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Alibaba Gives Branding Lessons

China has several large and leading businesses. However, these companies have a hard time establishing brands that are internationally strong. In fact, top five smartphone creators are in this sovereign state, yet only very few of western consumers can name those companies. So Alibaba is giving branding lessons to help other Chinese corporations.

Alibaba Group Holding Limited is an online company that offers and grants client-to-client and business-to-client sales services through web portals or specially designed web pages. Alibaba is reported to be China’s, and by several measures, the world’s largest e-commerce company. The company’s three main web sites, which are Alibaba.com, Tmall and Taobao, have thousands and millions of users. The sites also host hundreds of millions of businesses and marketers.

The company is even considered as the most popular destination for consumers who are shopping online, in the world’s fastest growing and increasing online commerce market. According to reports, Alibaba’s online sites transactions reached to an estimated $240 billion the previous year, which was greater than those of Amazon.com and eBay’s earnings combined.

Alibaba’s growing popularity in the e-commerce world and increasing transactions internationally are making Chinese businesses and companies wonder how they did it. Well, the secret? It’s strong branding. So here are few lessons from the giant Alibaba about branding.

  • A charismatic and determined leader is a major plus. – Charismatic as defined by an online dictionary means exercising a compelling charm that inspires and encourages devotion and allegiance from others. Determination on the other hand means firmness on purpose.Both characteristics are highly observed in Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, Mr. Jack Ma or Ma Yun. When Mr. Ma was young, he developed an eagerness to learn English. To learn the language he traveled 45 minutes every morning to go to a nearby hotel in order to have conversations with foreigners. He would even guide and tour westerners around the city for free in order for him to practice and perfect his English skills. His determination to learn English has helped him greatly in dealing with foreign investors and consumers. His charisma as well helped in the success of Alibaba Group and aided in developing and building trust with foreign investors.
  • Anticipate for global expansion and worldwide response at the beginning. – It is important that a company thinks global at the beginning since it is almost always expected that the business will engage with foreign consumers and invite foreign investors as it grows. Mr. Ma has already the world in mind when he started the business. That is why he named his company Alibaba because it is easy to pronounce and is well-known. Ali Baba is the character from the folktale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” that discovered a group of thieves’ secret den which only opens when saying the phrase “open sesame”. Mr. Ma considered international clients and partners at the start of his business which was a stepping stone for him and his company to be well-known worldwide.
  • Earning and making money is not the key. – According to survey, most CEOs when asked about the goal of their company often answered “making money”. Unfortunately, that is not enough and it’s not the key or the measure of a company’s success. And Mr. Ma is very much aware of that. The founder of Alibaba group has made making money and other monetary transactions secondary because for him it’s connecting to people – employees, partners, consumers, investors and others related to his company – the most important. For any company to flourish and succeed, relationship is the key.
  • Enrich and give special attention to the brand’s story. – This is one thing that Mr. Ma wanted other businessmen to know. It is important that your company or brand has a story – an amazing and interesting one. It is necessary that the brand’s story is being cultivated for this will help in gaining attention and advertising the company and its brand.

With these tips and lessons, no wonder Alibaba is a popular and growing company not only in China but worldwide. For other companies out there aspiring to be globally known, take time to read and put these lessons into practice.

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