Haier today

Rob Walker’s latest Consumed piece looks at the strategic approach of Haier, one of the few Chinese brands making inroads in the US.

Instead of a “technology push” approach (a Bell Labs cranking out wonderful inventions that are then pushed into the marketplace), [Sull] says, they are adept at using a “consumer pull” strategy, studying and responding to their customers’ needs.

Sull, the business-school professor, says that U.S. companies operating in China already know that the fiercest competitors there are the domestic ones. “The thing that should really make them nervous,” he says of U.S. companies, is the ability of Chinese manufacturers to export “their ability for rapid consumer-pull innovation” to the United States. Which is exactly what Haier is trying to do.


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