatives to ensure adequate care. Medical equipment will still be manned by inadequately trained and poorly compensated staff. Local banks, while dependable for low-end transactions, will offer no investment alternatives beyond basic savings and high-risk, opaque mutual funds."(p. 152)
A rather pessimistic viewpoint. China has progressed in practically every area of society in the past 30 years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author is a communist sympathiser.
When, on page 153, he admits to sharing the relativist moral values of the CCP, he is also discussing China's lack of civil... Read more
Well, although I only understand partially of the book, but it is very interesting for a Chinese to gain inside of China from a foreigner's prospect!Published 10 months ago by Gang Liang
A very well written and interesting book, that blasts many of the biases reported in the West. I think that it may be one of the most important, if noot the most important book... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Rollin A. Van Broekhoven
Great book if you're interested in learning about business in China, branding, Chinese culture, and Chinese co Sumerian.Published 14 months ago by James L. Gibbons
Very interesting, actual book about present China written by somebody who has lived here a number of years and is big in marketing in China- he has to know his clients to be... Read morePublished on January 9, 2014 by Claudia Sanne
Many books on business etiquette and Chinese culture are dated. This one is very current. I found it very easy to order and pay for on line.Published on August 21, 2013 by Michael McDonald